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Judge’s blog on Hobby Lobby criticized

Richard Kopf took issue with the high court.

OMAHA — A federal judge in Nebraska is again drawing attention because of his personal blog, this time for suggesting that the US Supreme Court should not have heard the Hobby Lobby case.

The high court’s June 30 ruling found that some businesses can, because of their religious beliefs, choose not to comply with the federal health care law’s requirement that contraception coverage be provided to workers at no extra charge.

Senior US District Judge Richard Kopf weighed in Saturday on his blog, ‘‘Hercules and the Umpire.’’ In it, he wrote that the ruling looks bad to the public, because the five justices who made up the majority opinion on an issue affecting women are all male, Catholic, and appointed by Republican presidents.


‘‘This term and several past terms have proven that the Court is now causing more harm [division] to our democracy than good by deciding hot button cases that the Court has the power to avoid,’’ Kopf wrote.

Kopf was appointed to the federal bench in 1992 by President George H.W. Bush. Like all federal judges, his appointment was for life. Kopf is semiretired as a senior judge, taking only cases assigned him.

The judge’s post had gotten more than 250 comments by Tuesday. Many were supportive, but many also criticized the judge for chiding the Supreme Court.

On Monday, Kopf posted a letter from a Nebraska attorney objecting to the blog and asking him to stop writing it.

‘‘I am going to give this letter serious consideration,’’ Kopf wrote. ‘‘It comes from someone I respect and whose judgment I trust.’’

Associated Press