The Bench Under Siege

Threats are part of judges' lives. But a ruthless attack on one family in their Chicago home tests the whole system

Careers in law often make people hard and suspicious. But employment lawyer Michael Lefkow and his wife, U.S. District Judge Joan Humphrey Lefkow, seemed to lead unusually open and trusting lives. The couple drove to work together and held hands in public. Michael's bio is displayed on his practice's website. It includes his hobbies: opera, reading about Lincoln, singing in his church choir. At one point--before white-supremacist groups pasted the information onto their own sites--he apparently posted photos of his daughters and even the address of his home, in a tree-lined neighborhood of Chicago. And although the family had been the...

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