Sterling Johnson Jr. is a Senior United States Circuit Judge of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He was appointed by GHW Bush in 1991 and took senior status in 2003. He is slightly over 87 1/2 years old.
Johnson was a decent and well regarded Judge in his day and well regarded in his occupations previous to becoming a Judge.
But his day is over.
He has had numerous issues, particularly since about 2014, that indicate that it is time for him to hang up the gavel and either retire outright or take inactive senior status.
But the case at hand involves him failing, for fully 4 1/2 years, to review and act on the report and recommendations of a United States Magistrate Judge in a case and when he finally did act, he did not review the R&R properly, but summarily adopted it, saying so and so Magistrate Judge is a good judge.
On appeal, the Second Circuit vacated his judgement and remanded with instructions to assign the case to a different Judge.
Johnson was a good Judge at one time. But at 87 years of age, it is clear he is no longer capable of handling this job. He should go voluntarily and if he does not, his colleagues should badger him to go and if necessary, his caseload should be involuntarily taken away.
Particularly in a crucially important court like the EDNY, you can’t have Judges who are clearly mentally declining deciding cases.