"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).
“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.
“This 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, dissenting.
Wednesday, September 21, 2016
Federal judge and sexual predator Walter Smith rapidly retired pending investigation into his sexual misconduct - brought about at the demand of Texas attorney Ty Clevenger, who is now targeted for disbarment
Texas attorney Ty Clevenger was targeted for disbarment in retaliation for bringing about the re-opening of an investigation into sexual misconduct of a federal judge, and for writing to the Chief Judge of the U.S. Supreme Court requesting to speed up that investigation.
I am happy to report that attorney Clevenger's efforts at least amounted to resignation/retirement of Judge Smith during investigation - and removal of a sexual predator from a federal courthouse.
It is not reported that Judge Smith was criminally prosecuted, or disbarred - absolutely not.
He was allowed to retire and keep his pension and benefits, to be paid by us the taxpayers.
And, of course, courthouse employees, his victims, did not come forward with lawsuits against the court administration for deliberate indifference in exposing female court employees to a sexual predator in a position of power, same as it was done with another federal judge, Samuel Kent, who the judicial system refused to properly investigate and discipline, and who was finally caught, prosecuted, but given a slap on the wrist instead of a real prison sentence for what he deserved.
So - congratulations, attorney Ty Clevenger!
Your courage, at the cost of great personal sacrifice, have helped countless female employees and protected them from a sexual predator in a position of high power.
And shame on attorney disciplinary authorities and criminal authorities in the State of Texas and in the U.S. Attorney's office for not prosecuting Judge Smith for his crimes.
But - we already know that "honor" and "honorable" in the description of the legal profession is just an "honorary title". A meaningless one.