Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Robert Patterson Jr., Lawyer and Republican Judge Who Fought for the Accused, Dies at 91

The New York Times:

In 1988, on the recommendation of Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan, a Democrat, President Ronald Reagan appointed him to the Federal District Court for the Southern District of New York. Judge Patterson, a Republican, became a senior judge in 1998, but never officially retired. In 1990, Judge Patterson ruled that the New York City Transit Authority could not require drug testing of all its employees, only those with safety-related jobs. That same year, he declared unconstitutional proposed federal restrictions on access to telephone-pornography services. 

 Judge Patterson had no qualms about sentencing the former president of Guatemala, Alfonso Portillo, to prison for nearly six years in a money-laundering case in 2013. But he was vexed by federal guidelines that forced him to impose a sentence of two years and three months in 2003 on a South Korean immigrant, a postal worker who had fired seven shots from a handgun at the United Nations building to protest North Korea’s treatment of its citizens. The judge said the man was making a political statement rather than intending to inflict injury.

Read morehttp://www.nytimes.com/2015/04/25/nyregion/robert-patterson-jr-lawyer-and-judge-who-fought-for-the-accused-dies-at-91.html