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Sunday, January 1, 2012

Top Federal Judge Chided For Wiping Her Feet on the U.S. Flay

Staten Islanders quick to chide judge for wiping her feet on the flag

The Staten Island Advance by Tom Wrobleski -  December 30, 2011
flag.jpgFederal Judge Loretta Preska's considerable patriotism is misplaced, flag etiquette experts say.
STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. -- An esteemed jurist with a top Boy Scout official for a husband ought to know better when it comes to respecting Old Glory. Judge Loretta Preska, chief judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District, recently posed for an Associated Press photo in her Manhattan chambers for a story about judicial budget crunches. But it wasn't Ms. Preska that caught people's eye: It was the U.S. flag rug on her floor, literally under her feet. And under a table, too. "It is absolutely wrong," said Charles Greinsky, vice president of the Staten Island District Council, Boy Scouts of America, and a former assistant Scoutmaster. "Even my 11-year-old Tenderfoot Boy Scouts would know it's improper." The U.S. Code says that the flag should "never touch anything beneath it, such as the ground, the floor, water or merchandise." And those in Scouting begin learning as young as 7 years old never to let the flag touch the ground when it is being held or lowered. While the regulations make a distinction between actual U.S. flags and items such as rugs and apparel that are in the flag's image, Islanders said that on the floor underfoot isn't the place for any representation of Old Glory. "If I'd opened the newspaper and had seen that cold, I would have been on the phone with her immediately," said patriot artist Scott LoBaido, best known for the project where he painted American flags on buildings from coast to coast. Ms. Preska, a Fordham Law School grad appointed by President George H.W. Bush in 1992, might be expected to know a thing or two about flag etiquette, especially as practiced by the Boy Scouts. Her husband, attorney Thomas Kavaler, a partner at the high-powered Cahill, Gordon & Reindel law firm, is on the executive board of the Greater New York Councils, Boy Scouts of America, and served as vice president of endowments this year. But LoBaido and others were willing to cut the judge some slack. "She's obviously patriotic," said LoBaido, noting the other U.S.-themed objects visible in the picture. "But it looks like she doesn't realize she has her feet on the flag. I hope it's an oversight." LoBaido said he had no problem with the flag decoration draped over the back of the judge's couch, also visible in the photo. But putting your feet on the U.S. flag? No way? "Clearly, this is in poor taste and displays improper flag etiquette, but it seems the judge is quite patriotic if you observe her entire office," said City Councilman Vincent Ignizio (R-South Shore). "I would encourage her to hang that beautiful tapestry of Old Glory and dispose of this picture." A district court spokeswoman said that Ms. Preska was not reachable for comment. It's odd that a judge of Ms. Preska's pedigree would find herself criticized for disrespecting the flag.  Known as a conservative jurist, she drew the ire of feminists by dismissing the discrimination lawsuit brought by women against Bloomberg LLC. She also sentenced a Somali pirate who attacked a U.S.-flagged ship to 33 years in prison.  In 2007, it was reported that Ms. Preska was on President George W. Bush's short list of potential Supreme Court nominees. She was nominated to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second District by the younger Bush, but no action was taken on her nomination. The judge has also served on the advisory board of the Federalist Society for Law and Public Policy Studies, which on its website calls itself "a group of conservatives and libertarians" and says that law schools and the legal profession are "strongly dominated by a form of orthodox, liberal ideology."  SILIve.com

5 comments:

insider said...

Judges should be doing their job, nothing more. We need more oversight over the judges. Lack of oversight begs for more corruption and inside deals.

Judge Preska is a decent person, and a fair judge, though she is overwhelmed with the sludge in her courthouse. If there was a truly independent group overseeing what our judges are doing then someone would have told her to get the US flag off the floor.

Our judges are only as good as the support staff they have. Top notch judicial staff members have been replaced with political hacks who protect those who don't deserve to be protected.

This picture would not have happened 25 years ago.

Anonymous said...

So who's on top of Preska?

Anonymous said...

In regard to patriotism and do-good judges:
"In the United States, doing good has come to be, like patriotism, a favorite device of persons with something to sell." ~ H. L. Mencken

Anonymous said...

The SDNY has been mess for quite some time. Stepping on a flag is the least of the problems at 500 Pearl Street. How about people crapping on and laughing at the constitution? How about the wholesale denial of rights?

Anonymous said...

This judge works for the big money clients who walk into her corrupt courtroom.

I have experience with this Judge.

This is indicative of her arrogance and disdain for our country.

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