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Sewell Leads Voices Calling for Fuller’s Resignation

By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter

Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D from Selma) was the first member of Congress to publicly call for the resignation of disgraced U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller, 55.  In the hours since then, U.S. Senators Claire McCaskill (D from Missouri), Richard Shelby (R from Alabama) and Jeff Sessions (R from Alabama) as well as Congresswoman Martha Roby (R from Montgomery) have added their voices asking for Fuller to leave his lucrative lifetime appointment to the Federal bench.

Representative Sewell said in a Wednesday Facebook post, “I am proud that Representative Martha Roby and I have been joined by Senator Richard Shelby, Senator Jeff Sessions and Senator Claire McCaskill in calling for the resignation of Judge Fuller.”

On Tuesday, Congresswoman Sewell elaborated upon her call for the resignation of U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller in response to his recent arrest in an Atlanta hotel for battery after a beating of his wife. Congresswoman Sewell first stated her position in a September 10th posting on social media.  In the late Tuesday statement Rep. Sewell said, “All acts of domestic violence are unacceptable and should not be tolerated. No one committing such abusive acts should get a pass. This is especially true for those charged with upholding and enforcing the law. Judge Fuller has violated the public trust and should resign. As a federal judge, Judge Fuller holds a position of high authority and should be held to a higher standard of behavior. His actions are currently under review by a judicial council that will make a determination of misconduct and recommend disciplinary action that can include suspension of cases, requesting that a judge retire or public reprimand. Ultimately, the Constitution gives Congress the authority to impeach members of the judiciary branch for misconduct. I will not hesitate in joining my colleagues to institute such proceedings if warranted.”

Rep. Sewell continued, “While it is important to allow the disciplinary process to play out, I believe the integrity of the court has already been compromised by Judge Fuller’s actions and subsequent arrest.  I, therefore, join my constituents in calling for the immediate resignation of Federal Judge Mark Fuller. If an NFL player can lose his job because of domestic violence then a federal judge should definitely not be allowed to keep his life-time appointment to the federal bench.  It is my hope that Judge Fuller would spare us the expense and further public humiliation by doing the right thing and resigning.”

On Wednesday, September 17 U.S. Senator Richard Shelby (R) told the Alabama Media Group writer’s Melissa Brown and Jon Lunceford that he has spoken privately to Judge Fuller and has asked him to resign.  Sen. Shelby said in a statement, “The American people’s trust in our judicial system depends on the character and integrity of those who have the distinct honor of sitting on the bench,” Shelby said. “I believe that Judge Mark Fuller has lost the confidence of his colleagues and the people of the state of Alabama.”

Senator Clair McCaskill said on Twitter, “Judge Fuller should resign.”

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On Monday Rep. Roby said in a statement, “As a society, we cannot tolerate domestic violence. When abusers are not held accountable, it serves to indirectly condone the crime and has a chilling effect on victims.  Almost one in every three women has experienced physical violence at the hands of their partner, according to The Centers for Disease Control. The same report concluded that domestic violence is a ‘public health burden’ in America today.”

Rep. Roby said of Fuller’s situation, “This is a very serious matter. Congress enacted a statutory process by which the federal judiciary investigates instances of misconduct that could warrant disciplinary action, including removal from office. It is important to allow that process to move forward, ensure all involved are afforded due process and then evaluate what recommendations are made. I will be monitoring those proceedings closely. Ultimately, the Constitution empowers Congress to impeach members of the Judicial Branch for misconduct.”

Reuters Jonathon Kaminsky is reporting that Senator Jeff Sessions said in a late Wednesday statement, “Judge Fuller’s unacceptable personal conduct violates the trust that has been placed in him. He can no longer effectively serve in his position and should step down,”

Montgomery U.S. District Judge Mark Fuller was recently arrested and charged with battery after an altercation with his wife in an Atlanta hotel after she accused him of having an affair with a law clerk. While the judiciary’s disciplinary process has not yet concluded, Fuller’s caseload has been reassigned and he has entered a counseling program.

Brandon Moseley is a former reporter at the Alabama Political Reporter.

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