U-S District Judge Manuel Real was 95 years old when he died in June. During his more than 50 years on the bench, Real handed down some notable decisions, including the ruling that led to the desegregation of Pasadena schools. Overall, though, his performance was less than stellar, according to Zocalo Public Square commentator Joe Mathews. Real was a well-known bully who ran his courtroom as his personal fiefdom and regularly flouted legal norms. Mathews says Real’s long tenure is an indictment of the judicial system, not something to be celebrated.
Judging the judge