J. Michael Luttig Resigns From Appeals Court
May 10, 2006; 1:15 PM
Appeals court Judge J. Michael Luttig, a leading conservative jurist and a short-list Bush administration candidate for the Supreme Court, announced today that he is resigning from the bench to serve as senior vice president and general counsel of the Boeing Co.
Luttig, who sits on the Richmond-based U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit, wrote the most important appellate decision yet in support of the Bush administration's powers to detain individuals without recourse to ordinary legal protections. But he had a significant falling-out with the Justice Department late last year when he protested, in a follow-up opinion, what he suggested was the administration's inappropriate manipulation of the legal system in order to avoid a further Supreme Court test of the president's wartime authority.
Luttig is a good man and a fair jurist. The 4th Circuit is going to miss him.