"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.
Wednesday, March 8, 2017
The #MaleChauvinistJudgeConradHafen is banned from the bench and "agreed" to "public censure" - for handcuffing a public defender for making a constitutional argument, and for several other cases. But, unabated bashing of female litigants and attorneys in the courtroom continues
The judge was then voted out of office and is now, reportedly, banned from ever be a judge in the future.
But, other judges are taking up the torch from Conrad Hafen.
There is still North Carolina judge Peter Knight who publicly reprimanded a woman for breastfeeding in the courtroom.
There is still Judge G. Todd Baugh of Montana who reportedly blamed the child victim of rape for committing suicide, and who is only going to be "censured", but remains on the bench.
There is still the California judge Aaron Persky who was re-elected, running unopposed, even though, as a sexist pig that he is, he has given only a slap on the wrist to a "golden kid", a Stanford University "athlete" Brock Turner, after the latter had sex with an unconscious woman right in the street.
Judge Persky was not disciplined - because he "did nothing wrong", and, moreover, a bunch of more elite kids, Stanford Law graduates, raised their voices - no, not in support of the victim, but in support of Judge Persky, the protector of the criminal.
Yet, I oppose fighting just for "women's rights".
What is needed is to eliminate the hurdles to resolve urgent human rights issues in this country - remove procedural barriers to civil rights actions in federal courts, remove the fear grip of the judiciary upon attorneys making them squawk in support of judges who feed them, instead of in support of victims of judicial misconduct.
Until that happens - "women's marches" won't help.