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Newman Says Judicial Council Ruling Didn't Touch Constitutional Claims

The U.S. Judicial Council's Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability's recent report sustaining the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit's one-year suspension of Judge Pauline Newman didn't evaluate her constitutional claims, leaving that to the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, Newman told the district court (Pauline Newman v. Kimberly Moore, D.D.C. # 23-01334).

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Responding to the committee's finding in Newman's suit against her colleagues' investigation into her fitness, Newman, 96, said the committee explicitly said its proceedings "are administrative, and not judicial, in nature." This is directly contradictory to the claims of Judges Kimberly Moore, Sharon Prost and Richard Taranto, the defendants in Newman's case, the elder judge said.

In her reply, Newman also told the court that she was removed from the "All Judges" email listserv and that the CAFC Judicial Council voted to deny her request to extend by several months the term of one of her law clerks. The appellate court's council also said it won't "permit the hiring of any other staff," indicating the council's intent to bar Newman from "exercising judicial functions of any kind," the brief said.

The U.S. Judicial Council committee issued its decision on Feb. 7 (see 2402070047). The report said the CAFC Judicial Council didn't commit an abuse of discretion by refusing to transfer the investigation, Newman hasn't shown "good cause for her refusal to cooperate," and the one-year suspension doesn't exceed the council's authority. The ruling marked the end of Newman's appeal options before the U.S. Judicial Conference, leaving only her D.C. District Court case as a means of challenging the investigation on her fitness to serve on the bench.