Tuesday, January 24, 2012

WHAT PART OF "LIFETIME APPOINTMENT" DON'T YOU GET, SIR? ... NEVERMIND, HE GOT IT: The Hon. Wesley Brown joined the federal bench in 1958, appointed as a bankruptcy judge by President Dwight Eisenhower, and was promoted to the United States District Court for the District of Kansas by President John F. Kennedy in 1962. He had grown up next door to freed slaves; when he attended college, Calvin Coolidge was President.

"You know, he could have retired years ago at full salary," explained one of his colleagues on the bench when Brown turned 93. "But I think one of the reasons he stays is because he doesn't believe in doing something for nothing. He couldn't take the taxpayers' money for not working."

Judge Brown continued to hear a full docket of cases well past the age of 100, and did not reduce his caseload until last year. Judge Brown passed away last night at the age of 104.


  1. Eric J.4:42 PM

    My favorite line of the obit:

    "More recently, Brown presided over cases including a $3 million athletic ticket scandal at the University of Kansas, where he studied physical education under James Naismith."

    Read more here: http://www.kansas.com/2012/01/24/2187734/federal-judge-wesley-brown-dies.html#storylink=cpy"

  2. Benner5:32 PM

    He sounds a bit like the judge in "A Frolic of One's Own."

  3. isaac_spaceman6:42 PM

    I'm a big Richard Serra fan, and I hated that book. 

  4. In case anyone is curious, the oldest sitting federal judge is now Robert Kelleher of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California (born 1913).

  5. Joseph Finn8:54 PM

    Pardon me as I stand and salute.  (Seriously, Naismith?)

  6. Dreary and insufferably opaque, it was.  Made one wonder what Gaddis had against Pinot Grigio and small dogs.

  7. Benner11:49 AM

    I'm not saying i liked it. . .

  8. Jim Bell12:03 PM

    Any relation to Admiral Miles Naismith?

  9. Chin Music6:10 PM

    Only mildly related, but apparently President John Tyler believed fathering children was a lifetime appointment.  How else to explain the story that a guy born 221 years ago still has two living grandchildren (http://news.yahoo.com/blogs/sideshow/former-president-john-tyler-1790-1862-grandchildren-still-191230189.html)?