Sunday, April 30, 2006

Judge Huddleston

I suspect that my regular readers have figured out that I value Rob Huddleston's opinion and his words very highly. I have always counted myself rather proud of the fact that Rob, as politically astute as he is, happens to be a regular reader of this weblog, and he often links to it at his far more (at least locally so) widely-read blog. I have always been glad of the fact that he thought so well of my written work, as I think very well of Rob.

In recent days, in his comments regarding the 4th Circuit Judicial race between Judge Bill Swann and David Lee, Rob has pointed out that the conflict between Swann and Lee began when Lee represented himself before Swann in Lee's own divorce case. I will note that the campaign between these two has gotten increasingly nasty, with Swann throwing out the nasties about Lee's divorce, and Lee firing back with the fact that Judge Swann has been divorced multiple times and he took the time to seal at least one of his divorce cases, normally a matter of public record. Rob clearly sides with Judge Swann, and he has made it clear that he believes the 4th Circuit will go to Hell in a handbasket under a David Lee Judgeship-and if Rob is to be believed, many other attorneys feel the same. The ABA has its own write-up of the events that led to the Lee insurgency on the 4th Circuit.

To tell you the truth, I am not sure who to believe. I have never had the pleasure to meet Judge Swann and I wish that I could, since I can't really make a fair judgment on his character, as I have met his opponent David Lee. I do think, however, that this entire race highlights a fundamental truth: Our judges have the morals of Atilla the Hun.

Over 50% of all marriages in America end in divorce. The Bible says God hates it, and Christ went so far as to say that to divorce and remarry was nothing short of adultery (Mark 10:1-12). I realize that 4th Circuit Court is basically a divorce court, but in my ideal world, we would have judges who would uphold a positive moral as well as legal example for the whole community to follow. Divorce is sinful, but it is more than that, it is an emotional and spiritual tragedy for everyone involved, especially for kids. We really need judges who are good men and Godly men-especially on courts like the 4th Circuit. These days, we ask judges to have the Wisdom of Solomon without calling on the One who gave that Wisdom. David Lee is not that kind of a judge, but neither is Bill Swann, apparently. I know that I am not an attorney and I don't have years of experience in the practice of law, and I certainly don't practice on the 4th Circuit. I do, however, have a whole lot of lawyer friends. My best friend is a lawyer, indeed I was the one who encouraged him to go to law school. How many men do you know sit up in a Pigeon Forge hotel room the night before their wedding and drink whiskey, smoke cigars, and discuss Constitutional theory until 3am?

Based on my experience with all kinds of attorneys-good bad and ugly-I do not concur with the idea that the 4th Circuit will rot on the vine if David Craig Lee wins the Republican Primary Tuesday. I agree that he is probably not the best man for the job and I can think of someone who is, but that person is not running.

I think that the best man for the job is Rob Huddleston. Not only is Rob a good attorney, but he is articulate, competent, and he's a good Christian. Rob believes in families, and I believe that he would be an incredibly fair judge who would truly take both sides into account. He wouldn't come to the office with an agenda, a vendetta, or vengeance on his mind. Even if he ran for a judgeship of some other Court, I think we would all be better for having Judge Huddleston, or better yet, Justice Huddleston on the bench. I believe Rob is a real man of integrity.

Update: I heard from Rob, and he confirmed to me that he is not now, nor will he ever be interested in seeking a judgeship. While that is great news because it frees him for greater political office, I still think he would be a fine judge.


At Sunday, April 30, 2006 11:40:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

Mr. Oatney,
I think the Swann - Lee thing is incrediably comic. If Lee is as bad for the court as Swann says then Swann should be able to show that without stooping the low brow, knuckle dragging level he has taken his campaign. Let Lee, the baddie, be bad and stupid and whatever. It's obviious that he's campaigning only because he didn't get his way, which is childish. Swann could have so easily taken the high road and beat Lee over the head with it that I feel compelled to conclude that both men are complete, utter and total jerks.
Talk to Mr. Huddleston some more. He could be interesting. His blog would make his campaign very intersting.


At Monday, May 01, 2006 8:36:00 AM, Blogger Dave Oatney said...

Well, I can't speak to Rob's opinion of me, or how Rob regards me, but I regard Rob as a friend.

Based on the gutsy (and sometimes unpopular) stands Rob takes, I believe he'd be a great judge. He proves his love of family by putting family matters ahead of running for a Congressional seat he really would liked to have had-a feeling I now have first-hand experience with.

I think he is just the kind of man our courts need.


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