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Federal Circuit Urges Newman Examination in Response to Heightened Paranoid Incidents
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In a recent development, the oldest and longest-serving member of the Federal Circuit Court has been instructed to release her medical records. These records may shed light on “observed changes” in her behavior that prompted an investigation into her fitness to continue serving as a judge. The court documents reveal that a panel led by Chief Judge Kimberly A. Moore has clarified the requests for Judge Pauline Newman’s health records, which she has thus far failed to comply with. The panel emphasized the importance of obtaining this information to investigate allegations of a potential mental decline affecting Newman’s performance.

According to the order released on Tuesday, concerns have been raised by multiple court staff members regarding Judge Newman’s ability to remember basic tasks and perform them consistently. She reportedly struggles with simple activities like logging into the computer network and recalling the location of saved files. Furthermore, when seeking assistance with these matters, she has displayed a level of paranoia and has repeatedly claimed that her devices are hacked and bugged.

These new details emerged following Newman’s recent lawsuit against her colleagues in federal district court. In her lawsuit, she alleges unfair treatment based on her health and performance on the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. Earlier this year, Chief Judge Moore initiated a complaint against Newman under the 1980 Judicial Conduct and Disability Act. Judges Richard G. Taranto and Sharon Prost also sit on the judicial panel responsible for investigating Newman’s fitness to serve.


The Tuesday order from the court highlights the need for oversight in this matter. Court staff members have described Newman as “agitated” and noted her involvement in “bizarre” and “nonsensical” conversations. These conversations included baseless claims that the court was spying on her and “bloggers and the media who were out to get her and bring her down.” The order further reveals that multiple witnesses reported incidents in which Newman threatened to arrest and remove a staff member from the building. Additionally, two out of her five staff members recently resigned and requested no further contact with her.

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The order also exposes Newman’s difficulty in retaining information, as she repeatedly failed a mandatory security compliance training that required her to answer multiple-choice questions based on a video she watched. Furthermore, Newman referred to a former chief judge who has been deceased for nearly 17 years as still in the court’s charge.

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These incidents contribute to the mounting evidence that raises concerns about whether Judge Newman is currently experiencing a disability that hinders her ability to efficiently perform her judicial duties, as stated in the health-related order.

The Federal Circuit panel has now issued several instructions:

Newman must undergo evaluations by a neurologist and neuropsychologist.

She must respond to the committee’s demand for an examination by next week.

Within 30 days, she is required to release records from any mental acuity treatment provider within the last two years, covering aspects such as attention, focus, confusion, memory loss, fatigue, or stamina.

Newman’s request to transfer the judicial complaint to a different circuit has been denied in the order. She argued that her colleagues could not preside over the probe without creating the appearance of prejudice, if not actual prejudice.

In a separate order issued on Tuesday, the panel clarified the scope of a confidentiality order that restricts Newman from discussing non-public details of the ongoing probe.

At the time of writing, there has been no immediate response from Newman’s counsel regarding these recent developments. The New Civil Liberties Alliance is representing Newman in her lawsuit. The outcome of the investigation and its potential impact on Newman’s tenure on the Federal Circuit Court await further proceedings.



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