Today I published a couple of blog posts about judicial immunity.
Each time I read about the Star Chamber public policy justifications - no joke, policy justifications for judicial immunity did come out of a Star Chamber case (see my blog posts describing how the doctrine of judicial immunity emerged, here and here) - and each time I re-read those same policy justifications re-appear in decisions of modern-time federal courts, I keep wondering if federal judges spawning these justifications actually read the U.S. Constitution that they are all sworn to uphold - or if they care what it says.
In the Star Chamber England, the King was a sovereign and had absolute power.
It was a crime to criticize the King or other members of the government - a crime called "seditious libel", punishable by life in prison.
The crime of seditious libel was established by the same infamous Star Chamber in a case De Libellis Famosis in 1606.
The crime was to criticize the sovereign (King), his heirs, or the established government structure and order and bring the sovereign and government in disrepute, or to advocate for changes in the government.
Seditious libel was deemed a crime by the Star Chamber because criticism of the government tended to undermine respect and confidence in governmental authority.
In a democratic society we have the following differences which should lead courts to reject the policy of establishing absolute judicial immunity, for any acts by a judge, no matter how wrong, done on the bench, for the ultimate goal of maintaining the established order and public respect to authority at all costs:
- The sovereign in a democratic society and in the U.S. is not a monarch, and not a group of people, it is the ENTIRE PEOPLE of the country. Of course, I was sanctioned by a federal court for quoting from New York statutory law and from the U.S. and the New York State Constitution that the sovereign in the United States are the People and not the government. Apparently, federal judges do not and would not know this basic concept of the U.S. governance and democracy.
3. Moreover, misconduct of certain public officials which is documented must be disclosed to the public through different access to records statutes. On the federal level it is the Freedom of Information Act. On the level of New York State Law, it is Public Officers Law 87 (Freedom of Information Law) and Judiciary Law 255, for judicial records.
Thus, the public policy considerations preventing members of the public from getting access to and then criticizing, members of the government, are long obsolete and inapplicable in a democratic society governed by a Constitution.
Not to mention that, as I amply described in my previous two blog posts, the U.S. Supreme Court, a court of limited jurisdiction under the Article III of the U.S. Constitution, a court without power under the Constitution to create decisions that would be deemed to be Supreme Law of the land, conceded in a case Tower v Glover, 104 S. Ct. 2820, 2826 (1984) that it has no authority to create immunities based on public policy considerations that would restrict civil rights litigation.
If that is true, the U.S. Supreme Court has no authority to create immunities based on common law out of an institution abolished in the 17th century for its lawlessness (The Star Chamber) which immunities were based on the Star Chamber policy considerations.
Yet, that is what the U.S. Supreme Court did, for judges, prosecutors, police officers and a zillion of other public officials and private parties appointed by public officials, making civil litigation a joke and, in many respects and in relation to many classes of public officials such as judges and prosecutors committing misconduct in office, a waste of time.