For the better part of a decade, U.S. District Judge John McBryde has driven colleagues and lawyers in Fort Worth, Texas, around the bend with his behavior on the bench. Now he’s gone national with an argument that could radically alter the way federal judges police each other.

McBryde last October sued two successive judicial disciplinary panels that had found he treated lawyers abusively. The groups had gone so far as to strip McBryde of all new cases for one year–the most severe punishment ever imposed on a federal judge short of impeachment by Congress.

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