"Bush Hating", Judge J. Robertson Quits the Bench in Protest

The “Bush Hating” label is from articles on Judge Robertson from last year!

The Washington Post reported this morning that Federal Judge James Robertson resigned from the court today in protest of George W. Bush expressing deep concern that the warrantless surveillance program authorized by the president in 2001 was legally questionable :

U.S. District Judge James Robertson, one of 11 members of the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, sent a letter to Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. late Monday notifying him of his resignation without providing an explanation.

Two associates familiar with his decision said yesterday that Robertson privately expressed deep concern that the warrantless surveillance program authorized by the president in 2001 was legally questionable and may have tainted the FISA court’s work.

Robertson, who was appointed to the federal bench in Washington by President Bill Clinton in 1994 and was later selected by then-Chief Justice William H. Rehnquist to serve on the FISA court, declined to comment when reached at his office late yesterday.

Judge Robertson has quite a partisan record that follows him as he leaves office. Robert Novak wrote about Judge Robertson at Townhall in 2000:


Judge Paul Friedman, a prominent liberal lawyer from Washington named to the court in 1994, was assigned the criminal case against Democratic fund-raiser Maria Hsia (a close supporter of Al Gore). He threw out the case, but it was reversed on appeal, and Hsia was later convicted in a jury trial.

The way the D.C. judges operate under the public’s radar was demonstrated in an unpublicized courtroom proceeding. Friedman was also given the criminal case against Democratic activist Pauline Kanchanalak for laundering illegal campaign contributions. Early last month, Justice asked for merely a two-month postponement of the April trial. Friedman agreed but privately informed the prosecutors that it would be too hard to get a Washington jury in the summer and so he was delaying the trial until mid-November — after the presidential election.

The classic case is income-tax evasion charges against Clinton intimate Webster Hubbell. The case went to Judge James Robertson, another liberal Washington lawyer who actively supported and contributed to Clinton for president. Robertson denied the jurisdiction of Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr, and called his tactics “scary.”

As Hugh Hewitt noted this morning, back in 2004, Judge Robertson said that special trials established to determine the guilt or innocence of prisoners at the U.S. military prison in Cuba are unlawful:

In a setback for the Bush administration, U.S. District Judge James Robertson found that detainees at the Navy base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, may be prisoners of war under the Geneva Conventions and therefore entitled to the protections of international and military law — which the government has declined to grant them.

The decision came in a lawsuit filed by the first alleged al Qaeda member facing trial before what the government calls “military commissions.” The decision upends — for now — the administration’s strategy for prosecuting hundreds of alleged al Qaeda and Taliban detainees accused of terrorist crimes.

Stratagy Page wrote about Judge Robertson as a known political huckster last year:

Judge JAMES ROBERTSON etal: Clinton Cronies au jus 11/12/2004 3:06:14 PM
Judge Robertson’s political decisions from the Bench are well known. His latest ‘RAT decision will also be overturned, either on appeal or by the U.S. Supreme Court.
I do hope that it goes to the Supremes and Justice Gonzales get’s to write the Majority opinion. Especially righteous since he was the Presidents counsel of record who RIGHTLY advised that the Terrorists were not entitled to the full menu of Geneva protections.

Here’s more on Judge Robertson’s controversial ruling from last year:

Anyway, the military tribunal was all set to try Hamdan when U.S. District Court Judge James Robertson ruled the Bush administration had no right to declare the man an enemy combatant. Robertson went on to say Hamdan should be classified a prisoner of war and given Geneva Convention protections

Robertson ruled this despite these facts: Hamdan was not fighting for any country, Hamdan wore no uniform on the battlefield, Hamdan was a member of at least one terrorist group, possibly two.

Judge Robertson also ruled that the Geneva Convention protections supersede any presidential order or designation by military tribunal. In effect, the judge saying that all captured foreign terrorists are prisoners of war.

And, this report in BrooksNews goes as far as to call Judge Robertson a “Bush Hater”:

Once again it’s what lefty journalists leave out that matters. And in this case it matters a great deal. What Coorey didn’t report is that Judge Robertson is a Bush-hating Clinton appointee with a history.

When the OIC asked Judge Robertson to set a trial date for Hubbell he refused. Apparently Robertson thought this was an outrage. Didn’t the OIC realise that Hubbell was a loyal and influential Democrat? Why else would other loyal Dems slip him US$1 million green ones?

Completely free of embarrassment, Judge Robertson’s friends assigned him to another Hubbell case. Well, what was a good Democrat supposed to do, as if we didn’t know. Robertson dismissed the case against Hubbell, only to be overruled once again by an appeals court.

It was later found that Clinton appointed judges on the DC district court had been holding secret meetings. This raised an important question: Was this how they rigged Hubbell’s case?

So what’s Judge Robertson’s real objection to tribunals to try terrorists? Could it be that this partisan Democrat is trying to use the war on terrorism to deligitimise President Bush by painting him as a threat to civil rights? Is this why Robertson ignored US Supreme Court’s decision in the World War II regarding the Quirin case?

Judge Robertson also denied the Bush campaign’s request to order the Federal Election Commission to move against moveon.org and other left- wing Web sites which abuse the spirit of campaign finance reform:

“So who is Judge James Robertson? Appointed to the federal bench by President Clinton, the judge is an activist, often working for progressive causes.”

“Last September, Robertson denied the Bush campaign’s request to order the Federal Election Commission to move against moveon.org and other left- wing Web sites which abuse the spirit of campaign finance reform. Judge Robertso
n also denied oil exploration in Utah and threw out Ken Starr’s tax fraud indictment against Webster Hubble.”

“Now, remember, Starr wanted that action to force Hubble to testify against the Clintons in Whitewater. Subsequently, Hubble did not testify, the Clintons were not prosecuted.”

“So Judge Robertson is a very interesting guy and has now made it much harder for the federal government to prosecute accused terrorists.

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