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Federal Judges Gone Wild

Judge Jack Camp/daily report

Judge Jack Camp/daily report

By Zack Cohen
ticklethewire.com

WASHINGTON — Federal judges are considered among the elite in the judiciary world, appointed by the president for a lifetime, regarded as being beyond reproach. But in recent times there has been a crack in the almost king-like facade.

One judge, G. Thomas Porteous of New Orleans,  faces impeachment before the Senate on a variety of  allegations including taking gifts and meals from lawyers and bail bondsmen.  Another, Samuel Kent of Texas is behind bars for lying to investigators about sexually assaulting his staff. And Jack T. Camp, 67, of Atlanta was busted in early October for buying drugs from an undercover agent to share with a stripper he was carrying on affair.

“They are human just like everyone else,” said Alan M. Gershel, a professor  at the Thomas  M. Cooley Law School in Michigan, who added that these isolated incidents do not reflect on the integrity of the entire judicial system.

Still, it’s an embarrassment.

Judge Kent

The latest case involving Judge Jack T. Camp has all the makings of the sleazy movie.

Camp,who is on senior status,  was arrested on a recent Friday night near Sandy Springs, Ga., after he bought $160 worth of cocaine and Roxycodone, a narcotic pain killer, from an undercover agent, according to authorities.

The Reagan appointee planned to use the drugs with an exotic stripper, who had told authorities that the judge used illegal drugs with her, according to a report in the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.  The paper said the judge had bought a private dance from the stripper and eventually paid for sex and started a relationship.

Authorities said hey also found two guns in the front seat of his car.

Porteous, 63, is facing impeachment in Congress on allegations he took cash, expensive meals and other gifts from lawyers and bail bondsmen, filed for bankruptcy under a false name and lied to Congress. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., who heads a five-member House team, is prosecuting  the Louisiana judge for violating public trust and “making a mockery of the court system.” The Senate is expected after Thanksgiving to vote on four articles of impeachment, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune.

Porteous’s defense team  argues that his actions reflect how things are done in the judicial system in New Orleans and that if Porteous is impeached then the rest of the judges deserve the same fate.

Judge Thomas Porteous

Kent, 61, is behind bars, serving a 33-month sentence for obstruction of justice after he was caught lying about allegations involving groping and sexual assault of two female court employees.

Randolph Mclaughlin, a professor at Pace University of Law, agrees with Professor Gershel,  and says these isolated incidents aren’t reflective of the federal judiciary and don’t raise any real questions about the selection process for federal judges.

“I don’t think that overall the judges on the federal bench lack integrity,” said Mclaughlin. “While some corrupt judges slip through, if you were to examine the percentage of judges who have been impeached with the number of politicians who have been convicted of crimes, you would see that many more politicians are convicts.”

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