U.S. Third Circuit - The FindLaw 3rd Circuit Court of Appeals Opinion Summaries Blog

Kendall v. Russell, No. 08-1212

District court judgment finding that the Commission Act empowering the Virgin Islands Commission on Judicial Disabilities to remove judges of the Superior Court violates the Revised Organic Act and enjoining the Commission members from initiating or continuing removal proceedings against plaintiff is affirmed where: 1) the court was correct not to abstain from deciding this case as there is currently no valid avenue for appellate review of a Commission order affecting someone like plaintiff, and thus, Younger abstention was not warranted; and 2) the Commission Act violates the separation of powers principle inherent in the Revised Organic Act as the Legislature purported to authorize the Commission to exercise power to remove judges without itself having such power. 

Read Kendall v. Russell, No. 08-1212

Appellate Information
Appeal from the United States District Court of the Virgin Islands.
Argued December 8, 2008
Filed July 13, 2009

Before: FISHER, JORDAN and STAPLETON, Circuit Judges.
Opinion by JORDAN, Circuit Judge.

For Appellant: Maria T. Hodge, Hodge & Francois.

For Appellee: Howard M. Cooper, Julie E. Green, Todd & Weld.