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Clinton-Battling Lawyer Loses Case

October 5, 1998

WASHINGTON (AP) _ The Supreme Court today let stand a federal judge’s sanctions against Larry Klayman, whose conservative legal-rights group Judicial Watch has sued the Clinton administration on a myriad of topics.

The justices, without comment, rejected an appeal by Klayman and fellow lawyer Paul Orfanedes from sanctions imposed last year by U.S. District Judge Denny Chin of New York City for calling the judge’s impartiality into question.

Chin was presiding over a commercial dispute in which Klayman and Orfanedes represented one side. After Chin made a preliminary ruling against their side, Klayman and Orfanedes sent the judge a letter noting their involvement in a lawsuit against the Clinton administration over alleged political campaign activities of John Huang and ``other persons in the Asian and Asian-American communities.″

Huang was a fund-raiser and Democratic National Committee officer, and had once served the Clinton administration in the Commerce Department.

The letter to Chin mentioned that the judge, too, was a Clinton appointee, and asked him to tell the lawyers whether he knew and had dealings with Huang and others involved in the Judicial Watch litigation over Democratic campaign finances.

After conducting a hearing, Chin imposed sanctions against Klayman and Orfanedes, ruling that they had called his impartiality into question based on his being a Clinton appointee and on his race and ethnicity.

Chin revoked an order that had allowed the two to appear before the court even though they were not members of the local bar. The two also were ordered to give a copy of Chin’s opinion to any other federal judge in New York City from whom they seek similar status in the future.

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the sanctions last February.

The appeal acted on today said the judge wrongly labeled the two lawyers as racists.

The case is In re Klayman, 98-144.

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