"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.

Monday, April 27, 2015

The ultimate solution for the mushrooming caseloads by cranky judges - just toss the cases and punish the victims of governmental misconduct

In 2004 federal courts made an announcement that federal courts are suffering severe budget cuts, and that may affect the length of time when issues are resolved in such federal courts, as well as will put a larger load on senior-status judges (whose legitimacy is questionable and was challenged by many legal scholars), see here and here.

Since 2004, funding of federal courts did not become better while population and caseloads continued to grow.

So, what kind of solution did federal courts, courts of limited jurisdiction where the only cases heard are cases between citizens of different states (diversity) and federal civil rights cases, invented to deal with the "mushrooming caseloads"?

A very easy solution:

(1) aggressively apply court-invented and unconstitutional "deferences", "abstentions" and "immunities" to dismiss as many civil rights cases as possible without allowing discovery to begin;

(2) sanction for "frivolous conduct" as many litigants and especially civil rights attorneys as possible, so that litigants and civil rights attorneys will be afraid to touch civil rights cases, for fear of having to pay thousands of dollars in legal fees to perpetrators of constitutional violations absolved by the courts from liability based on court-invented "deferences", "abstentions" and "immunities", unconstitutional judicial amendments to the Civil Rights Act enacted by the U.S. Congress;

(3) invent "court rules", such as costly and unnecessary "mandatory mediation" and "page limit" rules which drain litigants' scarce financial resources and force litigants and their counsel to reduce issues they want to raise to the bare minimum, which allows the courts to dismiss cases and claim that issues are not properly and fully presented and pled;

(4) stream appeals of civil rights litigants for a "speedy track", assign them to 70 to 80-year old senior-status judges who do not read the appeals, but instead rubber-stamp them "affirmed" by "summary orders", thus denying civil rights appellants equal protection of laws with other appellants, and denying civil rights appellants their right for a full appellate review and instead providing them a certiorari review, in contravention of appellate federal statutes.

In other words, to deal with budgetary problems and the limited number of judges who cannot physically handle the 600 to 800+ caseloads per judge, the only solution the courts invent is to continue to violate constitutional rights of civil rights litigants (for access to court, due process of law and impartial judicial review), the very same litigants whose constitutional rights have been already violated, that's why they are suing in the first place.

To break the law to fit into the budget is an answer of federal courts who are put in place to redress constitutional violations.

At the very same time, one thing I do not see reduced, despite budget cuts, is salaries of judges.  Those appear to be only growing, and, with judges "assuming senior status" and new judges appointed, the budget is only mushrooming more.

So, the corps of judges continues to grow and continues to be paid ridiculous salaries to do what - toss cases on invented and unconstitutional basis to address budgetary cuts?

A book was published back in 1999, "The Federal Courts: Challenge and Reform" by judge Richard A. Posner, where the author squarely spotted the growing trend of sanctioning civil rights plaintiffs and tied it to the necessity to get rid of the growing caseloads.

So, the more the government grows, the more immunities it is given by courts, the more it violates people's constitutional rights.

The more the government violates people's constitutional rights, the more people sue.

The more people sue, the more the caseloads become on federal and state courts.

The more the caseloads become, while budgets of courts are cut, the more frustrated judges become since they are stressed by growing caseloads (without any fault of the litigants).

The more frustrated judges become - the more they sanction the victims of governmental misconduct, to punish them into silence.

And that trend, since 1999, got only worse.  At this time, and this is my own experience as an attorney, courts stretch immunities, especially the absolute judicial immunity for malicious and corrupt acts, even where it was never declared (initially) to be - to judges' actions off the bench affecting their impartiality in litigation, and aggressively sanction litigants and their counsel simply for asking courts to help them redress violations of their constitutional rights. 

While federal courts admitted that they are "losing fight to manage workload", attempts were made at the same time by the same courts, and continue into the present time, to win that time at the expense of the very people whose rights federal courts were created to protect.

In other words, cranky judges retaliate against victims of constitutional violations by members of the government because constitutional violations of the government become too numerous for the cranky judges to handle.  There is no logic, or law underlying such attitude and judicial decisions driven by such attitude - but the trend in federal and state courts of sanctioning civil rights plaintiffs and their attorneys into silence continues with a vengeance.

With such an approach by courts - what kind of respect can courts expect from the public?

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