Remarks by 9th Circuit liberal jurist Harry Pregerson in Henry Weinstein's story in the L.A. Times on Saturday have legal types talking. Pregerson was on the three-judge panel that blocked the recall election, and in the Times story he predicts the ruling will be vacated by a more conservative panel.
"You know who's on the panel, right? Do you think it's going to have much of a chance of surviving? I wouldn't bet on it," Judge Harry Pregerson said in an interview....
"Judge Paez, Judge Thomas and I we did the right thing," Pregerson said. "We're there to protect people's rights under the equal protection clause of the Constitution, no matter who's involved, and a lot of people don't like it. That's their problem, not mine."
That kind of candor, writes UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, "is pretty clearly prohibited" by the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges. For context: Volokh is generally conservative and recently discussed on his website that he votes a straight Republican ticket. But he cites the relevant code and makes a good non-partisan point. He's joined by Howard Bashman, the Philadelphia appellate lawyer behind the respected How Appealing blog:
It is extraordinarily unusual for a judge to speak to the press about the merits of a matter currently pending before his court.
Other surprised reaction -- and some outrage -- are linked on their blogs.