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Tuesday, March 4, 2014

The open line: Good judge, bad judge

Posted By on Tue, Mar 4, 2014 at 5:04 PM

As the world de-ices, the line is open. Final notes:

* FEDERAL JUDGE NOMINATION MOVES AHEAD: The Senate has scheduled debate Wednesday on the presidential nomination of Timothy Brooks of Fayetteville to a vacancy on the federal district court for the Western District of Arkansas. His appointment isn't controversial. It's among the backlog created by Republican obstruction to presidential nominations.

* A BLOG HAS A NAME FOR WHAT MIKE MAGGIO DID: The Above the Law blog does quite a workout on Circuit Judge Mike Maggio's time as an anonymous poster on Tiger Droppings, the LSU fan board. You've read most of it here. But the blog talks of a syndrome that all who spend a lot of time online might do well to remember.

The psychological term for it is The Online Disinhibition Effect, a condition brought on by the interlocking effects of dissociative anonymity, invisibility, asynchronicity, solipsistic introjection, dissociative imagination, and minimization of authority. This is the condition that leads people otherwise aware of proper social and professional behavior to go off the rails and say things they would know not to broadcast publicly if the world could easily identify them.

That’s what happened to a self-identified judge who routinely posted under a pseudonym on a popular college sports board.


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