Judge Pauline Newman, 96, Sues Colleagues for Alleged Bullying After Being Suspended for Mental Fitness Concerns
Judge Pauline Newman, the oldest federal judge in the United States, has sued her colleagues for alleged bullying after being suspended for mental fitness concerns.
Newman, who was appointed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in 1985 by President Ronald Reagan, was suspended for one year in September 2023 after a panel of judges said she had refused to cooperate with an investigation into her mental fitness.
The investigation was initiated after some of Newman’s colleagues expressed concerns about her ability to continue serving on the bench. Newman has denied any wrongdoing and has said that she is mentally and physically fit to do her job.
In her lawsuit, Newman alleges that her colleagues bullied her and subjected her to a “campaign of harassment and intimidation” in an effort to force her to retire. She also alleges that the investigation into her mental fitness was a sham and that she was not given a fair opportunity to defend herself.
Newman’s lawsuit has sparked a debate about the age at which federal judges should be required to retire. There is no mandatory retirement age for federal judges, but most judges retire voluntarily when they reach their early 80s.
Some legal experts have argued that Newman’s lawsuit could have a significant impact on the way that federal judges are evaluated for mental fitness. They say that the case could make it more difficult for judges to be forced to retire against their will.
Others have argued that Newman’s lawsuit is a distraction from the more important issue of whether she is mentally fit to serve on the bench. They say that the investigation into her mental fitness was justified and that the judges who suspended her were acting in the best interests of the public.
The outcome of Newman’s lawsuit is still uncertain. However, the case has raised important questions about the age at which federal judges should be required to retire and the way that judges are evaluated for mental fitness.