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Bob Dole, Forever the Presidential Hopeful, Dead at 98

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Robert Joseph Dole, the 1996 Republican presidential nominee and for more than a third of a century a leading figure in American politics, has died.

Dole, who revealed in early 2021 that he’d been diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer, died Sunday, according to the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. He was 98.

American culture served up no purer emblem of the nation’s triumphs and challenges in the postwar period than Dole, a son of the center of the country, a disabled veteran of the war at the middle of the century and a leader in the political dramas that were at the heart of American national life.

He was a state legislator, House member, Senate leader, national spokesman for a sturdy brand of common-sense conservatism, four times a candidate for national office and always an advocate for the nation’s farmers and war veterans.

He dominated the life of the Senate for a decade, was a leading Republican in Washington and emerged as a potent symbol, not only for Democrats who derided him as an obstructionist, but also for the new breed of Republicans who considered his style too accommodating, his ideology too squishy and his identification with establishment Washington too strong.

Nonetheless, no Republican, aside from Richard M. Nixon, was at the center of Washington and the searing battles within the Republican Party for so long and with so great an impact.

It was an impact that survived his own retirement; he worked tirelessly for the election of his wife, Elizabeth Hanford Dole, to the Senate in 2002 and joked that he and Bill Clinton, his rival in the 1996 race, would compete to be president of the Senate spouse club.

In a heartbreaking coda to his public life, Dole, 89 years old and using a wheelchair, returned to the Senate in December 2012 and there appealed to his former colleagues to ratify a United Nations convention on disability rights that was modeled on the legislation he crafted himself in the chamber. The treaty failed and Dole was wheeled out of the chamber by his wife.

Dole lost the 1996 presidential race to Clinton despite a spirited challenge, a series of daring gambles and a brave campaign finale of 96 hours of grueling air travel that left the Kansan hoarse and exhausted — but failed to persuade voters that a 73-year-old World War II veteran was the man to lead the nation into the 21st century.

In many ways Dole’s general-election campaign was an anticlimax to the greater dramas of his life. For years he sought and was denied his party’s nomination for president, winning it 1996 only after a difficult struggle with two foes whose vision of the Republican Party and its future couldn’t have been more different from his — publisher Malcolm S. “Steve” Forbes Jr. and commentator Patrick Buchanan.

But Dole, who for decades prided himself on understanding the prevailing winds of American politics, was nonetheless willing to bend, and on the eve of the Republicans’ 1996 nominating convention reached out to a former rival, Jack F. Kemp, offering him the vice-presidential nomination and embracing his notions of supply-side economics. Six months after his defeat, he startled Washington with another gesture to a party rival, offering Newt Gingrich a $300,000 loan to permit the House speaker to pay off a fine in connection with an ethics investigation.

As he aged, his impulse for political pugilism withered, permitting a tender rapprochement with his rival George H.W. Bush; in their 90s the two called each other on their birthdays and, to mark the 75th anniversary of Pearl Harbor, appeared together in 2016 at a Texas commemoration of the attack that began the U.S. conflict with Japan in World War II.

That very day, in December 2016, news accounts reported that Dole, the only living GOP nominee to support Donald Trump for president, had helped a client by arranging a phone call between Trump and the president of Taiwan — an intercession that prompted some of those who knew Dole to wonder whether, at 93, he had been manipulated by friends or business associates.

Dole came to Washington the year John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as president, but as a young man he had strong emotional ties with Dwight D. Eisenhower, a fellow Kansan and the commander of the American force in Europe that shaped Dole’s life.

He fell into the political circle around Nixon and was Republican national chairman during the height of the Watergate scandal. He was Gerald Ford’s running mate in 1976, when he gave the nation its first taste of his sometimes harsh rhetoric when he referred to the four wars of the 20th century as “Democrat Wars.” He ran against Ronald Reagan for the GOP presidential nomination four years later and finished at the back of the pack but was the president’s legislative leader for two terms.

Dole was for a time the favorite to capture the Republican nomination in 1988 and actually won the Iowa caucuses that February, but his struggle with George H.W. Bush took on a bitter tone and his eventual loss came to symbolize Dole’s failures as a national candidate — his lack of vision, his reflexive impulse to use his wit as a weapon.

Despite his midlife rivalry with Bush, he later served the president loyally, acting as his agent on Capitol Hill. So dominant was he in Congress that, though he was well over 70 and his World War II generation had been eclipsed by Clinton and the baby boomers, Dole swiftly emerged as the front-runner for the GOP presidential nomination in 1996.

Though Dole’s life was intertwined with the leading figures of Washington’s postwar political establishment, his relationship with Gingrich defined GOP politics at century’s end.

For years he and Gingrich sparred, two symbols of competing and often irreconcilable visions of Republicanism. Gingrich was a supply-sider, an economic theory that left Dole unimpressed, and an insurgent, a political tactic that left Dole cold.

The bitterness flared often, and Dole spent a decade answering Gingrich’s well-worn taunt that the Kansan was a tax collector for the welfare state. When Gingrich became speaker in 1995, Dole suppressed his skepticism, perhaps because he recognized that Gingrich now held the upper hand in GOP politics, and the two often appeared together, working in tandem.

Dole was the quintessential young man of the innocent America before World War II. His worldview, his accent, his conservatism and his life rhythms were set in Russell, Kan., far from metropolitan America and deep in grain country.

His father, Doran Dole, operated the White Front Cafe on Main Street, then ran a cream and egg station, while his mother, Bina, sold sewing machines, was an accomplished seamstress and was known for her fried chicken and cream gravy and homemade ice cream.

“Russell’s the Bob Dole difference,’’ John J. Streck, one of Dole’s high school classmates, once said. As a young man, Dole played basketball and minded the soda fountain at Dawson’s Drug. He was chosen to be the soda jerk because he was smart, efficient and honest.

“He was an all-American boy,’’ said Everett Dumler, a lifelong friend who later became manager of the small town’s chamber of commerce.

Like many young men in town, he went to war. He saw a bit of the world and then had his whole world changed. In the last weeks of World War II, in Italy, an exploding shell so racked his body that a platoon sergeant gave him a shot of morphine on the battlefield.

Then began months and years of recovery. He had a persistent fever, he lost a kidney, he shed 72 pounds. He also lost, he later admitted, his entire sense of physical robustness. His family doubted he would ever walk again.

It was a challenge greater than any presented by politics. He worked and he struggled and he worked some more, eventually being able to take a step, then a few, then to reach the end of the block. The injuries to his right hand lasted though life and he found it so painful to shake hands in public gathering that he would clutch a pen in his right hand so he could avoid the formality.

“Much of my life since April 1945,” he wrote in his memoir, “has been an exercise in compensation.”

Dole went to law school and into politics, traveling hundreds of miles in a legislative race, then thousands in a congressional contest in 1960. He wasn’t much of an ideologue, joking that he looked at the voting rolls, saw more Republicans than Democrats and decided, right there on the spot, that he was a Republican. For him, the arithmetic of politics was always more potent than the chemistry.

In Washington he was a plodder and a plotter, eventually winning notice and repeatedly winning reelection. After succeeding Howard H. Baker Jr. as Republican leader in 1985, his stature in the Senate was unapproachable. Indeed, the Senate gave order to Dole’s life. He was a master of legislation in an era of sound bites, a master of the compromise in an era when reaching across the aisle was derided.

Dole was known for the sarcastic aside but, in the halls of the Capitol, he was also remembered for the gentle gesture. Congressional workers consistently regarded him as their favorite senator. He raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for charity and, a prostate cancer survivor himself, would sometimes sit in his office as the dark thickened around Washington and call men around the country who themselves faced prostate surgery or death.

An improbable sequel to his struggle with cancer was Dole’s decision to appear in television commercials for the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra. Dole said he did the ads in an effort to further frank conversation about the disease and its effects.

The arc of Dole’s career was also shaped by women: by his mother, who gave him his sense of humor; his sisters, who encouraged him when, in the dark days of the war injury, there was no reason for encouragement, his daughter, Robin, a Washington lobbyist and friend in adulthood; and the two women he married.

Dole met his wife of 23 years, Phyllis, at an army-hospital dance and they married three months later in New Hampshire. “I remember when we were first married, I used to make shoulder pads to go under his shirts because one shoulder is shorter than the other,” she said. “He had to get his suits tailored to fit him. I cut up meat for him. I understood him physically and emotionally. He had to push awfully hard to come back from his injuries, and that is just part of him now. He worked very hard to overcome all of that.”

Later he married Elizabeth Hanford, a pioneering Republican who served as secretary of Labor and Transportation and as president of the American Red Cross but who was best-known as the other half of Washington’s ultimate power couple. At a Capitol hearing, Dole once joked that he regretted that he had only one wife to give to his country. In truth, he took enormous pride in his wife’s achievements and she in his; in the late days of the 1988 presidential race, Elizabeth Dole was more reluctant to concede than was her husband.

Dole is survived by his wife and a daughter, Robin, from his first marriage.

Shribman is a special correspondent.

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Original Post: latimes.com

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News Analysis: Biden, in Blasting Trump, Concedes the Nation Has yet to Heal

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WASHINGTON — 

For the better part of the last year, President Biden has sought to ignore his predecessor as he has tried to deliver on a campaign promise to return the country to some semblance of political normalcy.

But in a passionate speech at the U.S. Capitol on Thursday marking the one-year anniversary of the bloody insurrection, Biden essentially conceded he could not reconstruct a world before Donald Trump’s tenure, nor could he deliver on his promise of protecting democracy without calling out the former president’srole in lying about the 2020 election results and inciting the mob that stormed the Capitol.

“For the first time in our history, a president had not just lost an election. He tried to prevent the peaceful transfer of power as a violent mob reached the Capitol,” Biden said from Statutory Hall, a historic chamber in a Capitol building that Biden, a former senator, reveres.

Biden avoided using Trump’s name, following a practice he has tried to abide since taking office on Jan. 20. But it hardly mattered. Like a prosecutor delivering a closing argument, the president methodically detailed Trump’s conduct as the slow-motion riot accelerated. He described how Trump lit the fuse and watched it on television from the White House, “doing nothing, for hours” to stop it.

In concluding his case, Biden hit hard at Trump’s motive:

“His bruised ego matters more to him than our democracy or our Constitution,” Biden said. “He can’t accept he lost.”

Visual coverage from remembrance events throughout the day marking the anniversary

This was not a commemoration filled with calls for unity or a return to normalcy as much as it was a plea for Americans to accept the truth of what happened a year ago. There was no attempt to say the nation had healed and has come together with common purpose or belief.

On the contrary, Biden spent much of the address debunking Trump’s claims of a rigged election, point-by-point, asking why many of the Republicans who have supported the former president’s fraud claims have not disputed their own victories, on the same ballots.

Few thought such a speech would be necessary a year after a pro-Trump mob stormed the Capitol, inflicted injuries on more than 100 police officers, contributed to the deaths of five people and forced the evacuation of lawmakers from the complex. Biden certainly hadn’t anticipated needing to make such an address. He pitched his candidacy on the idea that he was a seasoned hand who had worked across the aisle, one of the grown-ups in the room. The nation, he believed, could snap back from a twice-impeached president who smashed norms and challenged bedrock institutions.

“The thing that will fundamentally change things is with Donald Trump out of the White House,” Biden said in his first 2019 campaign visit to New Hampshire. “You will see an epiphany occur among many of my Republican friends.”

On the night he was declared winner of the election, Biden still believed healing would come.

“It’s time to put away the harsh rhetoric, to lower the temperature, to see each other again, to listen to each other again. To make progress, we must stop treating our opponents as our enemy,” he said.

But many elected Republicans and conservative media figures — even those who once agreed Biden had won the election or who texted Trump begging him to stop the insurrection — have since paid Trump homage at his Florida home. They have amplified his false rhetoric. The lies have taken hold on the rank-and-file in the party: 3 in 4Republican voters in a recent National Public Radio poll agree with Trump that there were “real cases of fraud that changed the results.”

The closest Biden came to reaching across the aisle on Thursday was an offer to work with Republicans who accepted the election and a concession that “some courageous men and women in the Republican Party are standing against” the lies. But even then he went only so far, quickly pivoting back to his harsher argument: “Too many others are transforming that party into something else.”

Biden seemed to understand that his words were unlikely to win him Republican converts and the risk of further politicizing the event. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, a close Trump ally, acknowledged in a statement Thursday that Jan. 6 that he “cannot believe that a mob was able to take over the United States Capitol during such a pivotal moment — certifying a presidential election.” He then blasted Biden’s speech on Twitter, saying it was a “brazen politicization of January 6.”

The president’s willingness to attack Trump, if not in name, will come as a relief to some Democrats who believe Biden’s determination to seek bipartisanship and convey normalcy has slowed his agenda. In particular, they believe his strategy has prevented him from articulating the full case for a voting rights bill in the face of Republican-led efforts at the state level to change the rules.

They point to senators like Graham, who once prided themselves as bipartisan dealmakers, as evidence of a changed party.

Biden has resisted giving up on his view that the parties can work together and will likely point as evidence to his $1-trillion infrastructure bill that he signed in November. But Republican leaders were absent from Thursday’s commemoration and are likely to drive an even harder partisan wedge as this year’s midterm elections approach.

Those who see this moment as an emergency for American democracy may have finally gotten the speech they wanted. As he was leaving the Capitol Thursday morning, Biden was asked whether calling out Trump would lead to more division than healing.

“The way you have to heal, you have to recognize the extent of the wound,” Biden told reporters. “You can’t pretend. This is serious stuff.”
Staff Writer Eli Stokols contributed to this story.

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‘I Really Thought That I Was Going to Die That Day’

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WASHINGTON — 

For decades, many members of Congress believed the U.S. Capitol — with metal detectors, barriers and its own police force — to be one of the safest places in the country.

That comfort was shattered on the afternoon of Jan. 6, when a pro-Trump mob stormed the building in hopes of overturning Joe Biden’s electoral college victory.

In interviews, six members of Congress from California recount their stories from that deadly day: the surreal experience of realizing that their lives were at risk, that their workplace was being overrun and that the nation’s two-century record of a peaceful transition of power had crumbled.

‘All I could think of is: Get Out. Run. As fast as you can. You don’t want to be trapped in here. Run, run, run. And all of a sudden, they closed the doors on us and they told us to get on the ground. There’s people trying to break in outside the doors.’

Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles)

Rep. Jimmy Gomez, a Democrat from Los Angeles, told a Times reporter on Jan. 6 that “people are running for their safety.”
(Tom Williams / Associated Press)

Rep. Jimmy Gomez (D-Los Angeles) was in the gallery of the House chamber when the rioters breached the Capitol.

He and his colleagues were running across the gallery in hopes of escaping when he saw Capitol Police barricading the door the president uses to enter the chamber for the State of the Union. The rioters were too close for the lawmakers to get out safely.

“All I could think of is: Get out. Run. As fast as you can. You don’t want to be trapped in here. Run, run, run,” Gomez recalled. “And all of a sudden, they closed the doors on us and they told us to get on the ground. There’s people trying to break in outside the doors.”

Once police cleared the hallways and escorted the lawmakers to safety, several members of Congress got together and committed to remaining in the building and finishing the certification of the electoral college vote.

“That’s when [Reps.] Hakeem [Jeffries] and Liz Cheney said we’re going to go back and finish the job,” Gomez said. “They brought buses to get the members out, and [Rep.] Ruben [Gallego] and other Democrats were like, ‘Do not get on the buses.’ They said that’s how a coup happens: when the electeds are evacuated out of the Capitol or out of the palace. … So everybody that I was talking to was committed to staying.

“It was a terrible, terrible day. I don’t know if I said this to [Times reporter] Sarah [Wire] or a different reporter, but I did say like, ‘This is how a coup happens and this is how democracy dies and Donald Trump should probably be brought up on treason.’ And I still believe that to this day. I’m glad we impeached him. But now we know that there’s more people involved.

“I remember actually flying back from D.C. and, you know, I was on the plane with a bunch of MAGA people that were with their gear, like they’re coming back from a Republican convention or something.”

Gomez’s experience getting caught in the gallery left him shaken, but he says his resolve to stand up for democracy has only grown since that day.

I’m a son of immigrants that believes in this whole idea of America, the idea of self-governance, the idea that you come here, you work hard, you believe in our values, you’re going to succeed, because I’m an example of that promise … in one generation. That doesn’t happen in a lot of countries. It doesn’t happen in Mexico, where my family’s from. So my resolve has been just more firm than ever.

“But it’s been tough, to be honest. I got triggered … a few months ago, and I didn’t really see it coming on, but I got hot and my vision got tunneled. So I had to kind of walk away. … But my resolve, it’s stronger than ever.”

~~~

‘I really thought that I was going to die that day, that I was going to be killed — that I would be literally killed — that I would possibly have to fight for my life, that so many of my colleagues would probably be victims.’

Rep. Norma Torres (D-Pomona)

Rep. Norma Torres, a Democrat from Pomona, was inside the House chamber when the attack began.

“It was a very violent day for me. I had never been in a situation where I felt so unsafe, and I really thought that I was going to die that day, that I was going to be killed — that I would be literally killed — that I would possibly have to fight for my life, that so many of my colleagues would probably be victims.”

A year ago, as Trump supporters rioted in the halls, Torres told Times staff writer Sarah D. Wire, who was reporting inside the Capitol on Jan. 6: “It’s horrible that this is America. This is the United States of America and this is what we have to go through, because Trump has called homegrown terrorists to come to the Capitol and invalidate people’s votes.”

Torres said she has changed since that day, noting that she no longer feels safe inside the Capitol complex and sees her GOP colleagues in a different light.

“There used to be a time in the past, before the Jan. 6 insurrection, where I could look and see somebody wearing their congressional pin and think, ‘That’s my ally.’ Even if they were Republicans, it was like, ‘OK, that’s my ally, and we’ll take care of each other no matter what happens.’ I don’t feel that way anymore about my colleagues. Not at all.”

~~~

‘Attacking a federal building, whether it is the U.S. Capitol or a court or anything else, does not tear down democracy.’

Rep. Doug LaMalfa (R-Richvale)

“Nobody should be breaking into this building for any purpose,” said Rep. Doug LaMalfa, a Republican from Richvale shown speaking on the House floor in 2020.
(Associated Press)

Rep. Doug LaMalfa, a California Republican from Richvale who was on the House floor when insurrectionists stormed the Capitol, called the riot a “deplorable situation.”

“Nobody should be breaking into this building for any purpose, let alone trying to stop a process that we were going through, and we were going through it in good faith, no matter what side you were taking on the issue of the day.”

He said he wasn’t concerned about the long-term prospects of democracy, because the republic is built on people, not buildings.

“Attacking a federal building, whether it is the U.S. Capitol or a court or anything else, does not tear down democracy. We’re not a democracy, by the way — we are a republic. Democracy is on election day.

“So our republic is not torn down by what building the meetings are held in, but by the heart and souls of the people that are elected to carry out the business of the government wherever that’s done.”

~~~

‘I always thought that personally I was very safe in this job, particularly when I’m in the Capitol complex, because it takes so much to get in there. Certainly I don’t think about it every day, but I don’t quite feel that same level of safety.’

Rep. Scott Peters (D-San Diego)

Rep. Scott Peters, a Democrat from San Diego, said that as he was trapped in the House gallery on Jan. 6, he was thinking, “How could people get by security in one of the top terrorist targets in the country?”
(Lenny Ignelzi / Associated Press)

Rep. Scott Peters, a Democrat from San Diego, was in the House gallery when he saw something he’d never seen before: a nonmember of Congress at the rostrum.

“It was someone from the security force. He said: ‘Please stay in your seats. There’s been a breach in the Capitol.’”

“I didn’t know what to think at that point. I assumed that a few rogues had run by the metal detector. But I didn’t know how serious it was. Gradually I was kind of hurt that this was happening, thinking, ‘How could people get by security in one of the top terrorist targets in the country? We should be ready for this.’

“At one point, members were about to be evacuated when they were told to ‘get to the floor.’

“So everyone kind of got down low. And that was a little bit of a sobering moment. Then at one point, we heard an explosion. It sounded like a gunshot or a tear gas deployment. We didn’t know. I think it might’ve been the shot that killed my constituent. Ashli Babbitt was from San Diego.”

Peters, who was first elected in 2012, added that he doesn’t feel as safe as he did in his first term as a member of Congress.

“I always thought that personally I was very safe in this job, particularly when I’m in the Capitol complex, because it takes so much to get in there,” he said. “Certainly I don’t think about it every day, but I don’t quite feel that same level of safety.”

~~~

‘No matter what your politics, it wasn’t a good day.’

Rep. Ken Calvert (R-Corona)

Rep. Ken Calvert, a Republican from Corona, speaks in the House of Representatives in 2019. He called the Capitol riot on Jan. 6 “troubling.”
(Associated Press)

Rep. Ken Calvert, a Republican from Corona, was in his office in a nearby building, not in the Capitol itself, but was still disturbed by what he saw and called it “very regretful.”

“I mean, it was troubling. But I wasn’t here in the building. And I have a lot of friends that were. Certainly, no matter what your politics, it wasn’t a good day. It’s a bad situation.”

He said he has hope that any changes to the institution of Congress and to relationships won’t be long-lasting.

“We have to get back to some kind of normalcy again. … I’m an optimist, I’m hoping we get back to some comity around here.

“These people are my friends. I may be in a different party and I don’t agree with them, but it doesn’t mean we can’t like each other. … We’re a divided nation, there’s no doubt about it, but people expect us to get together, get things done.”

~~~

‘Divisions here in this country are our biggest challenge. That’s what keeps me up at night. … It’s really trying to crack this nut of, how do we break this fever of division in our country?’

Rep. Mark Takano, a Democrat from Riverside

Rep. Mark Takano (D-Riverside) sheltered in a nearby office building during the Capitol riot.
(Associated Press)

Rep. Mark Takano, a Democrat from Riverside, had to make his way from one House office building to the next during the riot.

“It looked like kind of a refugee zone with all these staffers sitting on the other side of the hallway, stepping over people.

“I got a couple of texts asking if I was OK,” Takano said. “But up until now, I don’t really have a reality of what is happening because I’m not looking at the news, but I’m getting a couple of texts from people saying, ‘Are you OK?’ And I thought this was kind of strange.

“I felt a little insecure, but I was in an office complex that was sort of nondescript. We were sheltering for an extended period of time. But I don’t have any kind of lingering trauma, personal trauma. I do have concerns going forward about the political culture of the country and the political norms of the country.”

Takano said he believes “the biggest challenge to America is ourselves.”

“That’s our biggest challenge. Divisions here in this country are our biggest challenge. That’s what keeps me up at night. … It’s really trying to crack this nut of, how do we break this fever of division in our country?

“I don’t see this being solved in one year or one election. It’s going to take a lot of courage. Persistence.”

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Source: latimes.com

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Chief Justice Roberts Calls for Better Enforcement of Conflict Laws Involving Judges’ Stock Ownership

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WASHINGTON — 

Federal courts need to do much better at enforcing conflict-of-interest laws that are supposed to prevent judges from deciding cases in which they hold stock, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. said in his year-end report on the judiciary.

He was responding to a report in the Wall Street Journal in September that from 2010 through 2018, federal judges participated in 685 cases involving companies in which they or their spouses held stock. When contacted, many of them said they were unaware of the stock holdings because a money manager handled their investments.

The chief justice said federal law requires judges to recuse themselves from a case in which they have a direct financial interest, no matter how small.

“Let me be crystal clear: the Judiciary takes this matter seriously. We expect judges to adhere to the highest standards, and those judges violated an ethics rule,” he wrote.

“We are duty-bound to strive for 100% compliance because public trust is essential, not incidental, to our function,” he continued. “Individually, judges must be scrupulously attentive to both the letter and spirit of our rules, as most are.”

He said “professed ignorance of the ethics rule” or the failure of computer software designed to prevent such conflicts were no excuse. Most judges rely on a computer program to alert them when a case coming before them includes a company in which they hold stock. Sometimes a relevant company slips by the software if it is a subsidiary of a larger corporation.

Roberts said that may explain some lapses, but not for judges who had multiple violations. For them, “there is a more serious problem of inadequate ethics training…. our ethics training programs need to be more rigorous. That means more class time, webinars, and consultations. But it also requires greater attention to promoting a culture of compliance, even when busy dockets keep judicial calendars full,” he said.

He noted, however, that ethics violations appear to be rare. Of the 2.5 million civil cases handled by federal district courts in the nine years that were examined, he said the 685 violations account for less than three-hundredths of 1%. “That’s a 99.97% compliance rate,” he said.

Moreover, he said the newspaper story did not report that “the judge’s actions in any of those cases — often just routine docket management — actually financially benefited the judge.”

The chief justice said the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts is working on improving technology and training to deal with the problem.

Judges are not prohibited from owning direct shares of stock. If their shares are held indirectly in mutual funds, they are not required to step aside.

He did not suggest imposing penalties for repeat violators. For the most part, federal judges are responsible for deciding when they should remove themselves from a case.

As chief justice, Roberts serves as the leader of the federal judiciary.

Roberts received the highest job approval rating of 11 U.S. leaders in a Gallup poll taken in early December and released earlier this week, with 60% approving of how he is handling his role.

Only two other leaders received positive job approval ratings from a majority of Americans surveyed: Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome H. Powell (53%) and Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and chief medical advisor to President Biden (52%).

Roberts was the only leader who received majority approval from both Republicans (57%) and Democrats (52%).

He fared much better in the poll than elected leaders. Biden was approved by 43%, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) by 40% and Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) by 34%.

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