"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, May 7, 2015

Breastfeeding as breach of decorum in court? Breastfeeding ladies, engage in court observation!

This is a topic that I have never come across before - until it was raised by Judge Kopf, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Nevada in his blog.

These are the beliefs of a sitting federal judge pertaining to breastfeeding:

  1. That breastfeeding in public at a public event makes the child's parents "narcissistic".
  2. That breastfeeding in court is a breach of decorum.
  3. That when breastfeeding in public, the mother most "cover" herself.

It is understandable that, being a male, a judge have never experience and will never experience the physiology of breastfeeding.

Yet, what the judge is saying is essentially this:

Breastfeeding mothers, I give you a choice:

1) do not come to public events lasting for a period of time that may require to breastfeed your baby, these political events are not for you; or

2) leave you baby at home, squeeze your milk and leave the baby with a babysitter - even if breastfeeding for you is an act of interaction with your child, each time;

3) leave formula for your child or bring it with you - but do not expose to the public that abominable appendage that Madonna showed in numerous paintings to feed her baby, paintings that public admire around the world;

4) or, COVER yourself.

I would, instead, have advice for Judge Kopf - get off the bench.

Your caveman views are completely inconsistent with views of a sitting judge.  Your blog will be perfectly fine, as a freedom of speech showcase and as a relic of "old times" - without you on the bench.

And - breastfeeding ladies, members of the public, without regard whether you are in a heterosexual or homosexual relationship or whether you are single Moms - I ENCOURAGE you to come to court with your babies to observe court proceedings - AND FEED YOUR BABIES, UNCOVERED, IN PUBLIC.

Let the presiding judges DARE try to tell you that it is a breach of decorum to feed your baby where and when your baby wanted to be fed and where and when you wanted to be as a member of the public and a court observer.

If they do, they will, most likely, be taken off the bench if the case his the headlines.

Come to political events - to press-conferences, to hearings in the U.S. Congress, come to court to observe open court sessions - AND BREASTFEED your baby, uncovered.

People who not only believe that a mother may not breastfeed in public, but who would act against the mother on such beliefs, should be immediately and relentlessly sacked.

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