Shutdown and sentencing

More fun today. Wearing my long black robe, I called the Bureau of Prison from the courtroom to hold a previously scheduled and ordered sentence reduction hearing under Rule 35(b). The hearing was to be held “on the record” but over the phone. The lawyers were in the courtroom and the inmate was supposed to be on the phone. The government asked for the hearing. Last time I checked, it’s cheaper to use the phone than fly an inmate to Lincoln.

Guess what? No one answered the phone at the prison. Not even a voice mail message telling me to have “Have a nice day!” Bummer. Think I’ll go home. No one complies with my orders anyway. Apparently, compliance with court orders is optional now that the man with the golden tan has sent everyone home.


16 responses

  1. WHOA! Are you referring to Mr. Holder? Or Mr. Obama? (Not sure about degree of tan.) Shouldn’t some acknowledgement be given to the Republican House who held the budget hostage in its effort to defund AHC? THAT’S who sent us all home!

  2. The patience shown by you, your colleagues and staff are appreciated by those of us who appear before the Court.

    P.S. don’t forget to credit “the insipid little man” in the other “deliberative” body. Beyond sequester and shutdown, the treatment of the judiciary is detrimental to all.

  3. David,

    You’re right. Fair is fair. No hands are clean in this debacle.

    Thanks for the kind words. All the best.


  4. Since when did federal judges start thinking the Bureau of Prisons would obey lawfully issued court orders. BOP will do whatever BOP wants. You’re just a federal district judge, appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate with a lifetime appointment to interpret and enforce the law. What makes you think you’re more important than a GS 7 BOP employee?

  5. In my experience it is difficult to get the BOP to answer phones even when the government is operating at full speed. In the event an actual person does answer the chances of actually achieving anything remains slim.

  6. Bryan,

    Sorry about your experience. I suppose because I am a judge, the BOP normally takes my calls. We don’t just call the BOP out of the blue, we arrange these calls in advance. Sometimes it is a hassle, but I have never before had the BOP refuse even to answer the phone. Oh, well.

    All the best.


  7. Interesting, this side issue. The House repeatedly passed bills funding the government, the Senate voted them down, and President wouldn’t even discuss them. The Senate now is refusing even conference committees.

    The House is passing lesser CRs, wholly clean and devoid of any addenda per Democrat demand, and Reid is saying he won’t pass them, and Obama is saying he’ll veto them.

    Those Evil, bombs on their chests Republicans are holding things up, yet Obama, anxious to treat with terrorists (Ghadaffi, Abbas, al Assad, Rouhani, et al), won’t talk to the other party in the US government.

    Yep. Evil Republicans, indeed.

    Eric Hines.

  8. Let’s see…. The government requests a sentencing hearing, then decides to no-show. Doesn’t that mean that the government has no objections to any outcomes of the proceedings, and a fine, upstanding judge such as yourself is free to rule as he sees fit? Perhaps spring-loaded to favor a poor, benighted defendant?

    Eric Hines

  9. Eric,

    Actually, the government did show in the form of the AUSA. It was the inmate who was missing. All the best.


  10. Eric,

    I really don’t care about the politics. What I do care about is funding our government and particularly the Third Branch. Both of the dominant political parties have an absolute obligation to pass a budget. The failure to do so is a stain on both parties. Only history will tell us who is most to blame. By then, thank God(s), I will be dust.

    All the best.


  11. I’m so very glad I did not accept a job offer from the federal government and took one with a state government instead. I am in a ton of debt from law school (and will be for quite a long time) and if I got furloughed for even two weeks I would fall so far behind… and I’m a single man with 0 dependents. I can’t even imagine being the sole breadwinner for a family.

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