The Response to Defensiveness Is in the Eyebrows
To some extent, the suspicious mind will be inclined to see evidence in contradiction, but Supreme Court Chief Justice Frank Williams does seem to be a bit to defensive about his sudden decision to retire:
“Why can’t they accept the truth for a change?” he asked with frustration. “Why can’t they accept the fact that we accomplished what we set out to accomplish in my inauguration, which was big, and we did it in very quick time. I want to be relieved from the administrative burdens that are 24/7 as chief, and I want to continue to do jurisprudential stuff … Why can’t that be accepted?” …
“If I stayed two years for 100 percent [of my pension] instead of leaving for 75 percent, I’d get criticized for that, too,” he said. “If I think outside the box and say, at [age] 68, I have other interests, in cooking and Lincoln and writing, why isn’t that acceptable? Because this is Rhode Island, because people here are suspicious and cynical?”
Believing Rhode Islanders to be “suspicious and cynical” and knowing the recent history of those who’ve held his position, Williams would be, you’d think, more apt to acknowledge the appearance of his decision. He might even have sent out signals for months in advance were there not some sudden catalyst.
Or perhaps he’s just an impetuous guy, in which case it’s undoubtedly a positive development for the state that his impulse was to resign.