Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Judge Not

In a recent announcement, President Obama has appointed Emily Hewitt to be the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. The announcement from 03/23/2009 reads,

"Judge Hewitt has served on the U.S. Court of Federal Claims since her confirmation by the Senate in 1998. At the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, Judge Hewitt has handled cases in all areas of the Court’s jurisdiction, chaired the court’s Rules and Building and Space Committees and served on its Management Committee. In 2006, she was appointed by the Chief Justice of the United States to serve on the Financial Disclosure Committee of the United States Judicial Conference. Prior to her appointment to the Court of Claims, Judge Hewitt was appointed general counsel to the General Services Administration during the Clinton Administration. Judge Hewitt, born May 26, 1944, in Baltimore, is a graduate of Cornell University (A.B. 1966), Union Theological Seminary (M. Phil 1975) and Harvard Law School (J.D. 1978). Before entering government service, Judge Hewitt practiced from 1978 to 1993 with the Boston law firm Hill & Barlow, where she chaired the firm’s real estate department from 1987-1993. A leader of the effort to open Episcopal ordination to women, Judge Hewitt was one of the first eleven women ordained to the Episcopal priesthood on July 29, 1974."

An earlier post on this blog briefly referenced the "Philadelphia 11" as being held up by today's Church as a shining example of how the Episcopal Church allows culture to lead the Church and settles disputes by breaking rules rather than by taking the path of humility and patience required to change rules. That path would have wound through careful study of scripture and tradition and led to true discourse and resolution, a path that may have wandered in the desert for forty years. No one wants to keep hearing that the promised land is just over the horizon. It is far easier to revolt, and that is what happened on July 29, 1974.

What was the big deal back in 1974.
("Suzanne Hiatt was the chief architect of the Episcopal women's ordination movement.")...

"Hiatt says that the Philadelphia ordination was intended to make it more trouble not to ordain women than to ordain them. 'In retrospect, to have been ordained 'irregularly' is the only way for women to have done it,' reflects Hiatt. 'Our ordination was on our terms, not the church's terms, it was not accepted as a gift from the church but taken as a right from God.'"

(Taken as a right from God!!!)

The Philadelphia eleven's ordination was not authorized by the Episcopal Church. Two years later, the General Convention accepted it as a "fait accompli" and moved on.

Now this is not the only rule that the Hon. Rev Hewitt chose to break because she is reportedly,
"...married to attorney Eleanor Dean Acheson."

And where did her ordination lead her? Not to a lifetime of ministry. Straight to law school it seems as she graduated from Harvard Law School in 1978. And, according to The Living Church,

"She is canonically resident in the Diocese of New York, but served in parochial ministry for only a few years as an assistant at St. Mary’s Church, Manhattanville, after ordination."

It sounds like she was really serious about the W.O. thing.

All right, this is all just ancient history isn't it?

I wonder, how can a nefarious rule breaker such as the Hon. Rev. Emily Hewitt make judgements against rule breakers brought into her court? Will she be consistent in her modus operandi and tend to rule in favor of the unlawful?

Recently we have seen rulings in favor of the "hierarchical church" in "property disputes" of churches pulling out of T.E.C. see the Anglican Curmudgeon's pages coming out of several courts. Oh, but that one of those cases could go to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims. What a tortured decision for the Hon. Rev. Hewitt. I mean, would she recuse herself because she disdains the Church's authority and might side with the departing church, or would she recuse herself because she is an ordained Episcopal priest in which case she might be biased and favor her Presiding Bishop? Applying the Anglican Curmudgeon's principle of the use of fuzzy logic to the religious left, the Hon. Rev. Hewitt would simply stick with her M.O. and let the end justify the means.

Decisions, decisions...


  1. The narcissism on display in Hiatt's comments is absolutely breathtaking.


  2. To quote a famous attorney:

    "This is outrageous, egregious and preposterous."

  3. Popping in to wish you a blessed Easter.