"If the judges interpret the laws themselves, and suffer none else to interpret, they may easily make, of the laws, [a shredded] shipman's hose!" - King James I of England, around 1616.
“No class of the community ought to be allowed freer scope in the expression or publication of opinions as to the capacity, impartiality or integrity of judges than members of the bar. They have the best opportunities of observing and forming a correct judgment. They are in constant attendance on the courts. Hundreds of those who are called on to vote never enter a court-house, or if they do, it is only at intervals as jurors, witnesses or parties. To say that an attorney can only act or speak on this subject under liability to be called to account and to be deprived of his profession and livelihood by the very judge or judges whom he may consider it his duty to attack and expose, is a position too monstrous to be entertained for a moment under our present system,” Justice Sharwood in Ex Parte Steinman and Hensel, 95 Pa 220, 238-39 (1880).
case illustrates to me the serious consequences to the Bar itself of not
affording the full protections of the First Amendment to its applicants for admission.
For this record shows that [the rejected attorney candidate] has many of the
qualities that are needed in the American Bar. It shows not only that [the
rejected attorney candidate] has followed a high moral, ethical and patriotic
course in all of the activities of his life, but also that he combines
these more common virtues with the uncommon virtue of courage to stand by his
principles at any cost.
It is such men as these who have most greatly honored the profession of the
law. The legal profession will lose much of its nobility and its glory if it is
not constantly replenished with lawyers like these. To force the Bar to become a
group of thoroughly orthodox, time-serving, government-fearing individuals is to
humiliate and degrade it.” In
Re Anastaplo, 18 Ill. 2d 182, 163 N.E.2d 429
(1959), cert. granted, 362 U.S. 968 (1960), affirmed over strong
dissent, 366 U.S. 82 (1961), Justice Black, Chief Justice Douglas and Justice Brennan,
“Because the law requires that judges no matter how corrupt, who do not act in the clear absence of jurisdiction while performing a judicial act, are immune from suit, former Judge Ciavarella will escape liability for the vast majority of his conduct in this action. This is, to be sure, against the popular will, but it is the very oath which he is alleged to have so indecently, cavalierly, baselessly and willfully violated for personal gain that requires this Court to find him immune from suit”, District Judge A. Richard Caputo in H.T., et al, v. Ciavarella, Jr, et al, Case No. 3:09-cv-00286-ARC in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, Document 336, page 18, November 20, 2009. This is about judges who were sentencing kids to juvenile detention for kickbacks.
"The legal profession must take great care not to emulate the many occupational groups that have managed to convert licensure from a sharp weapon of public defense into blunt instrument of self-enrichment". Walter Gellhorn, "The Abuse of Occupational Licensing", University of Chicago Law Review, Volume 44 Issue 1, September of 1976.
Saturday, June 11, 2016
A Georgia judge #JDavidRoper denies name change to a transgender man as public fraud and offensive to public mores and sensibilities
Apparently, with what is happening now with the boycotting of North Carolina events because of its discrimination against transgender people, judge Roper is seeking publicity for himself.
Well, Judge Roper has had a lot of publicity lately without his "name fraud" ruling - a year ago a court clerk (!) filed an affidavit accusing the judge of “persistent practice of trying to micromanage the clerk’s office” through “checking out original files relating to cases assigned to him and keeping them for months at a time.”
Wow - first, that is what ALL judges do in Delaware County, NY - ALL of them. They check out court files without written notations that the file is with them, do not return them for months - or years, actually, including the time when appeals of their decisions are pending and their withholding of records prevents perfecting the appeals, accept filings bypassing the Clerk's office, file with the Clerk's office wherever they want (or whenever they are caught holding onto the files) or give away records from the file to the parties they favor during the pendency of appeals against such parties.
Oh, brother - that is a felony in Georgia.
We are ruled in New York by felons. Because, in New York there are also rules of filing and keeping records in the court file, but rules are not followed and who is going to prosecute judges - the DA for whom local judges bend over backwards and whose license is in the hands of the judiciary?
But, back to Georgia.
The clerk who lost it in Georgia, stated in her affidavit against the judge that "“[h]e marks documents filed with his own filing stamp, but does not timely send them to the clerk’s office for recording,” and that Judge Roper "would get irritated with her staff when they asked him to return records."
Judge Roper seems to get irritated with a lot of things - not only the lawful requests of the clerk for the judge to follow the law about filing and keeping of the court records, but also about people's right to ensure that their name reflects their gender identity.
The clerk also stated in the affidavit that "“Judge Roper has in the past checked out files, kept these files for months, and sometimes over a year, had lawyers file additional documents with him and has kept litigation files that are a matter of public record away from public inspection and review,” Mason wrote in her affidavit. “This practice is contrary to the law and makes it impossible for the press and public from seeing files that are by law subject to public inspection.”
This is like a breath of fresh air to me.
For a court clerk, instead of bending over backwards to accommodate ANY - and, I mean, ANY - illegal shenanigan of a judge, simply to keep her job, this clerk is actually insisting that a judge must follow the law, in an open affidavit filed against the judge.
Of course, Judge Roper actually asked for it - as I just wrote in my other blog today, sometimes judges forget themselves with their criminal shenanigans and step just too far.
Stepping too far in this case was when Judge Roper tried to hold the court clerk in criminal contempt of court:
"Mason’s affidavit comes in response to a contempt complaint that Roper filed against her June 1 (2015 - T.N.) for “willfully failing to comply” with an order Chief Superior Court Judge J. Carlisle Overstreet issued in January about how public documents should be filed."
Well, the clerk stated exactly how the documents should be filed - or are filed by Judge Roper - in her affidavit.
"Under Georgia law, any public officer who alters, defaces or falsifies any minutes, document, book or proceeding belonging to the state can face a felony charge and between two to 10 years in prison" - and it should be this way.
And not only in Georgia.
Of course, the judge dropped citation against the clerk when the social media fury was unleashed in her support - so much for judicial independence.
Well, now Judge Roper is right back into the media attention, when he tried to impose his own "mores" and "sensibilities" upon the public - and deprive a person of his identity because the judge believes, reportedly, that:
"Name changes which allow a person to assume the role of a person of the opposite sex are, in effect, a type of fraud on the general public. Such name changes also offend the sensibilities and mores of a substantial portion of the citizens of this state."
Who could tell that court proceedings are to be decided based on "sensibilities and mores of a substantial portion of the citizens of this state"?
I thought, such issues are issues of individual liberty and autonomy, to be decided under the Due Process Clause of the 14th Amendment, not by a majoritarian vote.
And, as to vote - I wonder where did the judge get that idea, that name changes "offend the sensibilities and mores of a substantial portion of the citizens of this state".
Is Judge Roper some kind of a polling agency?
An appeal was filed from Judge Roper's decision, and I will continue to cover this story.