"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 19, 2015

On shining integrity of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia - "those **** do not even bother to pretend anymore, do they?"

Justice Antonin Scalia argued constitutionality, propriety, reliance on history and tradition in the same sex marriage case. 

What he is doing in his own practice though, appears to be too much of the wrong "family tradition" - nepotism and cronyism, and too little due process that Justice Scalia apparently hates. 

Just some facts.  I am sure there are others...

In 2000 Antonin Scalia, as part of the majority of the U.S. Supreme Court, decides the case Bush v Gore, handing over the presidency to George Bush-the-son.

The very next year, in 2001, Antonin Scalia's son Eugene was appointed by President Bush-the-son to be a chief legal officer in the U.S. Department of Labor.

To nominate Judge Antonin Scalia's son George Bush used a "back-door procedure" bypassing the U.S. Senate. 

Nobody is seeing anything corrupt here, right?

The more - the merrier.

In 2004 Antonin Scalia had a duck hunting trip with his "longtime friend" Dick Cheney, Vice-President to - guess who - President Bush whom Antonin Scalia put on the throne.

This little issue that he was the "longtime friend" of part of the presidential team did not cause Scalia to recuse in 2000 in Bush v Gore.  Antonin Scalia reportedly angrily defended his right to go on a hunting trip with a litigant in front of him (and a longtime friend, which should have caused his recusal to begin with).  His justification?  Other justices actually were at Cheney's home at Christmas time...

In 2005, Justice Scalia lost his bid for the position of the Chief Judge of the U.S. Supreme Court because of "ethical problems" involving not in small part the duck-hunting trip with Cheney.

The article interlinked above is from January of 2005.  In September of 2005 John Roberts was appointed as a judge and selected as a Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Scalia did not stop his "ethical problems" at that.  Since there was at that point nothing to lose, and nothing to gain by "being good", he persisted in them.

In 2006, Scalia did not recuse from the case where his son Eugene Scalia's law firm argued a case in front of him, Wal-Mart v. Maryland.

Antonin Scalia did not disqualify himself despite calls from civil rights organizations to do so, moreover, he cast a decisive vote for his son's client.

As succintly summarized by an anonymous commentator on the web, "these f**kers don't even bother to pretend anymore, do they"?

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