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A judge who should heed his own advice

The Honorable Richard G. Kopf is a senior district court judge on the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska.  He is also author of the blog, Hercules and the Umpire.

Judge Kopf was not a fan of the Supreme Court’s decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby, so he decided to blog about it.  His post was quite critical of the decision, which is one thing.  The conclusion was something else: “it is time for the Court to stfu” (link in original).  As one might expect, this post has caused a stir.

This is not the first time Judge Kopf has courted controversy with his blogging.  In a March 2014 post Judge Kopf described himself as a “dirty old man” and offered commentary on “how young women lawyers dress.”  While the post purported to offer advice on how women should dress in the courtroom, it also included the judge’s commentary on how he likes that one “pretty lawyer . . . wears very short skirts and shows lots of her ample chest.” Not the sort of thing one hopes to hear from the bench.

The response to Judge Kopf’s most recent post has not been kind. Even some of his regular readers are not amused. For a representative sample, spanning the political spectrum, see these posts from Professor Bainbridge and UC Irvine’s Rick Hasen.  Concludes the latter:

Look, blogging is not for everyone, and I respectfully suggest that Judge Kopf either stop blogging or retire from the bench. 

That is a polite way of suggesting that perhaps it’s time for Judge Kopf to heed his own advice.

Jonathan H. Adler teaches courses in constitutional, administrative, and environmental law at the Case Western University School of Law, where he is the inaugural Johan Verheij Memorial Professor of Law and Director of the Center for Business Law and Regulation.

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