"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).

“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.

" I do not believe that the practice of law is a "privilege" which empowers Government to deny lawyers their constitutional rights. The mere fact that a lawyer has important responsibilities in society does not require or even permit the State to deprive him of those protections of freedom set out in the Bill of Rights for the precise purpose of insuring the independence of the individual against the Government and those acting for the Government”. Lathrop v Donohue, 367 US 820 (1961), Justice Black, dissenting.

"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.

“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.

Thursday, February 9, 2017

Why is the Goliath 9th Circuit Court getting castrated?

Last month, legislation was reportedly introduced in the U.S. Congress by two Republican senators to leave only three states and "two island districts" within the #USCourtofAppealsforthe9thCircuit,
  • the "most reversed" U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit,
  • the court with the most backlog in the country,
  • the court that, same as other federal courts, handles death penalty appeals,
  • and yet also the court where its busy judge Alex Kozinski has time and is allowed to hold nights with movies and booze in the courthouse,
  • as well as has time to lend his consulting hand to award-winning multi-episode movie series, like the recent "The Goliath" (which a lot of complex procedural issues were covered correctly, which required a lot of work on behalf of the consultant) and where Judge Kozinski also satisfied his movie mania by playing a role - of Judge Kozinski;
  • not to mention Alex Kozinski lending his helping hand in reviewing scientific validity of forensic evidence, a mammoth project that resulted in a 174-page report.

Right now the 9th Circuit covers an enormous area:

Apparently, "The Goliath" of the court, even with its 44 district judges, does not handle its duties very well, if parties are waiting for 15 months or more for resolution of their cases.

Moreover, according to the statement to the U.S. Senate's Judiciary Committee of that same 9th Circuit's Judge Alex Kozinski who has his finger in every pie - including, most recently, not only "The Goliath" movie series, but also participation in the committee on scientific validity of evidence used in court (a most time-consuming endeavor), when parties ask for hearings "en banc", they do not get them - ever, because the court considers it "too impractical" to have the entire court of 44 judges, from all over the country, to hear a particular case, and thus the "en banc" (the whole court) decisions are not truly en banc in this single federal appellate court in the United States.

So, why is the 9th Circuit getting castrated (oops, reduced)?

Is it because of the long-standing problems of that court, failure to provide a review of cases within a reasonable time, failure to conduct en banc decisions truly en banc, by the entire court?

Or is it because the Court irated the President of the United States by its recent, admittedly lousy, performance of its two judges, Canby and Freidland, during the oral argument of the frivolous case challenging, without standing, the President's Executive Order on immigration?

Of course, the 9th Circuit, in its unanimous decision issued today, found standing - but yet, the 9th Circuit did not have authority to overrule a decision of Judge Gordon from the 1st Circuit where Judge Gordon did not find standing of immigrants that are located outside of the country, and who refused to stop the President's discretionary and facially neutral Executive Order.

That alone which makes the 9th Circuit decision allowing the stay of the President's Executive Order nationwide to proceed pending the President's appeal, while that stay, without authority, included Massachusetts, jurisdiction of the 1st Circuit, not the 9th Circuit, made the 9th Circuit decision overbroad and void as being made without jurisdiction, not to mention its other defects.

I will publish my comparison of the decisions of Judge Gordon and the 9th Circuit tomorrow.

As to castration of the 9th Circuit which was planned in anticipation of what happened today, it looks, unfortunately, that, even though the need existed for a very long time, any long overdue changes in jurisdiction of that court only started to occur when the court stepped on President's toes.

And that is teaching us, common folks, that in this country, positive changes can only take place if interest of big money or powerful people are involved.

But - that is not the rule of law, is it?

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