Federal Circuit Suspends Judge Newman for Refusing Mental Exam

by Dennis Crouch

At the end of July 2023, a special committee of three Federal Circuit judges recommended a one-year suspension of Judge Newman for refusing to comply with various physical and mental examination requests to test whether she is suffering from a diminished capacity.  The Federal Circuit’s judicial council has now unanimously* adopted the recommendation with the following order:

Judge Newman shall not be permitted to hear any cases, at the panel or en banc level, for a period of one year beginning with the issuance of this Order, subject to consideration of renewal if Judge Newman’s refusal to cooperate continues after that time and to consideration of modification or rescission if justified by an end of the refusal to cooperate.

September 20, 2023 Judicial Council Order.  The attached order, includes 70+ pages of text along with 300+ pages of attached supportive evidence.  As the order to suggests, Judge Newman apparently holds the “keys to her cell” – she simply has to submit to a full medical and mental examination, reveal the results to her colleagues, and achieve a result satisfactory to pass their scrutiny.

Judge Newman took and passed two 11-minute mental  capacity examinations, but the Federal Circuit wants her to subject herself to a six-hour mental examination run by an independent doctor.


  1. The judicial council is made up of all 12 regular members of the court.
  2. Although the order was unanimous, it appears that Judge Newman was not given a vote.
  3. Judge Newman has recently been out and about, speaking and receiving various awards.
  4. I am told that the short mental exam taken by Judge Newman is designed to take up to 20 minutes. Judge Newman completed it in 11 minutes.

87 thoughts on “Federal Circuit Suspends Judge Newman for Refusing Mental Exam

  1. 15

    [1. The judicial council is made up of all 12 regular members of the court.
    2. Although the order was unanimous, it appears that Judge Newman was not given a vote.]

    Are these notes intended to be some sort of cognitive exam? Under no circumstances would Judge Newman have gotten a vote because she’s not a member of the Judicial Council. She’s not one of the 12 regular members of the court.

  2. 14

    After the many years of reading Newman dissents and majority opinions of the CAFC, my initial assessment is that the CAFC has an agenda for the suspension of Judge Newman. I never read anything from Judge Newman that would make me think her incompetent but have thought the opinions of the majority of the CAFC to be incompetent on many occasions. I think it suspicious that the CAFC requires one doctor to conduct an exam and that an independent third party doctor could not be agreed upon to conduct a legitimate and fair examination. My opinion of the CAFC can’t be any less given the disgraceful behavior of the court on their treatment of one of its members. My concern is the reason for the disgraceful conduct of the CAFC. Shakespeare said it best that “[s]omething is rotten in the state of Denmark. That one may smile and smile and be a villain. There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, Than are dreamt of in our philosophy.”

  3. 13

    Self-regulation of when it is time to call it quits rarely works but people are entitled to their dignity. That’s why term limits can be quite helpful.
    Speaking of which, is anyone familiar with HOA law in connection with ‘term limits”?
    The governing docs of my HOA say someone is termed out after they serve three consecutive terms on the Board. One of the current Board members wants to run again and says he isn’t termed out from running for another term on the Board (he’s retired and has nothing better to do with his life than feel like he has power over other people). However, he’s already served three terms. He was originally appointed to fill a seat that became vacant when a Board member resigned (Term 1), he ran for re-election and won (Term 2), and he again ran for re-election and won (Term 3).
    He claims that the appointed term doesn’t count towards term limits. From my patent attorney POV, I say that the broad term of “term” covers both appointed and elected terms. Since the governing docs only say “term”, and do not differentiate between an appointed term and an elected term, then he’s termed out.

    1. 12.1

      At the moment, I wouldn’t recommend a friend leave a STEM job for patent law. Particularly so wrt the patent lawyer route.

    2. 12.2

      How do they know which attorneies are fling which cases? If its based on ADS data, then I didn’t file a single application for almost the first five years of my career. I sure as hell wrote a bunch of them, though.

      One can also read that data to mean: filings are down, and senior attorneys are capturing a greater share of the pie. Not surprising, really.

  4. 11

    I might begin to think that this isn’t a conspiracy when ALL of the other CAFC judges agree to be subjected to a six-hour mental competency exam.

    Until then, I know that this is b.s.

      1. 11.1.1

        Start? These are the same judges who say that a camera is an abstract idea.

        I’d say they’re already there.


          Camera, axle, garage door opener, video transcoding device, system to route power, so many of them… I honestly have no idea what’s patentable anymore.

    1. 10.1

      Yet again, dcl (just like last time), you need to recognize the self-serving bile from the Chief Judge and her cohorts.

      As noted at Patent Docs (and separately noted under different words to the same effect at IPWatchdog), Judge Newman completed the cognitive test quickly — this is even more in her favor.

      1. 10.1.1

        I don’t have an overall view on the cognitive test evidence. This was meant only to answer comments asking why there’s any reason to doubt the tests Newman submitted. I meant to post as a reply to another comment, but I seem to have misclicked and it posted as a standalone. I’m still going through the recently posted documents, including Newman’s briefs. If there’s something else I should read for the pro-Newman view of her cognitive tests, and you have a link, I’d be interested.


          Self-serving bile from those with the adverse agenda is NOT “any reason.”

          This should be beyond clear.


          Hitting a filter…

          Your comment is awaiting moderation.

          September 22, 2023 at 7:59 am

          Self-serving b i 1 e from those with the adverse agenda is NOT “any reason.”

          This should be beyond clear

  5. 9

    “Judge Newman apparently holds the “keys to her cell” ”

    We all know that’s not true.

    “Judge Newman took and passed two 11-minute mental capacity examinations”

    ELEVEN MINUTES? Lolololol.

    “but the Federal Circuit wants her to subject herself to a six-hour mental examination run by an independent doctor.”

    That may or may not be revealing, what she needs is to discuss what all has been happening in her life.

      1. 9.1.1

        That’s one of the easiest ways you figure out if someone has a disordering of their lived life experience (aka a personality disorder/mental disorder).

  6. 8

    Where does the “Judicial Council” granted the authority to remove an Article III judge nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate? The Constitution grants that power to Congress, not them.

    It is hornbook law that a court cannot proceed without authority, aka jurisdiction. That has to be granted by the Constitution or Congress.

    Even if they think this judge has so much dementia that she is a vegetable, they lack the authority to do anything about it. Write a letter to the House Judiciary committee, that’s all you can do.

    1. 8.1

      This stuff is funny except that if the Constitution had 1/100th of the power and control over American reality that is suggested in this comment then Mango Tinyhands would be begging for change under an overpass instead of being the favored nominee for President (favored in the party of halfwits and neo-N a z i z, anyway).

    2. 8.2

      To steelman things a bit, they could argue: (i) “good behavior” could include this; and (ii) regardless, they haven’t “removed” her i.e., she still is pulling a salary.

      (ii) is probably frivolous, as it’s obviously in conflict with “shall hold their Offices.” (i) might work – I doubt there is a case directly on point. But, it’s not really consistent with the ordinary meaning of “good behavior” and, of course, with lots of dicta/tradition stating that these are lifetime appointments.

    1. 7.1

      I read that as referring to the “notes” at the end of the post. In other words, “unanimous” except for the member of the court who was not given a vote.

  7. 6

    The Federal Circuit looks really bad for failing to transfer this case to another circuit. They can spin it however they like — but, their failure to transfer undermines the credibility of the Federal Circuit more than Judge Newman’s mental state.

    1. 5.1

      Q: how much would I pay to see Malcolm go through a six hour mental exam?

      A: Not much – eleven minutes would be more than plenty to diagnose his severe cognitive dissonance.

      (but go ahead and believe his assertions – he is not anti-patent )

  8. 3

    all she has to do is take the exam to get out from under this. It is telling that she refuses to do so. Retire with dignity.

      1. 3.1.1

        Are you sure it was just two? I heard at the Dominionist Tax Free Patent blog that she took over forty seven different tests and achieved the highest score of any woman in history on every one of them.

      2. 3.1.2

        the tests were NOT administered by the appointed doctor. So, instead of clearing the Judge, these self-selected tests shows that she is deliberately disobeying a lawful court order.


          … as opposed to the “self-selects” railroading by those who avowed to make her life H e 1 1 if she did not go quietly?

          I will take the two independent doctors chosen by Judge Newman, thank you (especially seeing as both are entered into evidence in the legal action — with those potential penalties for false submissions to the Court).

  9. 2

    I would strongly recommend that people actually review all of the evidence that the Judicial Council has developed throughout the proceeding. While there has been a lot of public rhetoric about this proceeding and allegations of bad faith, if you go and read through it, the Judicial Council clearly found a lot of evidence supporting the concerns that ultimately led to the Complaint and the opening of this proceeding.

    1. 2.1

      I would strongly recommend that people actually review all of the evidence that the Judicial Council has developed throughout the proceeding.

      Would that we could review all the evidence. For better or worse, the record is sealed, except for the selected bits that the judicial council chooses to unseal. I dare say that any of us could be made to look pretty bad if someone were allowed to present whatever they wanted against us and we were given no chance to present our side of the story.

      1. 2.1.2

        “we were given no chance to present our side of the story.”

        Because she’s forbidden from making a statement?


          Correct. There is a judicial order in place restraining her from discussing the case in public. Only the judicial committee has the power to release information relating to the case. Judge Newman would be in contempt of court were she to share information that the committee has not already cleared for release.

      2. 2.1.3

        “we were given no chance to present our side of the story”

        Perhaps you could clarify what this means. There seems to have been quite a few instances of Newman and her attorneys said their piece to the press.


          Judge Newman and her attorneys are allowed to discuss information that the committee has already approved for public disclosure. They are not permitted to disclose information beyond that which the judicial committee has approved.

          Does that seem a fair procedure to you? It does not to me.


            I agree that sounds completely unfair.

            But I’m going to need more than a pay-walled link to believe that this is true. I can find nothing on Google stating that she cannot talk about the case, I can find no indication that her lawyers received permission to release their medical reports, and most tellingly I see no complaints from her lawyer about being gagged and unable to give her side of the story.

            Given that you typically present as a reasonable person, it seems likely to me that there is at least some hint of Newman being gagged in your link. I submit that whatever hint you see there should be subject to the highest degree of skepticism given her attorneys’ failure to mention this restraint in their full court press efforts.


              So it does seem like there is some sort of order, but I’m still not seeing any indication of restraint.

              The July 13 hearing includes this:

              “We would like some guidance from the Committee as to what can — obviously we understand that no witness names or witness statements can be discussed, I understand that, and we have tried to keep that — you know, to keep that within that order, but we would like to have some guidance as to which part of, beyond the fact that this hearing has occurred, can be discussed.”

              The subsequent discussion goes over the procedure for getting to releasing the transcript.

              The transcript was released.

              The transcript includes no other indication that the lawyer wanted to get information before the public. The transcript does include his objections to other procedural issues.

              It looks to me like the CAFC is being careful to cross every t rather than avoid accidentally releasing private information, and you’re using that to assume that Newman is being hampered from making her case to the public, when even her lawyer is not alleging (in public or private) any such restraint.


                The narrative is being controlled.

                Please tell me that you understand how that happens in today’s day and age.

    2. 2.2

      I put no stock in this because the “investigation” and the “decision” were conducted by the very colleagues who want her off the bench. Additionally, an hour should be enough to determine competency; if the others – the ones who think a camera is an abstract idea – think that 6 hours are necessary, then they should subject themselves to such a test.

      Welcome to the USSR.


          … follow the narrative, or else…

          And 6, it is already established that they were demanding she retire.

          Your armchair psych0analysis just does not cut it.


            “And 6, it is already established that they were demanding she retire.”

            Right, because she’s creating a disordering of the court’s operation. Which I’m sure they’ve tried a thousand times to remedy but will not work.


              Your notion of “creating disorder” simply has no merit, 6.

              You seek to deny reality with this very odd sense that one ‘must not’ create ANY disorder.

              You might enjoy this World War Z clip:

              link to youtu.be


                “ Your notion of “creating disorder” simply has no merit, 6.”

                Indeed. If you ignore all the facts, Newman is the greatest jurist in the history of the United States and we should rename the nation after her.

                1. I 1gn0re NONE of the facts.

                  I simply do not take the self-serving assertions to be facts.

                  You (supposedly) are an attorney and should recognize this.


                “You seek to deny reality with this very odd sense that one ‘must not’ create ANY disorder.”

                Um no anon, people can usually create a fair amount of disorder in their workplace, courts included. It’s when it reaches a certain level (varies depending on your workplace).


                Funny you mention wwz, I watched that movie with a single mom from over in security in the PTO (hapa QT), she wanted to engage in lesbian sapphic activities but she was so tired after the long movie that I just put her to bed as this was around the time when it was all “omg enthusiastic consent” days and I didn’t want to take advantage of her. She ditched out on me not long after I believe because I didn’t get sapphic enough with her that night lol. I still wonder if she’s taken over HR like she was hoping to back in the day. Must have been 7 years ago, I should hit her up see what she’s up to.

    3. 2.3

      Chief Judge Moore enters the ring. Congratulations and welcome. Now shame on you for dispensing “justice” in this poor manner. It reflects poorly on you, our court, our patent system, and our judiciary process. Shame on you for not having the confidence in your belief or the process to allow others to make the decision you so poorly force upon all of us. Every time you meet a practitioner, know that they look at you, and unfortunately the other members of the Federal Circuit, with masked contempt. We cannot show it or speak directly as we have or will cases at the Court. This is a stain that will be seen on those black robes for many many years. One you could have and should have avoided.

      1. 2.3.1

        The only thing worse are the anti-patent cheerleaders thinking that Judge Moore’s actions are somehow ok (or even worse, to be celebrated).

  10. 1

    “Judge Newman took and passed two 11-minute mental capacity examinations”

    These worthless tests were administered by her cronies and sponsored by rightwing organizations dedicated to dismantling the so-called “administrative state” and stuffing the judiciary with rightwing hacks.

    Regardless, kudos to the Federal Circuit for respecting their employees, their court, and for not caving to the bizarre online Newman fanboy club that arose out of the patent maximalist fever swamp.

      1. 1.1.1

        Looks like you aren’t so swift. Maybe try harder to keep up and peek behind the curtain when a paranoid narcissist claims that she has taken an “independent” test which is plainly anything but that.

      2. 1.1.2

        If you are confused by the reference to Newman’s bizarre online club of patent maximalist fanboys, then there’s probably no helping you.


            While I recognize that you meant the cream or ointment to treat such, I think it closer to the mark to suggest that hemorrhoids themselves (no matter how noxious) would be an improvement for Malcolm.

            If only could rise to that level…

    1. 1.2

      The Constitution provides for how judges are to be removed. I don’t care how many testimonials they got from people whose jobs depend upon them. And, much of it was from IT people. That’s really relevant.

      1. 1.2.1

        “The Constitution provides for how judges are to be removed.”

        Therefore all regulations impacting a Federal judge’s ability to do whatever he/she wants are unconstitutional.

        Sure. And you are not a crank.


          “I am going to pretend you said something else, and then condemn that.” Straw man much, TP?

          I said the testimonials, especially from IT personnel, are irrelevant.

          Now, cite which regulation she allegedly violated. It is a pretzel twisting at best.

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