"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.

Thursday, August 20, 2015

What is more important for you in a candidate for public office, what is below the waist or what is above the neck?

The question in the heading of this blog is not rhetorical.

In the recent audio interview of the Greene County Supreme Court Justice Lisa M. Fisher, Judge Fisher and her husband openly stated that their "marketing"  (their words, not mine) of Lisa Fisher to the voters, mainly female voters, was on the line that there are not many female judges on the bench.

Well, coincidentally I conducted a statistical survey, just for myself, of New York State judges, obtaining their information from the State judicial directory (information is in open access).  My private survey showed that there are actually not so few women in the judiciary, about 1/3.  It is not that bad, and the number is increasing.

That said, when reviewing qualifications for public office, consideration as to what is below the waist of the candidate for such office should be of no importance to the voters whatsoever.

Yet, Lisa Fisher and her husband, an attorney, and her husband's friends, attorneys, who financed her campaign, put her to the task, and "marketed" her specifically based on her gender, both Lisa Fisher and her husband admitted that much in an after-election audio interview available here (if the podcast is taken off the Internet because of my blogs, contact me at, I have a copy, it's a public statement of a public official on a matter of public concern and, thus, a public record).

Lisa Fisher and her husband meant for her message to the voters to be gender based and was meant to stir emotions of gender discrimination in female voters.

Lisa Fisher won by 18,000 votes on her "marketing" Facebook campaign based on her gender.

Yet, her qualifications and her integrity, judging by her "local rules" that she immediately adopted, judging by her rulings that make no sense (I have evidence that I am turning into the Judicial Conduct Commission) and judging by her audio interview where she was happy as a child that she won the judicial seat "beating the odds" by flaunting her gender to the voters, should make voters to start thinking:  what am I voting for, is it a pretty face?  Is it a male/female/transgender/lesbian/gay candidate?

Or is it what above that candidate's neck and what is the candidate's record of integrity?

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