Pressure Mounts on|Judge to Step Down

     (CN) – A federal judge is facing increasingly loud and persistent demands that he step down following his arrest in August for domestic abuse.
     U.S. District Court Judge Mark Fuller of the Middle District of Alabama was arrested in Atlanta after allegedly striking his wife during an argument at the Ritz Carlton hotel Aug. 9.
     Fuller, 55, was subsequently charged with misdemeanor battery but accepted a plea deal that, according to media reports, could result in the arrest being expunged from his record. Under the terms of the deal, Fuller will be required to attend a domestic violence program once-a-week for 24 weeks.
     In the past week, a number of Alabama politicians have called on the embattled judge to resign from the bench. Among those calling for Fuller’s resignation have included Gov. Robert Bentley and U.S. Sens. Richard Shelby and Jeff Sessions.
     In a statement, Sessions said, “Judge Fuller’s unacceptable personal conduct violates the trust that has been placed in him. He can no longer effectively serve in his position and should step down.”
     Shelby told the Montgomery Advertiser, “I believe Judge Mark Fuller has lost the confidence of his colleagues and the people of the state of Alabama and I urge him to resign immediately.”
     U.S. Rep. Terri Sewell of Alabama also called for his Fuller’s resignation, saying, “All acts of domestic violence are unacceptable and should not be tolerated. No one committing such abusive acts should get a pass. This is especially true for those charged with upholding and enforcing the law.”
     The criticism of Fuller isn’t simply limited to Alabama officials however. In the wake of the scandal enveloping the National Football League following the disclosure of a video showing former Baltimore Ravens star Ray Rice knocking his fiancé unconscious in an elevator, domestic violence and how it is addressed has come under increased national scrutiny.
     Against that backdrop, U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, of Missouri , called for Fuller’s resignation last week via social media. And U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, of Connecticut, referenced the case on his Twitter account, saying that domestic violence must be taken “more seriously.”
     Several national pundits have weighed in on the issue as well, including CNN contributor LZ Granderson and MSNBC’s Joe Scarborough. Scarborough expressed his view on the matter in a tweet, saying, “Mark Fuller should resign or be forced out. A judge who beats his wife should be in jail, not on the bench.”
     In a statement provided by Fuller’s attorney after a Sept. 5 appearance at an Atlanta Magistrate Court, Fuller said “it was in everyone’s best interest to put this incident behind us.”
     Fuller also expressed regret over the incident, saying it’s been “very embarrassing to me, my family, friends and the court. I deeply regret this incident and look forward to working to resolve these difficulties with my family, where they should be resolved.”
     He also said he hoped to return to “full, active status in the Middle District of Alabama.”
     Fuller was appointed to the bench in 2002 by President George W. Bush.

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