Good Behavior?

Federal judges are supposed to serve on the bench as long as they are under “good behavior,” according to the Constitution. So what is “good behavior?” Breathing?

Seems that way. Consider the strange case of Judge Julius Hoffman…

Judge Hoffman had been a law partner of Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago. Through that connection, he got a federal judgeship. Lawyers considered him to be one of the worst judges they could appear before. In the 80’s, the executive committee of the US District Court ordered that Hoffman not get any new cases. Hoffman got cases all the same and continued to preside as a judge until he died in 1983.

Hoffman’s most famous case was the Chicago 8 trial, which became the Chicago 7 trial after he had defendant Bobby Seale removed from the trial and sentenced to four years in prison for contempt of court.

Here’s a portion of the courtroom transcripts. You be the judge if the judge was fit to judge. (TRANSCRIPTS CONTAIN PROFANE LANGUAGE… but it is a direct quote of Mayor Daley’s comments to Senator Ribicoff at the Democratic National Convention, 1968…) There’s also a very provocative statement by Mr. Kunstler at the end, well worth reading.

TESTIMONY OF RICHARD JOSEPH DALEY

MR. KUNSTLER: What is your name?

THE WITNESS: Richard Joseph Daley.

MR. KUNSTLER: What is your occupation?

THE WITNESS: I am the mayor of the City of Chicago.

MR. KUNSTLER: Is that the chief executive officer of the City of Chicago?

THE WITNESS: It is referred to occasionally as that.

MR. KUNSTLER: Now, Mayor Daley, how many executive departments do you have in the City of Chicago?

THE WITNESS: Approximately thirty-five.

MR. KUNSTLER: By whom are they headed?

THE WITNESS: Cabinet officers appointed by the mayor and confirmed by the City Council.

MR. KUNSTLER: How are they removed?

THE WITNESS: They are only removed bv cause and also by trial before the Police Board.

MR. KUNSTLER: Have you ever had occasion to remove the head of any executive department yourself?

MR. FORAN: Objection, your Honor.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.

MR. KUNSTLER: Have you ever had occasion to remove a superintendent of police?

MR. FORAN: Objection, your Honor,

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.

MR. KUNSTLER: Mayor Daley, who appoints the Police Board?

THE WITNESS: The mayor of the City of Chicago.

MR. KUNSTLER: Now with specific reference to the superintendent of police, what is his name?

THE WITNESS: James Conlisk.

MR. KUNSTLER: Was Superintendent Conlisk recommended by the Police Board?

MR. FORAN: I object to this. Now it is immaterial.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.

MR. FORAN: Let’s get on to the Democratic Convention if we are going to get there.

MR. KUNSTLER: Now, who was the chairman of the Park Commission in 1968, specifically during the period from the first of the year going through August?

THE WITNESS: The proper designation is president, not chairman. The president was William McFetridge.

MR. KUNSTLER: Is this the same William McFetridge who announced your first candidacy for mayor in 1954?

MR. FORAN: Objection, your Honor.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.

MR. KUNSTLER: He was for many years a very close personal friend of yours. is that correct?

MR. FORAN: I object to that. It is clearly immaterial. It is a leading form of question.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.

MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, this is a key portion of our interrogation, the relationship of the witness to–

THE COURT: It may be a key portion but–

MR. FORAN: Then let him ask the proper questions, your Honor.

THE COURT: I am ruling on it only as a matter of the law of evidence, sir. Whether it is key or not isn’t important to me.

MR. KUNSTLER: Is it not true, Mayor Daley, that Mr. McFetridge once said the parks were not for dissenters?

MR. FORAN: Objection.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.

MR. KUNSTLER: Mayor Daley, do you know a Federal judge by the name of Judge Lynch?

THE WITNESS: Yes.

MR. KUNSTLER: William Lynch.
At one time did you practice law with him?

MR. FORAN: Your Honor, I object to the form of the question.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.

MR. KUNSTLER: Mayor Daley, what is your relationship with Thomas Foran, the U.S. Attorney who is in this courtroom today?

THE WITNESS: I think he is one of the greatest attorneys in this country and the finest man I have met in private and public life.

MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, I would ask that that answer be stricken as not responsive as to what is his relationship.

THE COURT: I would like to have that said about me, but I agree with you that it is not responsive.

MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, something is happening in the rear row. I don’t know what it is.

THE COURT: Will you let the marshals take care of the rear row?
(jury excused)

A SPECTATOR: The marshals are interrupting the trial.

MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, something is happening in the back row. A marshal is going down–a woman marshal is going down–

VOICE: Ouch!
Ow, don’t step on me, please!

VOICES: He isn’t doing anything.
She didn’t do anything.

MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, that is one of our staff people. I don’t understand–I would like the Court to inquire–

THE COURT: Regardless of who the person is, if the person has been disorderly, the marshal must ask the person to leave.

VOICES: What’s going on?
Leave him alone.
Hey, leave him alone.
Leave him alone.
Ouch!
Leave her alone.
(shouts and screams)

VOICES: Stop it. Hey, stop that. Leave them alone.
(shouts and screams)

VOICES: You’re hitting Frank in the face.
Leave him alone, Leave him alone.
(shouts and screams)

VOICES: Just leave him alone.
You’re still hitting him.
Leave him alone.

MR. KUNSTLER: The defendants request to know what happened.

THE COURT: The marshals will explain at an appropriate time.

MR. KUNSTLER: We have information, your Honor, that some of the people doing the removing are not marshals, but employees of the City of Chicago, and we have a man standing there with his coat on who obviously is not a marshal. We would like to know who he is.

MR. WEINGLASS: He is the one who was hitting Frank.

THE COURT: If everybody will be quiet and listen to the testimony of the witness, the questions of the lawyers, there will be no disorder.

MR. KUNSTLER: We have asked your Honor to conduct an inquiry. Nothing could be fairer than that. I am not asking you to believe–

VOICES: Hey! Hey!
For crying out loud!
Come on, will you!
For Christ’s sake!

MR. FORAN: Your Honor, that is the defendant Davis going back there, running to the spectator section of the courtroom.
(shouts and screams)

VOICES: Leave him alone!

THE COURT: The place for Mr. Davis is at the defendants table and in his chair.
Bring in the jury, Mr. Marshal.
The Court directs the spectators to be orderly. If any spectator is not orderly, he will be appropriately dealt with by the Court.

MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, I just want to request if the person in the brown suit is a marshal. Since some of our people have been beaten up, I would like to know who that man is.

MR. FORAN: Oh, your Honor.

MR. DELLINGER: It’s true.

MR. FORAN: –I object to the comment of Mr. Kunstler, your Honor. That’s outrageous. I ask the jury be directed to disregard his comments.

THE COURT: Yes, I do direct the jury–

MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, if he will show his badge, we will be happy.

THE COURT: He doesn’t have to be a marshal–

MR. KUNSTLER: To stand there in the position of authority?

THE COURT: I don’t know who he is. I don’t know most of the marshals.

MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor is not going to ask him for the production of the badge?

THE COURT: No, no. No, no.

MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, it’s our information this is a personal bodyguard of the witness.

THE COURT: Will you please proceed, sir, with the direct examination of this witness? Otherwise I will direct the witness to leave the witness stand.

MR. KUNSTLER: Mayor Daley, do you hold a position in the Cook County Democratic Committee?

THE WITNESS: I surely do, and I am very proud of it.
I am the leader of my party. I am the leader of the Democratic Party in Cook County. . .

MR. KUNSTLER: I call your attention, Mayor Daley, to the week of August 28, 1968.
Did you attend any sessions of the Democratic National Convention?

THE WITNESS: I did.

MR. KUNSTLER: And were you there during the nominating speeches for the various candidates?

THE WITNESS: I was.

MR. KUNSTLER: Mayor Daley, on the twenty-eighth of August, 1968, did you say to Senator Ribicoff–

MR. FORAN: Oh, your Honor, I object.

MR. KUNSTLER [continuing]: –“Fuck you, you Jew son of a bitch, you lousy mother-fucker, go home”?

MR. FORAN: Listen to that. I object to that kind of conduct in a courtroom. Of all the improper, foolish questions, typical, your Honor, of making up questions that have nothing to do with the lawsuit.

THE COURT: May I suggest to you, sir, that this witness is your witness and you may not ask him any leading questions even of the sort that you proposed–especially, rather, of the sort that I heard a part of a moment ago.

MR. KUNSTLER: I have the source, your Honor. I will be glad to read it into the record.

THE COURT: I order you now, Mr. Kunstler, not to ask leading questions. Under the law you may not ask him such questions.

MR. KUNSTLER: Well, your Honor, then I would renew my motion out of the presence of the jury to have a hearing on the question of whether he is or is not a hostile witness.

THE COURT: I will be glad to do that. I’ll excuse you, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, for a few moments.
(jury excused)

MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, Rule 43(b), Federal Rule of Civil Procedure, states that a party may interrogate any unwilling hostile witness by leading questions and contradict and impeach him in all respects as if he had been called by the adverse party.
Witnesses procured by the U.S. Attorney, particularly Mr. Simon, indicated that the City of Chicago had in every way cooperated with these defendants in the procuring of permits and that the City of Chicago had refused permits.
In fact, if your Honor recalls, Mr. Baugher testified that he couldn’t understand why the permits were not issued.
Your Honor, the only way we are ever going to get to the truth of this matter is by being able to ask cross-examination questions of the Mayor. He is the chief executive officer, as he testified, of the City of Chicago.

THE COURT: The motion of the defense will be denied. The Court finds that there is nothing in the testimony of the witness that has indicated hostility. His manner has been that of a gentleman. He’s answered questions straightforwardly, pursuant to the oath administered by the clerk of the court.
Bring in the jury.
(jury enters)

MR. KUNSTLER: Mayor Daley, who is David Stahl? Do you know him?

THE WITNESS: He is a very fine young man, the Deputy Mayor, who is interested in public life. He is a former vice-president of one of the outstanding corporations in Chicago and he is doing an outstanding job for the people of our city.

MR. KUNSTLER: I will assume with all of the people I ask you about they are very fine young men and so on.
It will save time.

THE WITNESS: I would say that anyone that served in government today is a fine young man because of what they are trying to do.

MR. KUNSTLER: I direct your attention, Mayor Daley, to March 28, 1968: do you recall any conversation or meeting with Mr. Stahl with reference to the Youth International Party?

THE WITNESS: I gave Mr. Stahl the same instructions I gave any other department, certainly, to meet with them, to try to cooperate with them, and do everything they could to make sure that they would be given every courtesy and hospitality while they were in the city of Chicago.

MR. KUNSTLER: Did you consider that the use of nightsticks on the heads of demonstrators was hospitable?

MR. FORAN: Objection, your Honor.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.

MR. FORAN: It’s a leading question.

MR. KUNSTLER: Prior to the Democratic National Committee choosing Chicago for its 1968 convention, did you have any discussions with Mr. Bailey or any other official of the Democratic National Committee?

THE WITNESS: Yes.

MR. KUNSTLER: Did those instructions relate to the coming of the Convention to Chicago?

MR. FORAN: Your Honor, I object to that as a leading question.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.

MR. KUNSTLER: Did you discuss in any of these discussions the war in Vietnam?

MR. FORAN: Your Honor, I object to the question.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.

MR. KUNSTLER: In any of those discussions with Mr. Bailey, did you have any conversation about the black community in Chicago?

MR. FORAN: Same objection exactly, your Honor. Object to it.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection.

MR. KUNSTLER: Mayor Daley, in your experience as the mayor of this city which goes back, I understand, to 1955, have you ever had knowledge of people sleeping in Lincoln Park overnight?

MR. FORAN: Your Honor, I object to the form of the question. It is leading,

THE COURT: That is right. I sustain the objection.

MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, we have tried to get a declaration of a hostile witness here without success. You have the discretion, your Honor, to declare a hostile witness which would make things-

THE COURT: If that is true I do not choose to exercise my discretion to suspend the law.

MR. KUNSTLER: Did any of these defendants to your knowledge attempt to meet with you with reference to the Democratic National Convention prior to August 25?

MR. FORAN: Object to the leading character of the question, your Honor, and I ask that counsel be admonished.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection, and I remind you of my order, Mr. Kunstler.

MR. KUNSTLER: Mayor Daley, do you believe that people have the right to demonstrate against the war in Vietnam?

MR. FORAN: Your Honor, I object to the form of the question. It’s an improper question.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection to the question.

MR. KUNSTLER: Now, Mayor Daley, you’ve testified that you were at the Democratic National Convention on Wednesday, August 28, and I questioned you about a statement with reference to Senator Ribicoff.

Can you indicate what you did say to Senator Ribicoff on that day?

MR. FORAN: Your Honor, I object to the form of the question, and again I ask that counsel be admonished.

THE COURT: I sustain the objection, and I remind you again and admonish you, Mr. Kunstler, of my order.

MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, I have tried to reiterate ten times that in view of the nature of this witness, it is impossible to examine him and get to the truth of anything with these restrictions–

THE COURT: This witness is no different from any other witness.

MR. KUNSTLER: But, your Honor, that isn’t so. He is different from any other witness. He is the Mayor of the city-

THE COURT: The fact that he happens to occupy a high public place–other than that, he is a witness. In this court he is just a witness.

MR. KUNSTLER: We are trying, your Honor, to get to the truth of what happened during Convention week.

THE COURT: You must get at the truth through proper questions, sir.

MR. FORAN: Through the law of evidence, your Honor, that it has taken five hundred years to achieve.

MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, it is obvious to me that in view of the Court’s rulings and in view of the restrictions under which I am working, that it is impossible to question this witness adequately as we have desired to do.
I would now, in view of the responses to my last twenty questions here, like to read into the record an offer of proof of what we had hoped to prove through this witness if we had been able to ask him either impeaching or questions as a hostile witness.
I have prepared that offer of proof and would be prepared to read it into the record at this point.

THE COURT: I will excuse you for a few minutes, ladies and gentlemen of the jury.
(jury excused)

MR. KUNSTLER: Your Honor, the defendants make the following offer of proof. Had the Mayor been designated a hostile witness, the defendants would have offered proof through his testimony to show the following:

1. That there was a conspiracy, overt or tacit, between Mayor Daley and the Democratic administration of Lyndon B. Johnson to prevent or crush any significant demonstrations against war, poverty, imperialism, and racism. and in support of alternative cultures at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

2. That the members of this conspiracy planned and executed the use of every means at their disposal, including the open and blatant encouragement of violence toward demonstrators by police and other military forces, in order to prevent or crush such public exhibition of dissatisfaction with American domestic and foreign policies.

3. That in so doing the conspirators were determined to continue the fraudulent myth that the people of the United States had a real voice in their government and that they would have a significant choice in the national election of 1968 between candidates supporting virtually identical policies of war, imperialism, racism, and the continued degradation and exploitation and oppression of youth, ethnic, socioeconomic, racial and other minorities.

4. That Mayor Daley obtained and maintains in power in Chicago bv the creation and maintenance of a corrupt political machine which is supported by those individuals and corporations standing to gain the most bv a continuation of present American domestic and foreign policies.

5. That this political machine is determined, whatever the cost, to prevent meaningful solutions to the problems presently facing the people of the United States and those of the rest of the world.

6. That the conspirators have embarked on a program of intense and brutal repression against all those who are seeking such solution, including but not limited to individuals and organizations committed to the end of the war in South Vietnam and the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of American troops therefrom, the right of black people and other racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic minorities to control their own communities, the right of rebellion against oppression, and the bedrock right of all people to adopt a new way or style of life.

7. That in furtherance of this conspiracy, Mayor Daley, among other things:

(a) On April 1 5, 1 968, ordered his police to respond to the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., with orders to shoot to kill arsonists and shoot to maim or cripple looters in the black community.

(b) Attempted first to obstruct the peace parade of the Chicago Peace Council on April 27, 1968, and then brutalized the marchers therein as a warning to peace demonstrators to stay away from the Democratic National Convention.

(c) Attempted first to obstruct the demonstrations at the Democratic National Convention in August of 1968 and then harassed, victimized, and brutalized the participants therein.

(d) Attempted to mislead the people of Chicago and the United States as to the nature and cause of such obstructive and brutal tactics.

8. That in furtherance of this conspiracy, Mayor Daley utilized the services of members of his political machine, including those of Thomas Foran, the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Illinois and a former assistant Corporation Counsel of the City of Chicago.

9. That the indictment in this case was procured as a result of the said conspiracy in order to:

(a) shift the deserved blame for the disorders Surrounding the Democratic Convention from the real conspirators to deliberately selected individuals symbolizing various categories and degrees of dissent from American foreign and domestic policies.

(b) punish those individuals for their role in leading and articulating such dissent and

(c) deter others from supporting or expressing such dissent in the future.

10. That the indictments of eight Chicago policemen, simultaneously with the instant one, were deliberately planned and procured to match the charges against the defendants and thus give the fraudulent illusion that an even-handed standard of Justice was being applied.

11. That Mayor Daley and his administrators have for years victimized the black community in the City of Chicago by means which include chronic police violence, economic oppression, and the abuse of Federal and state programs.

12. That Mayor Daley and his administration have for years harassed, intimidated, and terrorized young people in the City of Chicago who have adopted and maintained life styles of which he disapproves including the wearing of long hair and unconventional clothing.

13. That Mayor Daley maintains power in Chicago by a combination of:

(a) political patronage;

(b) furthering the interests of the city’s financial and mercantile communities;

(c) oppression of racial, ethnic, socioeconomic and other minorities.

14. That behind the mayor are powerful corporate interests who determine broad public policy in Chicago but are responsible to no one elected or public body. These interests govern Chicago for self-serving private gains instead of social needs: urban renewal works to enrich these private interests and against poor and working people who are robbed of their homes-, no public programs effectively halt the polluting of our air and water by these powerful interests. The city practices genocide against the black community and in particular the Black Panther Party, which no group of citizens can effectively check or reverse without dislodging these private interests from their control over public officials and institutions.

VOICE: Right on.

MR. KUNSTLER: This is our offer of proof. This is what we would have hoped to have proved had we been able to have the mayor declared. as we think he ought to be, a hostile witness.

THE COURT: Your offer is made a part of the record, sir.

MR. KUNSTLER: With that, your Honor, we have no further questions because of the reasons I have indicated.

THE COURT: Is there any cross-examination? Oh, just a minute. We must have the jury in.
(jury enters)

MR. FORAN: Mr. Daley, in your conversations with anyone did you ever suggest that a permit be denied to any applicant or applicants for a march permit relating to the Democratic Convention?

THE WITNESS: No, I never did.

MR. FORAN: In your conversations with anyone did you ever suggest that a permit be denied to any applicant or applicants for a permit to use any of the parks in this city?

THE WITNESS: No.

MR. FORAN: That is all.

1 thought on “Good Behavior?

  1. Brandice Woods

    I still don’t understand the whole “good behavior” concept for federal judges. As long as the judge is sitting there {breathing} they are demonstrating “good behavior”. What if he’s breathing but also cursing at the people and shooting people from his stand? Is that still considered as “good behavior”??? The constitution confuses me!

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