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Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Judge Joyce Lamberth

For assorted reasons I am currently re-reading (in a quasi-random piecemeal method) Ayn Rand's infamous Atlas Shrugged. Somehow, her hero of Judge Narragansett always reminds me of the recalcitrant Judge Royce Lamberth of the District Court for the District of Columbia.
About a year ago, I began following the saga of a lawsuit before Lamberth against the Department of the Interior, alleging an endless series of bureaucratic failures and racist judgments. Now, (via Howard Bashman) I see that Judge Lamberth has finally been removed from the Indian trust litigation. So far as I can tell, the Court of Appeals has taken no issue with his scoldings of the Department of the Interior for their incompetence and recalcitrance, but a combination of his accusations of racism against the federal government and his basically uniform record of being reversed merited the exceptional measure of taking him off of the case.
What is the moral of the story? On the one hand, sharp rhetoric and exceptional behavior obviously have their costs, at least for those members of the government who have bosses. On the other hand, maybe John Roberts is right that one calls them as one sees them.

Posted by Will Baude on July 11, 2006 at 08:51 PM in Property | Permalink

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