"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.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Do prosecutors running for judges seek to eliminate unfavorable votes through felony prosecutions? Richard Northrup of Delaware County is one of them

When a person is convicted of a felony, he or she loses not only his liberty or right to possess guns.  A felony conviction also carries a prohibition on the right to vote.  Whether it is legal or not, constitutional or not, is a big question, but that's how the State of New York applies it anyway.

In this respect, an interesting question arises.

When a prosecutor is running for a judicial office, he or she is competing for a better-paying job, so there is a definite financial incentive there.

Moreover, where a prosecutor who is up for re-election every 4 years (in New York) is running for 10-year (and better-paid) job, that is yet another financial incentive, involving also a better job security.

A criminal prosecutor, if he or she remains in office as a criminal prosecutor while running for a judge, handles a caseload of felony cases.

Each one of criminal defendants charged and prosecuted by such a prosecutor/judicial candidate is a potential voter.

Each one of the criminal defendants, as of the date the prosecutor announces that he or she is running for a judicial office, may claim that the prosecutor has a financial interest in the outcome of litigation, and the prosecutor's failure to resign and continuing on the case irreversibly taints the case and requires its dismissal.

Considering that judges IN THEIR MAJORITY come from prosecutors, think how many people were convicted in such tainted cases, simply because prosecutors wanted to eliminate votes through felony convictions.

By the way, the conflict arises also when the prosecutor is running for re-election to the same office, because the same criminal defendants that he prosecutes at the time of his or her campaign for re-election are potential voters against the prosecutor's re-election.

Such a conflict disqualifies not only the District Attorney him/herself, but the entire DA's office since the whole office answers to the DA and is subordinate to the DA.

I suggest that criminal defendants raise the issue that Delaware County DA Richard Northrup disqualified himself, his office and tainted all felony prosecutions in his office's caseload when he announced running for a judge, but did not resign from his DA's position.

But, of course, we cannot expect any such act of integrity from the current DA.  After all, it is risky to leave one job without securing another yet.  Conflicts of interest, constitutional rights of criminal defendants and rights of taxpayers not to pay extra for re-litigation of tainted criminal cases be d***ed.

Meet the "hero" - picture was posted by Porter Kirkwood on his judicial campaign Facebook website and constitutes public record.

Richard Northrup is on the left.  He looks calm, dignified, even refined.  Yet, his actions are far from any of those things.  Beware.

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