I was preparing today my administrative appeal of the 2nd Circuit's denial of my FOIA request about records of the so-called New York State-Federal Judicial Council - a shadow organization with secret membership (unless members self-report) where members (state and federal judges) and their advisors (private attorneys appearing in front of those judges) are appointed by the Chief Judge of the New York State Court of Appeals on the State side and by the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit on the federal side, an organization whose goals are, if we quote the Council's less secretive brother from California:
Once again, the goal of a secret membership organization of state and federal judges is to provide a vehicle for direct and personal communication between judges of the California state and federal courts concerning matters of mutual interest and concern.
So, given that state judges are defendants in civil rights actions in federal courts, what can be the "matters of mutual interest and concern" between state judges (potential defendants in civil rights actions in federal courts) and federal judges (who are supposed to be neutral adjudicators of those cases and have no ex parte contact with the defendants)?
According to the California State-Federal Judicial Council, those "matters of mutual interest and concern" are:
(a) elimination of actual or potential conflicts between the two judicial systems (and what is more of a conflict than when a state judge is sued and has to appear and ordered that his actions are unconstitutional by a federal judge?);
quality of representation is totally improved through ex parte communications - for one side, for sure, and during such ex parte communications attorney ethics simply soar, and that is especially true that attorneys "appointed" (by whom, when, how, on what grounds) to "advise" judges of both state and federal court (possibly, their own clients, or judges in whose courts they appear and practice) is completely and totally ethical
please, note that first and foremost, state and federal judges
and private attorneys advising them and appearing in front
of both state and federal judges and in front of
federal judges while representing state judges, "explore and
develop methods" how to utilize "scarce judicial assets"
(or, rather, the taxpayers' scarce resources), so as to benefit
"the two systems" first - and "citizens of the state"
as an afterthought and a lip service.
Of course, secret case-fixing benefit citizens of the state - at least, some of them.
and the U.S. District Court (Northern District of New York) Judge Mae D'Agostino, an experienced attorney, judge and a lecturer in the Continued Legal Education courses,
relied on a case from the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York, Chandler v United States, No. 06 CV 2481 NG LB, 2006 WL 2806383 (E.D.N.Y., Sept. 28, 2006), for the proposition that ANY records created by judges are judicial records exempt from disclosure under FOIA.
Even the New York State Court Administration known for its stalling of FOIL requests and bizarre reasons given for that stalling, confirms on its webpage that there are two classes of records retained by the court administration:
court records, records of court cases, not subject to Freedom of Information law, and
administrative records (including appointments of judges and records generated by judges that are not records of specific court cases) which are subject to Freedom of Information law:
And, state judges or private attorneys who are participating in a "blended body" with federal courts are not part of "federal judiciary" - or are they now? Article III of the U.S. Constitution is silent on it - or did they change it while we all slept? Appears that way based on denial of access to records of lists of membership containing state judges and private attorneys.
But - to rely on Chandler in support of the 2nd Circuit's and NDNY's claim that a secret-membership organization between state and federal judges which also includes private attorneys appearing in front of both state and federal judges while also advising them behind closed doors is somehow part of "federal judiciary" really required a law professor's mind.
If that law professor, Judge Katzman, before coming to the bench, sat in an ivory tower and had no clue about criminal law - while now deciding appeals from criminal cases.
Here is the Chandler case, in its entirety - it is just 2 pages.
The case was decided in 2006, by U.S. District Judge Nina Gershon, also a professor of law.
and Judges Mae D'Agostino (NDNY) and Robert Katzman (2nd Circuit) agree that the decision was correct and claim it in support of their own denial of access to their own records which has nothing to do with legitimate activities of federal judiciary, see my full administrative appeal of denial of access to records under FOIA here.
Violation of probation lands a convicted criminal back in front of the court.