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Federal Judge to Congress: 'Go to Hell'

Federal Judge to Congress: 'Go to Hell'

Photograph by J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

Richard G. Kopf is a federal judge in Lincoln, Neb., a Republican, and a prolific scribe who writes near-daily postings on a blog called “Hercules and the Umpire.” He has a message for Washington: “It is time to tell Congress to go to hell.

Fed up with the government shutdown, Kopf writes that federal courts across the country should declare all workers “essential” and put those who are furloughed back on the job. Were this to happen, “Congress would have two choices,” the judge writes. “It could do nothing in which event Congress loses its ability to destroy the judiciary be [sic] failing to pass a budget. Or, Congress could go bats—, and the judiciary and Congress could have it out.”

Any judge who links to Urban Dictionary (see above) is a judge I want to talk to, so I reached out to Kopf to see if he could walk me through the details of his plan. Turns out the judge is only so outspoken: “I am sorry,” he replied in an e-mail. “I don’t give interviews to the media about my blog.”

Bummer, but that won’t stop me from following Kopf through the rest of the shutdown. The posts with photos of high-flying pigs that remind him of legislators in Washington are too good to miss.

Hinman is an associate editor for Bloomberg Businessweek.

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