"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 5, 2015

We do not honor achievements of workers on Labor Day if a single child goes hungry on the Labor Day weekend because of public holidays

The U.S. Labor Department described the history of Labor Day, in short, as:

         "a creation of the labor movement and is dedicated
         to the social and economic achievements of American
         workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the 
         contributions workers have made to the strength, 
         prosperity, and well-being of our country."

It will do us well to remember that all legislation that benefited working people was introduced not because of the government, but despite the government, over great resistance from the government, lobbied by opponents of pro-workers' legislation.

It will also do us well to remember that on this public holiday, a long public weekend allegedly commemorating "contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country", there are people across the country, little people, who suffer because the government made this weekend a no-work day.

As an individual who is self-employed or employed by private entities, I never understood the concept of "national holidays" in terms of required leisure and required closure of governmental offices.

It always looked, to me, as a self-conferred benefit by the government that struggling low-paid workers who constitute larger and larger share of the U.S. economy, really do not need.

If you do not work certain days in private business or as a self-employed worker, you do not get paid.

It is an open secret that, of all governmental agencies, public schools have long become places where poor families get free daycare for their children, at least for a large portion of the day, with free transportation to and from home, and, in many cases, where their children are fed.

Often, the meal children of the poor working class people get in public schools are the only meal they will get during the day.

So, for many children in this country, a 3-day Labor Day weekend, commemorating (allegedly) contributions of their working parents to the economy, will go hungry these three days, because the government decided to give themselves a 3-day holiday to commemorate those contributions that the government usually fights tooth and claw because of lobbying efforts of private interests.

It will do us well to remember that - and at least try to change that.

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