The Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals honored NAFUSA members Ron Woods and Larry Finder at the Federal Bar Association Annual Judiciary Dinner in Houston on November 10, 2011 by presenting each a plaque with the inscription:
United States Courts Judicial Council Of The Fifth Circuit Presents To Ronald G. Woods/Lawrence D. Finder With Gratitude for Exceptional Assistance to Preserve the Integrity of the Judiciary. Presented in Houston November 10, 2011
The presenter was U.S. District Judge Sim Lake of Houston, who was appointed by the Chief Judge of the Fifth Circuit to serve on a Special Committee with Chief Judge Edith Jones and Fortunato “Pete” Benevides of the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals to hear the evidence against U.S. District Judge G. Thomas Porteous of New Orleans.
Pursuant to Title 28, U.S.C., Section 353, the Special Committee sat as judges in trial in the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Courtroom in New Orleans wherein Ron Woods and Larry Finder presented the evidence they had gathered against Judge Porteous, who represented himself. After a two day trial in a closed courtroom, the evidence was then summarized and presented to the full 19 member Judicial Council of the Fifth Circuit by Woods and Finder. Judge Porteous again represented himself before the Judicial Council.
As a result, the Judicial Council removed Judge Porteous from hearing any cases involving the federal government and forwarded the entire record to the Chief Justice of the United States, as presiding officer of the Judicial Conference of the United States, with the statement that Judge Porteous has engaged in conduct that might constitute one or more grounds for impeachment under Article II of the Constitution. The Judicial Conference reviewed the evidence and forwarded it to the U.S. House of Representatives with the statement that Judge Porteous has engaged in conduct that might constitute grounds for impeachment under Article II of the Constitution. The U.S. House of Representatives reviewed the evidence and impeached Judge Porteous. A trial was conducted in the United States Senate and Judge Porteous, now represented by Jonathan Turley, was convicted and removed from office on December 8, 2010. This was only the eighth time in history that the Senate has convicted and removed an impeached judge and only the third time in history that the Senate has issued an order disqualifying a judge fromever holding a federal office again.