"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.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The law of the (little) land(s)

I assume everybody heard the expression "the law of the land".

I believe, many people who are familiar with litigation heard or read that phrase in connection with the U.S. Supreme Court precedents which are NOT, as a matter of law, the law of the land - yet, courts deem them so and honor them more than the U.S. Constitution, the real law of the land.

Article 6 Clause 2 establishes only the U.S. Constitution, federal statues and treaties as the "law of the land" - that is the so-called "Supremacy Clause" of the U.S. Constitution.

I was sanctioned for pointing that out to a federal court, that called my constitutional arguments, including this particular argument, "frivolous".  

Yet, the main "law of the land" that every attorney and litigant, probably, got across, has nothing to do with the U.S. Constitution, Article 6 Clause 2.

It is becoming so much the main "law of the land" that, as I wrote here, the entire country of lawyers pays, through "ethical courses" in Continued Legal Education classes which are required to maintain law licenses in this country, to learn about "pet peeves" of judges, their written and especially unwritten little quirks that, in "their" courts is - the law of the land, or the law of their little lands, their little kingdoms that they created for themselves while YOU THE SOVEREIGN, my dear readers, are asleep at the wheel.

The main "law of the land" is the local rules of judges.

Some judges plainly put it to the parties - my court, my rules, my law, don't try to tell me what the law is. And those "rules", written and unwritten, concern everything, from where and how you file and serve (and be served with) the pleadings, to whether a mother summoned to court can or cannot breastfeed her sick and hungry infant in court, which is a public building belonging not to the judge, but to the people.

Some judges mock pro se litigants for knowing the law and pointing it out to the judge. 

Some dismiss cases and sanction litigants and counsel for not following the "court's local rules".

Some courts, like federal courts, restrict access to court for civil rights plaintiffs and plaintiffs-appellants by imposing, through "local rules" generated by panels with membership from powerful law firms where former clerks of the court are employed, or which sponsor judges through extrajudicial activities like American Inns of Courts, page limits that prevent civil rights plaintiffs and appellants from properly stating all issues in their cases.

I encourage my readers to send to me "local rules" of judges that they find objectionable.  If I find them objectionable, too, I will analyze them and post rules with analysis on my blog.

The problem that I see with local rules is that too often and more often than not they change or cancel statutory law, state and federal, and amend state and federal statutes and even state and federal Constitutions.

And, judges treat their local rules as the primary, governing law operating in "their" courtrooms.

I am preparing at this time a complaint against a judge, I will not disclose the judge's name until I file the complaint, specifically targeting the local rules mandated by that judge.  I believe, the rules are improper and unlawful.  We will see what the Commission for Judicial Conduct will say.

But remember - you and not the government are the sovereign.

The legislature is a bunch of YOUR legal representatives enacting statutory laws on YOUR behalf.

If you do not like laws created by that legislature, you can petition to change that laws, you have that right as the sovereign.

The judge is a "public servant", servant of the people, "servant" being the important word.

The servant operates within the rules set by the sovereign (you, the people) through your legal representatives (the legislature, the Constitution).

Therefore, it is not "my law", it is not "my court", and it is not "my local rules" that reign, but the U.S. Constitution.  And reminding public servants, all of them, including judges, that their power is restricted by the U.S. Constitution and statutory law, is not improper, frivolous or sanctionable.  

It is a necessity.

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