Richard Kopf photo via Wikipedia
Are you a fan of U.S. District Judge Richard Kopf’s “Hercules and the Umpire” blog, which gave a rare inside look into the mind and thoughts of a district court judge? Unfortunately, all you’ll have to go on are old posts, as Kopf has announced he will cease writing the blog moving forward.
Kopf’s New Year’s Day decision to hang up the keyboard came one day after he was featured in a Wall Street Journal (WSJ) story about judges who use the Internet to provide insights into their thought processes. Kopf, though, claims in his final post that the decision is entirely of his own volition and is not related to feedback from the article.
“I am not quitting because of ethics concerns,” Kopf wrote. “Such problems are real, but vastly overblown. A thoughtful judge has about the same chance of violating the Code of Conduct when writing a book, giving a speech, authoring a law review article or writing a blog post.”
The judge said that writing the blog has “exceeded his wildest expectations” and that he has “made several, perhaps many, friends along the way” through continuing to write. Kopf said that he believes the Internet can be a powerful tool for furthering the idea of justice that he attempts to maintain in his day job.
“This is a powerful medium for, among other things, making federal trial judging transparent and for trying to wrap one’s arms around the conundrum of judicial role,” Kopf wrote. “I hope some other federal trial judge takes up that hard but enormously satisfying labor.”
According to the WSJ, Kopf’s blog had raised some eyebrows among his peers for its candor. In one particular instance in October, Kopf wrote in response to the government shutdown, “It’s time to tell Congress to go to hell. It’s the right thing to do.”
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