By David Codrea
USA – -(Ammoland.com)- “Based upon its review of your complaint, the Commission has determined that the evidence is insufficient to conclude that ethical misconduct occurred or that further investigation or consideration is warranted,” Susan D. Isaacs, executive director of Oregon’s Commission on Judicial Fitness and Disability wrote to Oregon Firearms Federation director Kevin Starrett. “In accordance with Oregon statutes which require the proceeding to be confidential, we can only report that your matter is now concluded.”
Isaacs was responding to a misconduct complaint filed by OFF earlier this month citing Multnomah County Circuit Court Judge Kenneth Walker for “’Conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice that brings the judicial office into disrepute’ or ‘A violation of the Oregon Code of Judicial Conduct.’”
That in turn had been prompted by an AmmoLand article reporting that the judge had declared, in open court:
“If I could I would take all the guns in America, put them on big barges and go dump them in the ocean Nobody would have a gun. Not police, not security, not anybody. We should eliminate all of them.”
Such an intolerant view raises legitimate questions – foremost about Judge Walker’s ability to keep his oath to federal and state constitutions articulating a protected right to keep and bear arms. It also makes it fair to question how anyone on trial for a gun-related offense can reasonably expect fair treatment in his courtroom. That’s also a requirement from the Oregon Code of Judicial Conduct, which compels, among other non-negotiable mandates, compliance with Rule 3.3, “Impartiality and Fairness,” and Rule 3.10, “Disqualification”:
A judge shall uphold and apply the law and perform all duties of judicial office, including administrative duties, fairly, impartially, and without bias or prejudice…
A judge shall not, in the performance of judicial duties, by words or conduct, manifest bias or prejudice…
A judge shall not take any action or make any comment that a reasonable person would expect to impair the fairness of a matter pending or impending in any Oregon court…
A judge shall disqualify himself or herself in any proceeding in which a reasonable person would question the judge’s impartiality…
Unsurprisingly, the Commission did not address any of these concerns, or the clear evidence of cause issued from Judge Walker’s own mouth. Instead, they slammed the door shut with no further explanation. That’s hardly surprising, considering this is “progressive” Oregon, and getting a seat on the commission means you’re connected to the political establishment.
It’s reminiscent of another complaint that (also predictably) went nowhere. A few years back, colleague Mike Vanderboegh and I filed an ethics complaint with the Office of Bar Counsel, Board on Professional Responsibility of the District of Columbia Court of Appeals, after then-Attorney General Eric Holder had been cited with contempt of Congress for his role in stonewalling information pertaining to Operation Fast and Furious “gunwalking.”
The effort gained wider media attention, notably resulting in our being interviewed by Lou Dobbs, but again unsurprisingly, the Bar was deliberately indifferent to our complaint. That was after Bar President Thomas Williamson had proclaimed Holder was “a dear friend, and this nation is truly blessed to have a lawyer of his superb ability and exemplary integrity serving as the Attorney General.”
George Carlin’s observation that “It’s a big club and you ain’t in it” comes to mind. And that makes it fair to ask “Why go through the effort to work through the system if being ignored and summarily dismissed is a foregone conclusion?”
About David Codrea:
David Codrea is the winner of multiple journalist awards for investigating / defending the RKBA and a long-time gun rights advocate who defiantly challenges the folly of citizen disarmament.
In addition to being a field editor/columnist at GUNS Magazine and associate editor for Oath Keepers, he blogs at “The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance,” and posts on Twitter: @dcodrea and Facebook.