A. Andrew Hauk, 91; Federal Judge Whose Comments Raised Some Hackles

Times Staff Writer

A. Andrew Hauk, a controversial federal judge who during his years of decision-making in the Central District repeatedly made comments from the bench that were widely viewed as intemperate, has died. He was 91.

Hauk died Tuesday in Pasadena, according to court officials. No cause of death was given.

For the record:

12:00 AM, Nov. 13, 2004 For The Record
Los Angeles Times Saturday November 13, 2004 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 0 inches; 29 words Type of Material: Correction
Hauk obituary -- The obituary of federal Judge A. Andrew Hauk in Friday’s California section said he was educated at Regis College in Massachusetts. The school is in Colorado.

Hauk, who was educated at Regis College in Massachusetts and studied law at Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C., and at Yale, was a private attorney before being named in 1964 to the Los Angeles County Superior Court by Gov. Pat Brown. Two years later, President Johnson named him to the federal court, advising him to render cases fairly, be decisive and “then sleep like a baby.”

Over the ensuing years, Hauk earned a reputation for making insensitive or demeaning remarks about women, homosexuals, environmentalists and others.


Using a derogatory term for homosexuals, he complained about the immigration of gays from Cuba. He once opined during a sex discrimination lawsuit brought by a woman that “probably a man wouldn’t do these crazy things” and went on to say that women “have different problems. They have their monthly problem, which upsets them emotionally, and we all know that, at least any of us who have wives and daughters.”

Though some lawyers defended Hauk, considering him a fair judge, his comments and bombastic behavior in the courtroom earned him a poor rating from the Beverly Hills Bar Assn.'s survey in 1976. The poll found that nearly three-quarters of 278 lawyers questioned, many of whom had appeared before him, thought Hauk was not temperamentally suited to his position.

2nd District Court of Appeal Judge Paul Boland, who clerked for Hauk in the 1960s, said Thursday that he and the dozens of other law clerks for Hauk through the years shared “a rich and memorable learning experience.”

“He treated his clerks like family and gave them a remarkable level of responsibility,” Boland said. “We were indebted to him for the skills and insights we acquired during our year with him.”


Boland added: “To us, he was as engaging a person in chambers as he was colorful on the bench.”

Hauk retired from active service in 1982 but continued to hear some cases for many years afterward. Federal judges can retain their positions until death.

In 1994, Hauk was barred by a panel of the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals from hearing civil rights cases regarding police brutality.

A year later, he called environmentalists in a landmark DDT pesticide case that he was dismissing “do-gooders and pointy-heads running around snooping” and said they were “always complaining about something or another.”


Hauk was born Dec. 29, 1912, in Denver. During World War II, he served in the Naval Reserve in intelligence, becoming a lieutenant commander.

An avid skier for many years, Hauk served as an official at the Squaw Valley Olympic Games in 1960.

“Skiing is like being a judge,” he told the Los Angeles Daily Journal in 1980. “You make quick decisions, and if you’re wrong, they’re brought up fast.”

He is survived by his daughter, Susan, and a brother, Paul, of Colorado. Services will be private.