"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, September 21, 2015

The Beast's privileges die hard?

A witness from Delaware County reported to me that the witness has seen the car of the now-retired former Delaware County Judge Becker parked in the employee-only parking space behind the courthouse, with license plates saying "County Court" still on.

Here are the pictures that the witness has sent to me:

The vehicle identified as Carl F. Becker's car parked today, 1.5 months after Becker's retirement, in the employees-only parking slot of the parking lot behind the Delaware County courthouse - but, interestingly, not in a "reserved for the judge" space.

Here is the close-up of the plate clearly indicating showing the words "County Court" and "JCC" - "judge of the County Court".

There are several problems with what happened today, if this is Becker's car parked behind the courthouse in the employees-only parking lot, and bearing plates identifying him as still a judge.

First of all, there was recently an investigation by the Commission for Judicial Conduct of the use of such plates by judges in the State of New York.

There was a report published by the Commission, here it is.

The report says that, judges (not retired judges, acting judges) have a right to have such plates:

But, as soon as a judge retires, he must turn in license plates identifying him as a judge.

Apparently, Becker did not relinquish the license plates and is still driving around in a car identifying him as a judge and giving him certain privileges with the police.  The police will think twice before stopping a judge - while Becker is (thankfully) not a judge already.

The next problem I see in Becker parking behind the courthouse is that he, apparently, had to access the courthouse through the employee door.

Every member of the public with the exception of court employees, must access the courthouse through the front door and pass through metal detectors.

Obviously, if Becker allows himself to park behind the courthouse, I highly doubt that he entered through the front door.  Most likely, he entered through the back door, where there is no metal detector.  I will FOIL the NYS Court Administration for security videos from today, but I highly doubt anything will be given to me, as usually NYS COA invents reasons why I should not receive such videos - I asked three times on different occasions, and the videos were either destroyed, or the video cameras allegedly did not work, or I was flat out denied access.

Yet, witnesses who were in the courthouse on the first floor at the time Becker arrived, did not see him come in through the front door.  Thus, he had to come in through the back door.

I would feel uncomfortable knowing that a retired County judge who was reportedly seen around bars and who has run from the bench at around the time where a state audit of Delaware County was published that revealed a lot of interesting misconduct, in other words, he "retired" for an unknown reason, likely while holding grudges against multiple people, and allowing him, after retirement, to come to the courthouse through the back-door accessible to employees only, and without passing through the metal detector, as any other mortals have to, is a danger to public safety.

Moreover, today was the day where the criminal trial against Barbara O'Sullivan who is prosecuted on political grounds by the corrupt Delaware County Prosecutor Richard Northrup who is prosecuting Barbara O'Sullivan instead of a perpetrator of a crime against her police officer Derek Bowie, because Derek Bowie's uncle Jeff Bowie works for the District Attorney's office and, according to witnesses, Jeff Bowie has a nasty temper, is prone to retaliation and has a good relationship with the DA.

Barbara O'Sullivan sued Becker and reported his misconduct for years.

When Becker, after his retirement, appears in the courthouse "coincidentally" on the day of Barbara O'Sullivan's criminal trial (it was adjourned today to February of 2016), and does not pass through the metal detector, as he should, and court attendants allow that, that is downright scary.

I wonder if Becker still has a key to the backdoor of the courthouse, and to confidential court files.  I will not put it beneath him, or the court system that has served him so loyally, law or no law, to allow him to keep that key and access the building at all time of day and night.

After all, that is a small step after allowing him to park in employees-only parking lot and access the courthouse from the back door, bypassing metal detectors.

To those against whom Becker has personal grudges - now that he is no longer a judge, but has access to the house through the back door while bypassing metal detectors - it is my personal opinion that under such circumstances I would be concerned for my safety and would have a friend stand vigil behind the courthouse when I am in the courthouse, to make sure that Becker is not tipped by court personnel and does not arrive through the back door, bypassing metal detector, to do something bad to you.

It is better to be safe than sorry.

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