Late last week the T-P’s Bruce Alpert had a story on 2 local US Court nominees that described a virtual love-in for Stephen Higginson and Jane Triche-Milazzo for open spots on the 5th Circuit and LAED respectively. As fate would have it I met Jane Triche-Milazzo many years ago and was impressed by her and her family. To date I’ve heard very little criticism of Triche-Milazzo but Higginson is a different story as late last week I also disclosed our own Ashton O’Dwyer wrote the Senate Judiciary committee regarding Higginson, specifically his involvement in the travesty of justice/political prosecution of him, a topic we’ve covered since the very beginning of that part of the O’Dwyer Katrina saga. Higginson wrote the Team Letten appeal of Judge Walter’s dismissal of the bogus charges against him.
I do not know the behind the scenes politics involved that would cause Jim Letten to risk his rep abusing the powers of his office on some sort of personal vendetta against a broken, very troubled man but I suspect it contains an element of stupidity derived from being too close to the subject matter in question. Whatever the case others have also noticed and this story crossed over to the Times Picayune yesterday as the T-P featured Professor Carl Bernofsky’s remarks about Higginson and his involvement in the political prosecution of Ashton. This story clearly hit a sore spot in certain prosecutorial circles as witnessed by the comments, which branded Professor Bernofsky as a nut case. My own thoughts after examining the injustice that was perpetrated on the good Professor by the interest conflicted Ginger Berrigan, a purported liberal jurist that never met an insurance company or murderer she failed to like, is that Carl is an eloquent and lucid advocate for judicial reform. And that fact is why Professor Bernofsky, his blog TulaneLink along with his advocacy on behalf of Team O’Dwyer has graced these pages in the past.
The word I get is the 5th Circuit is trying to homecook Team Letten’s appeal. The entirety of the case relies on written communications and to that extent Judge Walter well knew a pig in the poke when he saw one. The diversion of resources to crushing O’Dwyer in the face of massive public corruption scandals borders on the obscene. And that folks is most newsworthy.
We’ll be staying with this case until Ashton becomes a political prisoner or Team Letten comes to their senses which ever comes first.