"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, September 18, 2014

The recurring epidemic of sexual insecurity among judges

Michigan has suspended Judge Wade McCree, son of the first black judge appointed to the federal appellate court in the 6th Circuit and former U.S. Solicitor general, for repeatedly having sex in chambers with a complaining witness in an ongoing criminal case over which Judge McCree was presiding.

Judge McCree was also offering his paramour to chose punishment for the defendant who was, "coincidentally", her husband in arrears for child support.

Yet, the son of a judge was not permanently removed, was not permanently barred from becoming a judge, he was merely suspended.

Nor was Wade McCree disciplined as an attorney, and continues to be, after all this scandal, "an attorney in good standing".

During the disciplinary proceedings, Wade McCree claimed he suffered from "hypomania", or uncontrollable impulsive behavior.  It is interesting that he recalled that only when he was about to be taken off the bench for misconduct.  How many lives he damaged with his hypomania, nobody knows.

The lawsuit by the victim (criminal defendant) against Wade McCree was dismissed without reaching the merits, on grounds of absolute judicial immunity for malicious and corrupt acts on the bench. 

Close in time, in California, two judges, Scott Steiner and Cory Woodward, were recently censured, but NOT taken off the bench for having sex in the courthouse.

Judge Scott Steiner reportedly had sex in his chambers with two of his former law students and then tried to get one of them a paid position in the local District Attorney's office.

Judge Woodward had sex with a court clerk, in his chambers and in public places in the courthouse and was passing notes to her of sexual nature during court proceedings.

Both judges apparently remain in the same courthouse and can continue with using the courthouse as their dating grounds, only this time they will be more careful.

Neither of the judges was disciplined as an attorney.

Today the New York Times has reported that a federal judge in the State of Alabama was charged with an assault on his wife when she confronted him for having sex with a law clerk.

Mark E. Fuller, the judge of the U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Alabama, is relegated to a position where he "does not have new cases assigned to him", but still continues to preside over cases, is not suspended and continues to receive salary and benefits as a public servant.

Mark E. Fuller was reportedly formally charged with assault in criminal court and entered a "diversion" program.

This writer has personally seen, in and out of the courthouse, SEVERAL male judges and their female law clerks in situations strongly suggesting that there was more than professional relationships between them - judging by the distance, or rather, lack thereof, the judge and his law clerk would maintain close to each other in social gatherings and in the courthouse, the way the female law clerk would brush off the judge's personal clothing worn at that time by the judge, the way the female law clerk would touch the judge...  People who did not know it was a law clerk asked me whether it was in fact the judge's spouse.

Yet, had I reported THAT, I would have disbarred long time ago... 

Judges can have sex in chambers with witnesses and remain "attorneys in good standing".  Attorneys who criticize judges for that most likely will get disbarred, and that is the problem with our system.

I do not know how Judges Steiner and Woodward got reported in California and what is the current fate of reporters, if any, against them, but Judge Wade reported himself when he filed a criminal complaint against his paramour for stalking and she went public with his sexts, while Judge Fuller was reported by his own beaten wife.  Again, no court personnel dared to report either of these judges.

In the absence of reporting because court employees and private attorneys are in fear of retribution from the system, such things continue and escalate into public scandals such as situations with Wade McCree, Scott Steiner, Cory Woodward and Mark Fuller.

Yet, since the situation seems to be proliferant, it begs a question -
is it the power getting into the judges' heads, or are they so insecure about their manly prowess and so hopeless to find anyone interested in dating them outside of the court system that they must necessarily use their power of office and their black robe to get a date?

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