By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
US Judge Mark Fuller has finally agreed to resign after demands from the public and the Alabama Congressional delegation that he resign his lifetime seat on the Federal bench.
Congresswoman Terri Sewell (D-Selma) has been leading efforts to impeach Judge Fuller after he allegedly beat his then-wife in an Atlanta hotel room.
US Representative Sewell said on Friday, “News of Judge Fuller’s impending resignation is a welcome outcome to a very painful breach of the public trust. His resignation will be the culmination of a drawn out process that was woefully unnecessary. The public trust was violated the moment his wife phoned the police.”
Women’s rights groups, UltraViolet and CREDO Action have been vocally opposed to Judge Fuller keeping his seat on the federal bench in Montgomery.
Shaunna Thomas, the co-founder of UltraViolet, said in a written statement: “A judge who beat his wife has no place on the bench. Which is why, after months of pressure, we are encouraged to see Judge Mark Fuller finally out of office. But justice has not been served here: for months, Congress and the 11th Circuit allowed Fuller to retain his pay despite clear evidence he abused his wife. Violence against women is at epidemic levels in this country, and we simply cannot hope to combat that unless we stop allowing abusers to get away with it. 1 in 3 women have been physically abused by an intimate partner in the US, which is why we must keep fighting to hold all abusers and their defenders, no matter how powerful, accountable.”
The Political Director of CREDO ACTION said in a statement, “It’s rare that progressives agree with Alabama Senators Shelby and Sessions, but when it came to Mark Fuller, we were all on the same page. It’s great that Fuller is finally off the federal bench, but it’s appalling that he was given a free pass from Georgia prosecutors and was able to stay on the bench, collecting his salary, for so long.”
More than 180,000 UltraViolet and CREDO Action members petitioned Congress for Judge Fuller’s impeachment, and before that more than 80,000 UltraViolet members also called on Fuller to resign. Activists have been calling for House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R) to begin impeachment proceedings.
On August 9 Fuller’s wife, Kelli, phoned Atlanta 911 and on tape said, “Help me, please. Please, help me. He’s beating on me.”
Police and paramedics rushed to the hotel room at the Atlanta Ritz-Carlton downtown. According to the police report which was obtained by CNN, Kelli suffered “lacerations to her mouth and forehead” in the alleged attack. Judge Fuller also grabbed his wife “by her hair, pulling it out.” The report says that Kelli suffered, “Bruises on her ankle, thigh and knee from being dragged.” Paramedics treated Kelli on the scene but she refused to be transported to the hospital.
Fuller was jailed after being charged with misdemeanor battery in the alleged attack. He has since accepted a pretrial diversion for first time offenders without having to admit guilt. Kelli Fuller has agreed to the terms of the pretrial diversion.
Judge Fuller’s cases have been reassigned to other judges.
Both Senators Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions (R) have demanded Judge Fuller’s resignation. If he had refused to leave the House had the option of impeaching him and the Senate would then decide his fate in a formal trial in which the Senators would judge the accused.
In the history of the United States, only 12 federal judges have been removed in impeachment proceedings.