Blogging Judge Who Told SCOTUS to 'stfu' over Hobby Lobby Has Second Thoughts

Blogging Judge Who Told SCOTUS to 'stfu' over Hobby Lobby Has Second Thoughts
WILLIAM BIGELOW

Remember Richard Kopf, the senior United States district judge in Nebraska who was so upset by the Supreme Court decision in the Hobby Lobby case? He was the judge who blogged, “the Court is now causing more harm (division) to our democracy than good by deciding hot button cases that the Court has the power to avoid. As the kids say, it is time for the Court to stfu.”

Now Richard isn’t so sure that was the right thing to do. He blogged Monday afternoon that a lawyer cautioned him about his profanity-laced and vulgar blogging, which includes a post he wrote in March titled “On being a dirty old man and how young women lawyers dress,” in which he warned female lawyers not to wear clothes that would trigger him to look down their blouses or up their skirts.

Don’t believe a judge would blog like that? Try this, from March of this year:

More than a decade ago, I freaked out when tall, statuesque, and beautiful daughter Lisa showed up at her older sister’s (Marne’s) wedding in a Catholic church (that we “borrowed” out of respect for the groom’s religious preference) in a low-cut dress. Poor Joan, at my insistence, and at the last moment, rummaged around in the church’s “lost and found” to locate a demure white sweater for Lisa to wear over her very revealing frock. I was spitting nails. Marne was in tears. The groom had no idea what the fuck had just happened … In candor, I have been a dirty old man ever since I was a very young man.  Except, that is, when it comes to my daughters (and other young women that I care deeply about). And that brings me to the amusing debate about how (mostly) young female lawyers dress these days … True story. Around these parts there is a wonderfully talented and very pretty female lawyer who is in her late twenties. She is brilliant, she writes well, she speaks eloquently, she is zealous but not overly so, she is always prepared, she treats others, including her opponents, with civility and respect, she wears very short skirts and shows lots of her ample chest. I especially appreciate the last two attributes.

The unnamed and critical lawyer wrote to the self-proclaimed “dirty old man:”

There is little surprise in the level of attention drawn by, or the inevitable public reaction to, a federal trial judge, in a public forum, repeatedly using vulgarity including serial exercise of the f-word, apparently disclosing a fondness for looking up the skirts and down the blouses of female attorneys who appear before him, telling Congress to “go to hell,” and urging the SCOTUS to “stfu.” How does such attention and reaction create an appearance that assists the public’s acceptance of the law, help people trust judges, foster faith in our system, and advance the cause of the delivery of justice?”

Kopf, suddenly contrite, blogged Monday, “I am going to give this letter serious consideration. It comes from someone I respect and whose judgment I trust. It also reminds me that, as a physician might say, I should always strive ‘first to do no harm.’ Blogging will be light while I figure this out.”

After the Hobby Lobby decision, Kopf not only offered a link to the Urban dictionary for “stfu,” he blogged:

In the Hobby Lobby cases, five male Justices of the Supreme Court, who are all members of the Catholic faith and who each were appointed by a President who hailed from the Republican party, decided that a huge corporation, with thousands of employees and gargantuan revenues, was a “person” entitled to assert a religious objection to the Affordable Care Act’s contraception mandate because that corporation was “closely held” by family members. To the average person, the result looks stupid and smells worse.

For a judge who looks down women’s cleavage and up their skirts to attack the right of business owners to openly practice their religious beliefs smells a heck of a lot (or should we say hell of a lot, Richard?) worse than that.

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