FEBRUARY 12, 2010
Federal courts need more judges without bench experience since those currently serving view themselves as people “who walk around in these robes in these fancy chambers,” according to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.
The solution, according to the embattled Democrat who is seeking a fifth term, is to “get somebody on the court that has not been a judge.” The rather bizarre declarations come via a public tantrum ignited by the American Bar Association’s (ABA) mixed review of Reid’s nominee for a federal judgeship in Nevada.
The ABA should “get a new life,” the senator claims, because some of its members determined that his candidate (Las Vegas attorney Gloria Navarro) to become a U.S. District Judge in Nevada is “not qualified” for the federal bench. After all, Navarro has never been a judge on any level. The 42-year-old attorney has worked in private practice, the public defender’s office and for the Clark County prosecutor.
But she should get the lifetime federal appointment, Reid says, because despite her lack of judicial experience, she will make a “terrific judge.” That’s because she has had experience in the real world of government and the real world of law, the senator asserts.
The tirade, which took place before the Senate Judiciary Committee, also blasted the Supreme Court because its makeup consists of “people who have never seen the outside world.” Wonder if the veteran lawmaker really meant to include Sonia Sotomayor, who grew up in a New York public housing compound, in that bubble category?
These sorts of public outbursts are common for Reid, who is also well known for his involvement in a series of corruption scandals. Just a few months ago the senator threatened the largest newspaper in his home state of Nevada for publishing a series of critical articles and editorials about him. Reid actually threatened economic punishment in retaliation for the negative coverage and told a senior executive at paper (Las Vegas Review-Journal) that he hopes it goes out of business.
Reid has also made headlines for taking tens of thousands of dollars from the Indian tribe clients of jailed lobbyist Jack Abramoff and for using his influence as a legislator to help a mob-connected developer secure a lucrative Las Vegas land deal. In exchange, Reid got campaign contributions and a $1.1 million “profit” he concealed from the public.
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