Federal Court Nominees Part 1: Judge Terrence William Boyle

Thursday, April 28, 2005

Here's a look at the nomination of Judge Terrence William Boyle.
Judge Boyle spent a year as an aide to former North Carolina Senator Jesse Helms. In 1984 per request of Senator Helms, Boyle was appointed by President Reagan to a North Carolina district court. In 1993, President Clinton declined to nominate Judge Boyle for the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, in spite of Senator Helms' request. It is important to note that as a result of this, Senator Helms and Judiciary Committee Chairmen Senator Orrin Hatch refused to hold any hearing for the vacancies of the 4th District Court. Regarding one of President Clinton's nominees, James A. Beatty, Senator Helms said "Judge Beatty is a good man and I have no objection to him. But I think Judge Boyle deserves to be nominated, too." By the end of the Clinton administration 1/3 of the Fourth Circuit was vacant.
Judge Boyle has had his decisions reversed over 150 times; a rate twice that of the average judge. He has been reversed for many reasons.
Some of which are:
1. Ignoring his statutorily-mandated duty to review the decisions of magistrate judges.
2. Violating procedural rules requiring him to give plantiffs a chance to present evidence before dismissing their cases.
3. Failing to advise a defendant of the madatory minimum and maximum sentences before accepting a guilty plea.
4. Failing to advise a defendant of his right to appeal at sentencing.
5. Failing to address a defendant's objections to a pre-sentencing report.
6. Giving a sentencing enhancement when the guidelines explicitly barred such an enhancement.
In the case Ellis v North Carolina, Judge Boyle dismissed a case of an African American who sued a state employer for discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Judge Boyle dismissed the case on the grounds that state employers enjoy sovereign immunity from Title VII-based suits. He was later reversed.
In the case Brown v North Carolina Division of Motor Vehicles, disabled individuals who had to purchase parking placards sued, claiming the fee violated Title II of the ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act). Judge Boyle dismissed the case finding that the ADA is an unconstitutional intrusion on state sovereignty. Judge Boyle went on to say that rather than properly remedying past discrimination, ADA improperly gave preferential treatment to disabled persons. "The ADA seeks to single out the disabled for special advantageous treatment." The Supreme Court has upheld the constitutionality of Title II of the ADA in Tennessee v Lane.
In the case United States v North Carolina, the U.S. Justice claimed North Carolina Department of Corrections had violated the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by producing an overwhelmingly male workforce. The state had agreed to settle the suit with the Justice Department and, under federal court supervision, implement policies to prevent future workforce imbalance. Judge Boyle rejected this agreement and instead threw the case out, he was later reversed.
Because the Supreme Court only reviews less than 100 of the over 20,000 cases decided by the circuit courts each year the nomination of Judge William Boyle is of great importance due to the fact that almost all of the decisions he would make would be final.


Googa said...

Since I live here in the red state of NC, I wrote both of my Re-Puke-Again Senators and told them my opinion of this loser.

Geez, Elizabeth Doles just goes on to say how QUALIFIED this man it....QUALIFIED???? Maybe to run GITMO.

Here is my letter:

I can’t even believe you would want to see Terrence Boyle in the Federal Court. This is not who represents true North Carolinians. He has the worst reversal rate of any judge Bush has nominated. His decisions are repeatedly reversed for “plain errors.” Everyone makes errors but Boyle just doesn’t quit – he continues to make the same mistakes from which his decisions have already been overturned. He ignores a party’s objection to a Magistrate Judges recommendation. He is very aggressive in supporting “states-rights” views in cases that criticize Congresses authority to protect individuals from discrimination committed by state agencies. Is this a man who should even be sitting behind a bench?
I was so pleased to learn that Jesse Helms blocked almost all of Clinton’s nominees from NC so that now it has created an “emergency” by leaving long standing vacancies in this state. Now Bush is hoping to push through this nomination to correct the problems. So why does the Senate have to change the rules to get this one through? How many other times has his nomination been refused? It should require the blessings of all Americans – even those in the minority party to appoint a lifetime judge.
I personally agree with John Edwards’s assessment of Mr. Boyle, “As a North Carolina Senator, I am familiar with (Boyle’s) record. Judge Boyle’s decisions have been reversed or vacated more than 100 times. Two of these rulings were by the United States Supreme Court, one by a unanimous vote. Judge Boyle’s record on civil rights is particularly troubling. In numerous cases, he has inaccurately interpreted the law in a way that undercuts basic civil rights protections. As a member of your committee, as a Senator from North Carolina, as the Senator most familiar with Judge Boyle’s record, and as your colleague, I ask that you not proceed with this nomination.”

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