"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, August 31, 2015

Criminal tricks serve to keep state Attorneys General in check

My previous blog described the mechanism of how state Attorneys General, elected public officials, are controlled by a select private group, which requires deregulation of the legal profession that serves many goals, but none of them is protecting any public interests, and many of them are downright criminal.

In addition to that post, I would like to point out the following string of logic:

  1. any conflicted representation is a discipilnary violation that may ultimately cause (depending on the degree of conflict) sanctions against a licensed attorneys and revocation of the attorney's license;
  2. all State Attorneys General are required by statutory law to be licensed attorneys;
  3. all state legislatures are run by attorneys;
  4. state legislatures enacted attorney licensing schemes that violate separation of power and antitrust laws, putting attorney regulation in the hands of private attorneys and judges who are also required to be licensed attorneys;
  5. state legislatures enacted statutes governing duties of the State Attorneys General that require Attorneys General to both enforce laws and protect state actors from enforcement of laws against them by members of the public when such a private enforcement is allowed by state or federal statutory law (the Civil Rights Act of 1871, 42 U.S.C. 1983);
  6. so, the state legislatures, run by lawyers, require that State Attorney Generals be lawyers, that only lawyers regulate the law licenses of the State Attorneys General, and that the State Attorney General must engage in a conflicted representation that at any time may become the subject of a discipinary prosecution and lead to revocation of the law license of the State Attorney General - and removal of the AG from office as not fulfilling the requirement of being a licensed attorney.
So, in other words, a statutory scheme is in place - in all states - to undermine the will of voters to elect certain people to the position of the Attorney Generals and to allow private interests to control State Attorneys General from their first second in office.

With such an axe over their heads, there is no wonder that no state Attorney General as yet even tried to raise the issue that they SHOULD NOT, ethically, represent state actors against private citizens in civil rights actions alleging violations of constitutional rights, because the AG was elected to protect people, not protect those who violate people's constitutional rights.

Yet, such a statutory scheme that puts an elected public official in constant apprehension of suspension of her or his livelihood of a lifetime if she steps out of line with private interests is nothing less than a criminal trick.

And I wonder when the People, the true sovereigns of their states, change their state Constitutions prohibiting attorney licensing BECAUSE of the problems with
  • undermining democracy,
  • blocking access to court,
  • preventing independence representation in court,
  • undermining the will of voters to elect individuals of their choice to public office, and
  • interfering with proper investigation and prosecution of crimes in states, and especially the most heinous crimes that do the most damage to the public, the crimes of corruption in public office
It's high time to do that.

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