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Judge Wingate: not in a hurry

Photo of Judge Henry T. WingateThe Court told the parties that Judge Henry T. Wingate was going to issue rulings on the outstanding motions in Taitz v. Democrat Party of Mississippi yesterday. Orly Taitz filed a lengthy brief titled “Notice of new material facts” on the eve of the hearing, and the result was that no rulings were issued, and the Defense was given two weeks to answer Taitz.

I’ve read commentary highly critical of Judge Wingate for letting Taitz get away with this, but I would speak a little in his defense. According to the summary of the hearing I read, Judge Wingate had not had time to read Taitz’ brief. Wingate (who is a judge characterized by taking a long time to resolve cases1 anyway) reasonably postponed issuing the decisions until this new item was briefed. It is also possible that after reading Taitz’ brief, Judge Wingate could decide to throw it out as immaterial, although I do not expect that.

Taitz alleged improper conduct on the part of the judge in her brief. That’s a pretty serious allegation, and Judge Wingate actually defended himself by pointing out that he didn’t even know the person he was supposedly having a conversation with, at an event that didn’t happen. Such allegations, to this lay opinion, would weigh heavily in any future decision of misconduct on Taitz’ part, but also provide Taitz with an avenue for future appeal.

By allowing Taitz to issue subpoenas for the Internet records of the parties who allegedly provided her with the information of these conversations where Wingate was alleged to have said in regard to Taitz: “We’re making the bitch squirm a little first,” [link to comment at Taitz web site] Wingate will get into the trial record (one hopes) a deposition from whomever sent those emails to Taitz that indeed he made them up. This ties up a loose end, and makes the way clear for decisions to be issued in the case, untainted by allegations of bias.

While I am unhappy about the delay in Taitz’ case, I am not critical of the Judge who allowed it, and I for one would be interested in learning a little more about the “punking Orly” story.

1Ref. Judgepedia article on Henry Wingate.

Judge Wingate is a member of the US Navy reserve. A graduate of Yale Law School, he was appointed judge to the Southern District of Mississippi by Ronald Reagan in 1985, and has served as Chief Judge since 2003.