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Obama Renominates 42 Judicial Picks, But Not Judge Hit for Execution Delay

Posted Jan 6, 2011 9:32 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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President Obama has renominated 42 out of 43 judicial nominees who didn’t win approval by the end of the 111th Congress in December.

Left off the list was U.S. District Judge Robert Chatigny of Connecticut, who had been nominated for the New York-based 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, according to the Hartford Courant, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) and The BLT: The Blog of Legal Times.

Chatigny withdrew his name from the list because he wasn’t comfortable with prolonged criticism by opponents, sources told the Hartford Courant. Republicans had targeted Chatigny for delaying the execution of Michael Ross and threatening the license of a lawyer who argued the serial killer had a right to waive appeals, according to a National Law Journal story on the controversy published last year. “What you are doing is terribly, terribly wrong,” Chatigny told the lawyer. “No matter how well motivated you are, you have a client whose competence is in serious doubt and you don't know what you're talking about.” Later he warned the lawyer, “I’ll have your law license.”

Seven prosecutors filed an ethics complaint against Chatigny, but he was cleared of misconduct. One of the judges on a panel recommending dismissal of the complaint was Michael Mukasey, who went on to become attorney general.

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