Increased Focus On Blatant Bias of Rubashkin Judge, Linda Reade


rubashkin2The Des Moines Register reports: The court schedule of a federal judge who faces allegations of bias in the financial fraud trial of Reb Sholom Mordechai Rubashkin has raised fresh questions about judicial impartiality.

Defense attorneys argue that Rubashkin, who is serving a 27-year sentence, deserves a new trial because U.S. District Chief Judge Linda Reade failed to disclose all of the meetings she held with prosecutors before a 2008 immigration raid on Agriprocessors, a kosher meatpacking plant in northeast Iowa where Rubashkin served as an executive.

Oral arguments are scheduled for the afternoon of June 15 at the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in St. Louis.

That morning, Reade – a judge in the Northern District of Iowa temporarily filling in on the appeals court – will hear cases with two of the three judges who will later listen to arguments in Rubashkin’s appeal. Reade is also scheduled to sit with the same judges a day earlier.

The scheduling is unfortunate because the subject of the appeal is judicial impartiality, said Steven Lubet, a law professor at Northwestern University.

However, he said he doesn’t expect it to disqualify any of the judges from hearing the case.

“I would call it awkward, but I don’t think there’s anything more to say about it,” he said.

The court does not view the schedule as a problem because judges “studiously avoid discussing pending cases,” said Michael Gans, clerk of court for the 8th Circuit.

“I’m sure if the two judges who were sitting on the case thought it presented a problem, they would have directed me to make other arrangements,” Gans said.

It’s common for district court judges to fill in on the appeals court. Reade last did so in 2007, court records show.

Reade did not respond to a request for comment. Rubashkin’s attorneys declined to comment.

Reade’s decision to sit on Rubashkin’s 2009 fraud trial has drawn criticism from many legal experts.

Many also questioned the 27-year sentence she handed down, two years more than the prosecution requested.

Before sentencing, six former U.S. attorneys general signed a letter expressing their concern about the sentence sought by prosecutors.

The American Civil Liberties Union of Iowa, the Washington Legal Foundation in Washington, D.C., and the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers filed legal briefs in support of Rubashkin’s appeal.

Forty-five members of Congress have written to U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder to ask questions about the handling of the case. Last month, three members of the House of Representatives asked Holder about the case when he testified before the judiciary committee.

Reade had previously acknowledged that she worked with the prosecution on logistics before the raid to ensure attorneys and interpreters would be available for the 389 workers arrested on immigration charges, but offered no further details.

The defense argued Reade failed to disclose that she began meeting with law enforcement officials more than six months before the raid, and that she discussed topics far beyond “logistical cooperation.”

Reade participated in a series of meetings in which she was briefed on “the ongoing investigation” and the raid, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement documents obtained by the defense through a public records request.

Federal prosecutors responded that Reade only participated in logistical planning and did not know the target of the raid. Prosecutors noted that Rubashkin has not said how Reade’s participation in the meetings prejudiced his trial.

Lubet, the law professor, said he can’t imagine why Reade decided to sit on the trial.

By doing so, she became a judge who made a point of assisting the prosecution in at least the initial stages of the case, he said.

“Why not have a judge who had nothing to do with the prosecution, instead of one who had devoted significant time and energy into facilitating it?” he said.

{Des Moines Register/ Newscenter}


  1. it sounds like kangoro court
    russia middle east
    the US always condems when someone is court spying or snopping around and breaking the law in other countries and not have fair trial if convicted in crime
    but here in US we can not do any wrong

  2. When will there be a public outcry and yom tefilla with hundreds of tousands pf people? Are the askanim sleeping?

  3. #2, are the askanim sleeping??? How do you think the case came to the attention of 45 U.S. Congressmen? Why do you think it’s become a national legal issue? Why do you think we’ve been hearing about it constantly for the last two years? Yes, the askanim are sleeping.

  4. “Lubet, the law professor, said he can¬ít imagine why Reade decided to sit on the trial.”
    The answer is simple: This marshaas wants to make SURE that the Jew never sees daylight again.

    What nerve to have her be judge on herself about her own chisronos. This will never work in favor of R’ Sholom.

    It’s time for mass demonstrations in front of her house.

  5. This story makes our justice system look like a mafia.

    Time for a major demonstration for justice, nu asknoim start organizing everybody will come.

  6. Read the report again!!!
    Reade will not sit on this case. She will sit with the other 2 judges on other cases. Nothing technically wrong SMR’s lawyers can complain about.

  7. R’ Sholom, with the help of Yidden worldwide, retained the best lawyers that money can buy, who have done a superb job of highlighting the trial judge’s misconduct in sitting on the case after colluding with the prosecution before the trial, and of her glaring one-sidedness against the defendant during the trial.

    Yet, at the end of the day, it all boils down to whether the judges on the Court of Appeals will be willing to censure the trial judge for her misconduct, by overturning the conviction.

    Now we find out that by some “amazing coincidence”, that the trial judge “just happens” to be scheduled to sit ON THE APPEALS COURT ITSELF together with the judges that will be, in effect, deciding, THAT VERY SAME DAY, whether she was guilty of depriving Sholom Mordechai of his constitutional right to a fair trial.

    The message here, I think, is that when all is said and done, we are, after all, just Yidden in Galus, and we can rely on no one for justice.

    Only on our Father in Heaven.

    So we need to Daven, Daven, Daven!

    Shlom Mordechai Ben Rivkah

  8. we should not underestimate the dangers of this news developement. we are in a tough situation here because going against the appeals court isn’t a smart idea either so how to go about it has to be a well intructed stragedy

  9. I am not an observant Jew, but nevertheless I have been following the SMR very closely.

    From where I am sitting, it would seem that Chief Judge Linda Reade’s impartiality in this case is suspect- to say the very least.

    In any other jurisdiction she would have recused herself from any further involvement.