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June 25, 2004

JUDGE GUIDO CALABRESI HAS APOLOGIZED for his outburst:

A Manhattan federal appeals judge who compared President Bush with Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini at a lawyers' conference last week apologized yesterday for his breach of judicial manners.

In a letter to colleagues, Judge Guido Calabresi wrote that he understood his remarks could too easily be taken as partisan - a big no-no for a sitting judge.

Indeed. I'm glad to see this.

UPDATE: Here's more from The New York Times:

Judge Calabresi said that in his off-the-cuff remarks he was trying to make "a rather complicated academic argument," but he understood that they had been taken as an attack on President Bush. In a letter that contained no less than four apologies, he said he was "truly sorry" for "any embarrassment" he might have caused the appeals court. He did not, however, renounce the views he expressed.

Read the whole thing.

ANOTHER UPDATE: More here:

Critics of Judge Calabresi’s comments said yesterday they welcomed the judge’s concession that his remarks were inappropriate.

“It’s good he recognizes that,” said a professor and legal ethics specialist at George Mason University, Ronald Rotunda. But the professor said the apology does not erase concerns about Judge Calabresi’s impartiality.

“One wonders whether anybody with a case of political significance could get a fair shake from Calabresi,” Mr. Rotunda said.

Howard Bashman has a roundup of reactions.