"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.

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit made yet another non-precedential decision against Mr. Neroni, which it had not right to do under its Article III power

I was alerted by a friend today that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit has issued a "summary order" on my husband's pro se appeal in his pro se case Neroni v. Coccoma, a shameful case where a federal court connected with multiple ties to the defendants and their law firms made a decision for law firms under circumstances clearly suggesting disqualifying conflicts of interest.  My husband did not receive a copy of the decision in the mail yet. 

Yet, the 2nd Circuit swept the case of potential judicial corruption under the rug under the guise that a judge is allegedly the arbiter of his own recusal.  Not in federal court, where such a recusal is governed by federal statute and by federal Constitution.   

The federal appellate court, instead of doing its job and providing a proper review on the appeal of Mr. Neroni's civil rights case, did what it usually does on civil rights appeals - did a "summary order", most likely without reading the record, and providing a 2-page decision (it is actually a 4.1 page decision, but 2 pages were taken by the caption) which the court finds not binding upon itself in the future (non-precedential).

That was in denial of Mr. Neroni's right to a full analysis, full appellate review (as of right!) and full precedential decision with a de novo review of all issues upon which the appeal was made.

Legal scholars have been in an active debate for quite some time that the policy of making "non-precedential" decisions on federal appeals, and especially targeting civil rights appeal for this "practice" and "policy", is in violation of federal court's grant of power under Article III of the U.S. Constitution, and are violating litigants' due process, equal protection and access to courts rights.

Moreover, the court refused to certify questions of state law that the lower federal district court resolved instead of the highest New York court, and while resolution of the federal question heavily relied upon issues of state law.

I understand that the courts are either lazy, or overwhelmed with cases, or both.  But, if they take people's filing fees and pretend that it is an appeal as of right, the review of the appeal should be fit to the appeal "as of right" and should result in a precedential decision.

Of course, in this particular case where the lower court heavily catered for the wife of a high-ranking New York State judge, and at the time when Mr. Neroni raised issues of misconduct of the New York State Attorney General where the district court judge's son is employed, the appellate court may not have wanted to touch this case with a 10-foot fishing pole and to create a precedential decision.

But, if one does not want to do one's designated job, one should step down and let other people to do that.  Otherwise one is violating one's oath of office.

I will blog later about what Mr. Neroni will do in furtherance of his case.

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