Oldest Federal Judge Fights Back To Be Reinstated To The Bench

(PatriotWise.com) — A federal court on Monday dismissed the bulk of a lawsuit brought by federal judge Pauline Newman over the Federal Circuit’s judicial council suspending her last fall, Reuters reported.

The oldest federal judge in the country, Newman, 96, failed to convince the District Court of the District of Columbia that her suspension should be lifted or that the investigation into her competence should be moved from her court’s jurisdiction.

The judicial council of the Federal Circuit temporarily suspended Newsman in September and ordered her to undergo medical examinations to determine her fitness to remain on the bench.

The 96-year-old judge has defended her competency and, since her suspension, has made several public appearances.

In its decision on Monday, the DC District Court did allow Newman to continue to pursue the constitutional claims in her lawsuit as well as her claim that the law under which she was suspended was vague.

Greg Dolin, Newman’s attorney, said he would ask the DC Circuit to review the dismissal.

Judge Newman was initially appointed to the Federal Circuit bench in 1984 by President Ronald Reagan. She is considered a highly respected authority in patent law.

In orders made public in April 2023, Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Kimberly Moore said Newman was showing signs of cognitive decline and physical impairment and accused Newman of failing to cooperate with inquiries into her fitness.

According to documents released by the DC Circuit in August, court workers described Newman as suffering from confusion, memory loss, and paranoia. She was also prone to “angry rants” and often mishandled matters involving court staff.

Newman sued the judicial council in May, arguing that her suspension violated her constitutional rights.

In his decision on Monday, US District Judge Christopher Cooper said that despite the higher courts consistently affirming its “authority to police itself,” Judge Newman was asking the court to “break ranks.” He said the court declined to do so.

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