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This is an amazing - and depressing story. A retiring administrative law judge has asked that none of his remaining cases be assigned to the sole other ALJ at the Commodities Futures Trading Commission because that other judge promised Wendy Gramm - you know, Phil Gramm's wife, chairwoman of the CFTC from 1988 to 1993, then on to a seat on Enron's board! - he'd "never rule in a complainant's favor."

Here's the nut graf:

In a notice recently released by the CFTC, [retiring administrative law judge George] Painter said Judge Bruce Levine, his longtime colleague, had a secret agreement with a former Republican chairwoman of the agency to stand in the way of investors filing complaints with the agency.

What's truly infuriating is that Levine was identified 10 years ago in a WSJ story as a foe of investors; the article back then noted his "stellar" [snark] record in ruling against complainants.

Sorry to be all over the place with this, but I'm so mad I can barely see. Bad enough that the deck is always stacked against individuals going up against corporate interests. Now it turns out the judge was not only biased, but his ruling was preordained.

Originally posted to blonde moment on Wed Oct 20, 2010 at 11:33 AM PDT.

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