AP, Mar. 4, 2003
CHICAGO (AP)–A federal judge said she will continue to preside over a civil case involving an avowed white supremacist even though the man has been charged with soliciting her murder.
U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow said removing her from the copyright infringement case would only subject another judge to Matthew Hale’s hatred.
“Based on Hale’s expressed contempt for this nation’s ‘illegitimate government,’ there is no reason to believe that any other judge who might inherit this case … would not be subject to the same or similar attacks,” Lefkow wrote last week in denying a request that another judge be assigned to the case.
The copyright infringement case against Hale was brought by an Oregon-based group, TE-TA-MA Truth Foundation, that claimed it trademarked “World Church of the Creator,” the name Hale uses for his supremacist group.
Lefkow had initially ruled in Hale’s favor. But an appeals court overturned that ruling and Lefkow then ordered Hale to stop using the name. When he did not comply, she set a contempt-of-court hearing.
He was arrested Jan. 8 as he arrived for that hearing. Prosecutors said a secret tape of Hale has him responding, “Good,” when a follower, referring to the judge, said they could “exterminate the rat.” Hale is being held without bond.
In 1999, a member of Hale’s organization, Benjamin Smith, went on a shooting rampage against minorities, killing two and wounding nine before killing himself as police closed in.