"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, July 12, 2015

Judge Kopf is forced to stop blogging - even though he denies it - because his blog shows too much of the (usual warped) working of judicial minds

Judge Kopf of Nebraska federal court was, probably, the only blogging judge in this country.

Same as blogging for lawyers, it is an "unspoken taboo" to spill the guts of the "workings" (or, rather, "non-workings") of the judicial system in the U.S.

My blog, which has recently reached and exceeded 200,000 views from around the world, is an illustration of how spooked the subjects of the criticism are - I was even charged for criminal contempt and the object of my criticism asked the court to put me in jail for what I had an absolute right to do, discussing my own case, and incompetence, laziness and sheer, let's say, irrationality is the polite word, of the people who handled my case, on the judicial and prosecutorial side, in the open.  Blogging on issues of public concern is protected by the 1st Amendment - isn't it?

Including Judge Kopf's blogging.

Yet, Judge Kopf did a lot worse to the judicial system than I did.

When I criticized the judiciary, the judiciary could defend by saying that it is just my opinion, and my opinions are - check from a long list of swear words for the one that would be fitting as to how bad and incompetent my opinions must necessarily be (since they criticize the judiciary, they must be incompetent).

Judge Kopf did an indefensible thing by actually revealing the though process of the judiciary and subjected the judiciary and his court to public scrutiny, criticism by scholars and the press, and jeopardized new and old cases pending in court where he participated, due to his publicly announced prejudices and prejudgments.

The rule of courts pertaining to judges - you are immune for malicious and corrupt behavior, do whatever you want to do, but BE DISCREET!  It is usually the rule of thieves, of course, but, if the shoe fits...

Judge Kopf lifted the veil of the so-called "judicial deliberation", the sacred cow of the judicial system.

How many things are dumped and explained away because of the "judicial deliberation".

When a judge refuses to recuse and says that he "examined his own conscience" and found that he can remain impartial (even if it is obvious to any reasonable impartial observer that it is an outright blatant lie), that decision is usually assigned to "judicial discretion" and the "deliberative process" of judicial thinking is usually affirmed by appellate courts.  After all, there is no record of the "deliberative though process" of judges and there is no way to X-ray their conscience to see whether they reviewed anything, whether they have a conscience to review and consult, and whether, after review of this intangible substance, what they are saying is true.

Once again, Judge Kopf did a lot worse than that.

Judge Kopf actually reveals his views - which, judging by judicial decisions that I reviewed in my career as a legal assistant, law student and then attorney - does not seem to be so much off mainstream of "judicial thinking", at least what glimpses of this "thinking" is available through such decisions.

Judge Kopf instead just spelled out what other judges were too timid or secretive to express.

Judge Kopf is the one who revealed that he would have not one, not two, but three reasons why he would allow an execution of an innocent person to proceed, and one of those prominent reasons would be - he waited too long.  Meaning - those pesky people bothering the judge with their pesky rights, including a right to life - why wouldn't they judge go away and not take the valuable judicial time.  They waited too long, they sat on their rights and now they want what - to live? How ridiculous.

This is the judge, by the way, who gave "advice" to female litigators not to dress in a way that would cause the law clerks to call such a female attorney "an ignorant slut" behind their backs.

Says a lot about judge-personnel relationship where not only the judge does not control disrespectful outbursts of his personnel against attorneys, and especially from the lips of law clerks who, according to Judge Kopf author his decisions - but Judge Kopf completely endorses those outbursts and lays it out to female attorneys as if it is the law...

I published criciticism of Judge Kopf's "judicial thought process", as well as of other examples of Judge Kopf's thought processes expressed in his blog.

I criticized Judge Kopf's blog on the following topics:

1) his readiness (and three "reasons") to execute an innocent that I criticized both in English and in Russian - as well as on Facebook;
2) his frustration with people supporting the gay marriage - his advice to them: "grow the f**k up", an advice most peculiar in the face of the recent U.S. Supreme Court decision also supporting the gay marriage;
3) his belief (amounting to pre-judgment) that all criminal defendants coming in front of him are guilty before he hears the evidence.

Actually, my blog criticizing Judge Kopf on his "stand" against gay marriage supporters is on the first page if you search for it on Google.

And Judge Kopf's open stand against the gay marriage, interestingly, very possibly was the reason for the forcible demise of his blog.

Here is the timeline:

May 3, 2015 - Judge Kopf advises supporters of gay marriage to "grow the f**k up";
May 7, 2015 - date of my blog criticizing that blog post (which is on top of Google search);
June 26, 2015 - the U.S. Supreme Court upholds the right to a gay marriage on equal protection grounds;
July 9, 2015 - Judge Kopf "pulls the plug" on his blog, after profusely stating that pulling the plug was not forced (other than the Chief Judge of the court made it her business to poll the court employees about Judge Kopf's behavior asking them a question if his blog was an embarassment to the court system, the majority allegedly said "yes", and somehow the Chief Judge considered it her duty to impart the results of her alleged public opinion poll to Judge Kopf - without openly telling him to "shut the f**k up").

It is my belief that it is the stance by Judge Kopf on gay marriage which ran contrary to the U.S. Surpeme Court's decision that forced the Nebraska court to finally tell Judge Kopf not to continue to reveal the "judicial thought process" - which, as I said above, I don't believe was any different from "thought process" of other judges, they simply do not reveal this secret of secrets to the public for fear of losing public trust and their own legitimacy.

But what is the most conspicuous is the gap between the date of Judge Kopf's blog on the three reasons as to why he would execute an innocent and his "pulling the plug" date, under obvious pressure from the Chief Judge of the Nebraska federal district court.

On March 25, 2014 Judge Kopf published his blog post indicating that he has a prejudice against female attorneys who do not dress in a way that would please Judge Kopf's law clerks.

That did not cause the Chief Judge of Judge Kopf's court to conduct a private opinion poll amongst the court employees as to whether Judge Kopf's blog is an embarrassment to the judicial system.

On September 10, 2014.Judge Kopf published his opinion that he would execute an innocent person while knowing about his or her factual innocence and found three reasons for doing it.

That did not cause the Chief Judge of Judge Kopf's court to conduct a private opinion poll amongst the court employees as to whether Judge Kopf's blog is an embarrassment to the judicial system.

On December 28, 2014 Judge Kopf revealed that, in his opinion, all criminal defendants are guilty at the time of plea negotiation process - that means, before the evidence is in, and that also means that Judge Kopf are pre-judging criminal cases.

That did not cause the Chief Judge of Judge Kopf's court to conduct a private opinion poll amongst the court employees as to whether Judge Kopf's blog is an embarrassment to the judicial system.

On May 3, 2015 Judge Kopf called supporters of gay marriage "special snowflakes" and suggested for them "to grow the f**k up".

Within a month and a half, the U.S. Supreme Court supported the gay marriage.

At about the same time, on July 6, 2015, Judge Kopf publishes a blog where he criticizes proposal of the U.S. Senator Cruz to conduct intermediate elections for the U.S. Supreme Court and other federal judges and make them accountable to the American people "a wacko".

Moreover, Judge Kopf went so far as claiming that Senator Cruz is unfit to be president because - the horror! - he encroached upon the sacred cow, the judicial unaccountability, which Judge Kopf somehow equated with violating the U.S. Constitution.

Somehow, prejudging criminal cases does not violate the U.S. Constitution in Judge Kopf's eyes.

Somehow, sending an innocent to an execution and finding three reasons for doing it does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

Somehow, endorsing discriminatory behavior against female attorney by law clerks does not violate the U.S. Constitution.

Attempting to bring accountability to the absolute and unbridled judicial power/tyranny - that is what allegedly violates the U.S. Constitution.

THEN the Chief Judge of Judge Kopf's court has had her now famous "private opinion poll" of court employees, an extraordinary step which had nothing to do with any kind of legal procedure, and imparted to Judge Kopf that the employees not only judge female attorney's attire, but also Judge Kopf's blogging - which somehow forced Judge Kopf to pull the plug on a blog of many years, and activity protected by the 1st Amendment.

Judge Kopf is on a senior status, meaning that nothing can hurt his position or his pension.  Why did he really pull the plug on his blog and what kind of threats were imparted to him, remains a mystery.  I highly doubt that the opinion of court personnel mattered to Judge Kopf to the point of stopping his blogging activity.

When somebody stresses that something is NOT the reason to "pull the plug" on the activity protected by the 1st Amendment, and when somebody like Judge Kopf, an outspoken and "cranky" judge, goes out of his way to "explain away" his decision as voluntary and having nothing to do with pressure from the U.S. Legislature or the Chief judge, something stinks.

One does not have to be a mind reader or a detective to see the political pressure to be all over Judge Kopf's decision to pull the plug on his blog - and especially the timing is conspicuous.

Criticism of a presidential candidate on July 6, 2015 - pulling the plug on July 10, 2015.

I doubt that the Chief Judge even COULD poll all court personnel over the week immediately after the 4th of July weekend - when all courts go into deep hibernation and send out their personnel on vacations.

What is interesting though, whether the "private opinion poll" was a reality or a fantastical pretext for coercion of Judge Kopf, is not what was the trigger for Chief Judge's pressure on Judge Kopf, but what WAS NOT such a trigger.

It is not suprising that the Chief Judge was irked into action when Judge Kopf has shown TOO MUCH of the judicial thought process and stepped on the toes of a potential president who may be in charge of future judicial appointments.

It is not surprising that the American judiciary is not only lawless, lazy and incompetent, but is also arrogant and cynical.

The interesting part is - just how arrogant they are.  Do they think there is no way of summing up what they DO NOT consider affecting a judge's qualifications to sit on that bench?

So, let's sum it up.

For the American judiciary (as reflected by Judge Kopf's blog and no reaction from the Chief Judge or the Supreme Court to these opinions), it is ok to execute innocents.

For the American judiciary, it is ok to prejudge criminal cases and treat all criminal defendants like trash, the presumption of innocence be damned.

For the American judiciary, it is ok to discriminate against women, including female attorneys.

Yet, for the American judiciary, it is not ok to run contrary to what your superiors say and call "snowflakes" supporters of gay marriage right before the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the gay marriage.

And, for the American judiciary, it is not ok to explain to the public in black and white that the American judiciary opposes any law that can impose accountability on it - and call a people's representative's (and a presidential candidate's) proposal on that subject "a wacko".  Appearances come first.  The judiciary will filibuster such a law without unnecessary fanfare anyway.

So much for the rule of law, but THANK YOU, Judge Kopf, for a unique insight into the workings of judicial mind.

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