Amidst the current whirlwind of domestic violence claims running rampant throughout the NFL, legislators are calling for the immediate resignation of a federal judge for allegations that he beat his wife in an Atlanta hotel room last month.
Rep. Terri Sewell (D-Ala.) and Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) are joined by Senators Richard Shelby (R-Ala.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) in calling for the immediate resignation of Alabama-based U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller. Sewell released a statement Wednesday likening the incidents in the NFL to that of Fuller.
If an NFL player can lose his job because of domestic violence then a federal judge should definitely not be allowed to keep his life-time appointment to the federal bench. It is my hope that Judge Fuller would spare us the expense and further public humiliation by doing the right thing and resigning.
Sessions also released a statement in which he was quite blunt about his feelings for Fuller.
Judge Fuller’s unacceptable personal conduct violates the trust that has been placed in him. He can no longer effectively serve in his position and should step down.
The timing of this push for Fuller’s resignation comes in the midst of the NFL’s own domestic violence turmoil in which the league is seeing many of its players, and even NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, in serious hot water, many similarly calling for Goodell to step down.
Fuller was arrested and charged with battery August 9 following a 911 call made by his wife, Kelli, at the Ritz-Carlton in downtown Atlanta. Her report stated Fuller was drunk, pulled her hair, hit and kicked her, and threw her down after the two were arguing about an alleged affair between Fuller and a law clerk, according to the Associated Press. Fuller rebuffed the allegation, claiming instead that he was defending himself after she threw a glass at him.
Fuller’s attorney, Barry Ragsdale, declined to comment Thursday on the legislators’ requests. Ragsdale stated Fuller is working through the federal court system’s complaint process. Rep. Martha Roby (R-Ala.) said in a statement that Congress maintains the power to impeach members of the judicial branch for misconduct, according to AL.com.
Ultimately, the Constitution empowers Congress to impeach members of the Judicial Branch for misconduct. Congress enacted a statutory process by which the federal judiciary investigates instances of misconduct that could warrant disciplinary action, including removal from office. It is important to allow that process to move forward, ensure all involved are afforded due process, and then evaluate what recommendations are made. I will be monitoring those proceedings closely.