The U.S. Supreme Court considered the case important enough to review on a writ of certiorari, and held:
So, the U.S. Supreme Court held in 2009 that there is an unconstitutional potential for bias where a judge is given such a large monetary "incentive" that, for any reasonable person, the "incentive" has a potential to sway the judge's opinion and prevent the judge from being impartial.
Since 2009, state and federal courts, including those in New York state, turn the blind eye on this case, claiming that recusal of a judge is a matter of the judge's absolute discretion - and punishing people who say otherwise.
By the way, while the U.S. Supreme Court clearly stated in its holding that a contempt proceeding cannot be handled by a judge who was "reviled" by the alleged contemnor's conduct, New York yanked licenses of two criminal defense/civil rights attorneys - John Aretakis and my own - without a hearing and based on sanctions imposed specifically by judges "reviled" by motions to recuse them.
And, no references to precedent of the U.S. Supreme Court helped.
John Aretakis was suspended a year before Caperton, and I was suspended 6 (!) years after Caperton - and both attorney Aretakis and I remain suspended, even though the suspension is clearly unconstitutional.
Information I am getting through research and feedback on this blog from other states indicates that in other states courts treat Caperton v A.T. Massey with the same disdain as New York.
Moreover, as it was recently revealed, yet another case is making its ways through the federal court system with allegations nearly identical to Caperton.
In Caperton, the case involved refusal to recuse of the West Virginia appellate judge Brent D. Benjamin
who accepted campaign contribution from a soon-to-be appellate litigant in the amount of $3,000,000, and then stuck like glue to the case, refused to recuse and overturned a $50,000,000 verdict.
In a federal class action in Illinois allegations are that State Farm insurance company "recruited" Lloyd A. Karmeier
to run for judicial elections and replace the judge who would be presiding over an appeal, organized and funded the campaign of Lloyd A. Karmeier to the order of $4,000,000, and then, when elected, State Farm reportedly deliberately lied as to the extent of its financial support of Judge Karmeier's election campaign - see all that, and more, reflected in the federal court order.
The federal court order reflects that the investigation that led to the federal class action was inspired by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Caperton:
Only the amount of money that this man - Brent Benjamin - was paid to be elected to overrule (50 million dollars):
was mere peanuts as compared with what State Farm paid this man, Lloyd Karmeier
to reverse - a $1.05 BILLION judgment.
So, Judge Lloyd Karmeier and his obvious misconduct is the reason for a class certification of the following class against State Farm Insurance:
Note that Professor of Law Erwin Chemerinsky is now a court-appointed class counsel. That's the same Professor Chemerinsky who lectures for BarBRI, an organization that was sued for shady conduct in how BarBRI courses are put together and how competition is squeezed out, including educators with better and more efficient ways of teaching for bar exams.
One thing that bothers me to no end.
Both "heroes" of bribery-through-elections, Judge Benjamin in West Virginia, and Judge Karmeier in Illinois, are very much on the bench, have their law licenses intact and were not disciplined for their misconduct.
Yet, at the very same time, two attorneys were suspended in these same states for criticism of judges:
- Lanre Amu in Illinois - who criticized judges for corruption and case-fixing, posted an open letter to the Illinois appellate court accusing certain judges of racism and corruption, and accused specific judges of specific ways of case-fixing; and
- Stephen Hall in West Virginia - a lawyer who accused judges, in legal pleadings, of racism and corruption.
- Thomas; and