Mukasey a 'tyrant'!
State justice yelled 'tyrant' at Mukasey
Attorney general later fainted
OLYMPIA -- State Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders says he was speaking his conscience when he stood up and yelled "tyrant!" at U.S. Attorney General Michael Mukasey last week, during a speech in which Mukasey later fainted.
Mukasey was the keynote speaker at a black-tie dinner Thursday night in Washington, D.C., for The Federalist Society, a conservative legal group. In his speech, Mukasey offered a defense against criticism of the Bush administration's policies in the war on terrorism.
In a statement released Tuesday, Sanders said he "passionately" disagrees with those policies and felt compelled to say so. Sanders, who is a Federalist Society member, said that he wasn't heckling Mukasey, and left shortly after his outburst.
"I believe we must speak our conscience in moments that demand it, even if we are but one voice," he said in the statement, citing access to the legal system for detainees at Guantanamo Bay and the importance of the Geneva Conventions.
Sanders released the statement after blogs, political TV shows and news reports said that Mukasey had been heckled during the speech and that Sanders might have been the source.
Sanders initially dodged reporters' questions about the incident this week, refusing to comment on anything he might have said at the event.
A video on the Federalist Society's Web site shows that Sanders' outburst came about 17 minutes into Mukasey's speech, after Mukasey talked about what he said was the "casual assumption among many in media, political and legal circles that the administration's counterterrorism policies have come at the expense of the rule of law."
Shortly after that point on the video, a voice is clearly heard yelling: "Tyrant! You are a tyrant!"
Mukasey can be seen briefly stopping and looking up from his speech. Other members of the audience can be heard shushing the yeller, and another voice is heard saying, "Sit down."
A few minutes later, Mukasey began shaking and slurring his words. He repeated a phrase -- "as a result" -- three times and then slumped forward on the lectern. His FBI security detail ran to catch him as he fell. He was released from the hospital the next day, and his office said he had suffered a fainting spell.
Sanders said he already had left the speech before Mukasey collapsed and did not learn of it until the next day.
"It should go without saying that, despite our vastly different views on what constitutes upholding the rule of law, I hope he continues to recover and remain in good health," Sanders wrote.
Chief Justice Gerry Alexander said Tuesday that he was concerned about the outburst's potential damage to Sanders' reputation and to the court.
Alexander said he planned to speak privately with Sanders to express his disapproval about the incident, but said he has no authority to discipline him.
Nov 26, 2008 ... State Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders says he was speaking his conscience when he stood up and yelled "tyrant!
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SEATTLE — Richard Sanders, a justice on the Washington State Supreme Court, has never been one to shy from controversy or blunt language.
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Nov 26, 2008 ... Judge Confirms He Shouted "Tyrant" At Mukasey - The Huffington Post.
State Supreme Court Justice called Mukasey 'tyrant' before collapse. State Supreme Court Justice Richard Sanders says he was speaking his conscience when he ...
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