"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.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Labor market regulation and the rate of arrests, criminal charges and incarcerations raising interesting questions

According to a study I recently read, 30% of jobs in the U.S. are certified or licensed.

Another 33% of Americans, or 1 in 3, have criminal records that often, if not always, preclude them from getting a decent job.

Licensing and certification process practically excludes those who have a criminal record, so we can assume that the 33% of Americans with criminal record cannot apply for the 30% of the U.S. jobs, the ones that require licensing or certification.

That leaves 27% of Americans who neither have a criminal record nor are licensed or certified, to be employed in "regular" jobs not requiring a license or certification.

Out of those 27% an undisclosed amount may have arrest records that did not result in a conviction, but may still prevent gainful employment.

So, at the rate America, on the one hand, increasingly regulates the labor market and closes entry into increasing number of professions, and, on the other hand, at the rate the U.S. increasingly charges and incarcerates its citizens (while failing to charge and incarcerate its politicians known for having committed crimes, such as, for example, those responsible for the torture program), the country may be killing its own labor markets and efficiency of its economy.

Something the candidates for presidential elections should think about and answer to the voters as to how they are going to fix this problem.

Or, is the problem of increased incarceration artificially created, to create felony convictions in minority population and to thus block the minority votes?

And there is also this interesting issue - do courts ever think about problems with the American labor market when they "impute" income charging parents, often with a criminal record, with the obligation to get jobs which they cannot possibly get?  To keep the debtor's prisons filled?

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