President Obama has nominated to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals a sitting District Judge – Robert Chatigny – who should not be promoted, but instead fired for extremely bad judgment, a poor judicial temperament and a predilection for allowing sexual deviants to leave prison early to walk among us again. How’s that for the President’s defining and ill conceived standard of “empathy?”
Article III, Section 1 of the United States Constitution, vests the judicial power in the federal courts and provides for judges to be appointed for life in order to promote their independence – not to give them carte blanche to be insufferable, arrogant fools incapable of upholding the law and being fair judges.
Judge Chatigny currently serves as a district court judge in Connecticut. In that capacity, he specializes in one area: assisting sexual predators through downward departures and preventing them from receiving the death penalty, even after a number of gruesome rapes and murders. His lifetime appointment should be terminated for bad behavior. Instead, President Obama has tapped him for a promotion, and this morning, members of the Judiciary Committee will vote to send his nomination to the Senate floor for full consideration. Democrats and perhaps some Republicans hope no one is watching, but this nomination is too important for us to allow to sneak through without scrutiny.
Here is a sample of Chatigny’s bad behavior:
• He reduced the sentence of a 27 year-old man by no less than 21 months, after the man had met a 15-year old girl on MySpace and traveled across state lines to have sexual relations with her. The excuse for the light sentence: the defendant, after being caught, regretted his wrong doing and the illicit sexual conduct only happened once. (United States v. Palmeira, No. 07-CR-116 (2007)).
• He sentenced one child porn defendant to probation, when the sentencing range provided for no less than 15 months. The excuse for this one: the defendant had an “extraordinary traumatic upbringing.” (United States v. Musacchio, No. 99-CR-120 (1999)).
• He reduced the sentence of one defendant by more than 53% from the sentencing guidelines, even though the defendant had more than 1000 images and videos of child pornography. The bases for this reduction: the defendant’s “extraordinary post-arrest rehabilitation from drug addiction, alcoholism and family circumstances.” (United States v. Graziani, No. 07-CR-281 (2008)).
• Judge Chatigny even struck down part of Connecticut’s Megan’s Law, requiring the registration of sex offenders. Fortunately, the Supreme Court reversed this bad behavior. (Doe v. Lee, 132 F. Supp.2d 57 (D. Conn. 2001), aff’d, 271 F.3d 38 (2d Cir. 2001), rev’d, 538 U.S. 1 (2003)).
Instead of running away from President Obama’s empathy standard, Judge Chatigny has embraced it, unfortunately, not for the victims but for the criminals. In criticizing the mandatory minimums, he has never been apt to follow, Judge Chatigny stated: “Empathy for individuals involved in a case inevitably comes into play, as it should.” (Judge Chatigny, Speech to the American Constitution Society, University of Connecticut School of Law, Veteran’s Day 2003).
If you’re not satisfied with this bad behavior, recall this gem you’ve seen here on RedState before. Judge Chatigny intervened on behalf of a serial rapist and murderer to prevent his execution. During the process, Judge Chatigny called Michael Ross, Connecticut’s Roadside Stranger, who confessed to killing 8 women, the “least culpable person on death row” said he “should have never been convicted” and wanted to basically free Mr. Ross because he believed sexual sadism was a mitigating factor. (In re Charges of Judicial Misconduct, 465 F.3d 532 (Conn. 2006)).
This video tells the story – but it’s a story that should end in termination not promotion: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bkPcy-33LAg