Impeach the right-wing federal judge who beats his wife
Last summer, U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller was arrested for, and pleaded guilty to, beating his wife. But he managed to completely escape criminal prosecution, and still has his lifetime appointment to the federal bench, and the $200,000 a year salary that goes along with it.
A man who beats his wife shouldn’t be allowed to continue serving as a federal judge. Congress should begin impeachment proceedings now.
“Please help me, he’s beating on me.” That’s what Judge Fuller’s wife begged a 911 dispatcher as her husband could be heard striking her in the background.1 Despite his arrest for the assault so disturbingly caught on tape, Fuller got a plea deal from prosecutors that would clear his record if he completed a once-a-week counseling program for 24 weeks. On April 2nd, because he’d met those conditions, the charges against him were dropped.2
Fuller has been relieved of his caseload by the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals, but his seat on the federal bench, and his taxpayer-funded salary, are for his lifetime. It’s appalling that Fuller still has a job as a judge, and since October, CREDO Action members have been making their voices heard demanding that Congress do their job and get Fuller off the federal bench.
We know our pressure is making a difference. The House Judiciary Committee included funds for impeachment in the committee’s 2015 budget. Last week, Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Charles Grassley, a Republican, showed his interest in the case by reaching out to the 11th Circuit for an update on their investigation of Judge Fuller.
Add your voice to make it clear to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees that the time to impeach in now.
Judge Fuller’s time on the bench has been embroiled in controversy. He sentenced Alabama’s former Democratic Governor Don Siegelman to six-and-a-half years in federal prison in a politically-motivated, Karl Rove-orchestrated prosecution. Despite having a clear conflict of interest and a negative history with Siegelman, Fuller refused to recuse himself from the case. At sentencing, Fuller forced the former governor to be taken straight from the courtroom to prison in handcuffs and leg manacles, rather than letting him go free until appeal, which is standard procedure.
Over 50 former state attorneys general from across the country, both Republicans and Democrats, have urged Congress to investigate the Bush administration’s use of the U.S. Department of Justice to railroad Siegelman. And now, after putting former Governor Don Siegelman in chains for bribery and corruption charges, at the bidding of Karl Rove no less, the idea that Judge Fuller will suffer no legal consequences for violently beating his wife is especially appalling.
This is not the first time allegations of domestic violence have been lodged against Fuller. In 2012, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press reported that Fuller’s divorce records were “wrought with accusations of domestic violence, drug abuse and the judge’s alleged affair with his court bailiff.” Those records were sealed by a fellow judge serving on the Montgomery circuit court.3
According to the judicial code of conduct to which Fuller is bound, “a judge should maintain and enforce high standards of conduct and should personally observe those standards, so that the integrity and independence of the judiciary may be preserved.”
The integrity of the 11th Circuit Court is clearly at risk if a judge who assaults his wife is allowed to continue to serve. It’s outrageous that Mark Fuller got a free pass for domestic violence. It would be even worse if he also returns to the bench. It’s now up to Congress to hold him accountable for his actions.
Help us get Mark Fuller off the federal bench. Sign the petition today.
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