The party is over for Judge Jeri B. Cohen; she'll have to find another Cuban child to victimize: her attempt to resurrect Dred Scott and apply it to the youngest Cuban refugee has backfired in the worst possible way for her future prospects as a judge or dogcatcher. Miami's Third District Court of Appeals, in a ruling which The Miami Herald described as "terse" and which we will translate as devastating, held that Judge Cohen could not resume deliberations in the Elenita case, as she intended to do on Monday while the Appellate Court was still considering whether to vacate her decision in the first phase of the custody trial, where she found Rafael Izquierdo a marginally-fit father and set the stage for Elenita's return to him and eventual repatriation to Cuba.
The last time the lawless judge delivered herself of an opinion on this case it was to excoriate the Florida Department of Children and Families for having "misled" her in requesting that the trial be put on hold while the Appellate Court reviewed Judge Cohen's holding. But a week or so away from the spotlight was more than she could bear, and even though you can't restart the clock while the referees are in the field debating a play, she nonetheless challenged the authority of her superiors in order to reinstate her own in this case. She's probably berating herself as we speak because she did not make a summary judgment granting Izquierdo custody while she could.
Having set herself up a long time ago as an antagonist of the Cuban community, she obviously believes that it is as such that she will carry Janet Reno's banner in Florida. But it was not be. Her credentials as a Cuban-hater, however, are still formidable and it is not unlikely that she will she seek and obtain preferment now, if not from the voters at least from President Hillary Clinton. Judge Cohen is the kind of woman Hillary admires: she has no scrupples and a vulture's eye for the main chance (didn't I use that phrase to describe Val Prieto recently? No matter, it fits Cohen better).
The second phase of the case, called an endangerment hearing, will not proceed if the Appellate Court reverses Cohen's bootless decision that Rafael Izquierdo did not abandon or contribute to the abuse of his daughter. The evidence is so overwhelming that he did that it is inconceivable that the judges on the appellate court will be unanimous in their indifference to that fact. A rebuke from the appellate court is what Judge Cohen feared most. Time time and time again she justified her deficient magistracy by asserting that she was determined to do nothing that would cause an appeals court to overturn her findings. Clearly, it was never about doing what was in Elenita's bests interest, but, rather, what most served Judge Cohen's. The appellate court will, hopefully, redress that balance. It has started to do so already by rebuking Judge Cohen for her latest assault on the Constitution.