"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.

Friday, October 30, 2015

A new acquisition of the Delaware County police - hooves instead of brains

I wrote on this blog about the spectacular case decided by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit where the court upheld the so-called state interest to hire dumb brutes for the police force - specifically, that the government had a legitimate interest to secure that the hired police officers stay on the job and not go anywhere else - and to secure that interest, the government has a right not to admit applications for the police force from applicants with an IQ higher than a certain level.

So, in the 2nd Circuit jurisdiction (which covers New York State), police has a right to be dumb.

Bearing that in mind, let's look at the recent announcement of the new acquisition of the Delaware County police - the "mounted" patrol.

1/ the training and certification contract for the police force was not bid out for public bidding - as required by law, and that was the obligation of county attorney and judicial candidate Porter Kirkwood to oversee.  

Instead, the "training" was done by Delaware County undersheriff Craig DuMont and his wife, on their private farm, without offering that training contract to the public for bidding.  

I am going to FOIL the county as to the cost of that training, as well as any documents as to how the training contract was awarded.

The self-dealing no-public-bidding contract was happily announced right after the NYS Comptroller's audit found $129 million worth of public contracts awarded, under Porter Kirkwood's guidance as a County Attorney, without public bidding.  Since nobody was (yet) charged with corruption, Delaware County clans presume that corruption may proceed.

The happy picture of the group of "mounted" police included present and former sheriffs and their relatives.

2/ I am also going to check with a FOIL request the claim that the "equine officers" come with no cost to Delaware County.  My question - who is handling the liability (any horse owner knows how high insurance is for having horses around people, and horses are going to be used for "crowd control", in the midst of people.  Who is going to handle the vet and feeding bills, the boarding bills for the horses etc.

3/ Given that Delaware County police officers are taser-happy, baton-happy and use police vehicles as assault tools upon residents of Delaware County, I expected some "resident constitutional rights" training, yet, instead, Delaware County preferred horseback training for their officers.

4/ I am also going to FOIL the County as to pay increases to the "mounted" police officers for their skills - and as to appointment of police officers to such positions, where most of the "mounted patrol" people are related to sheriffs or undersheriffs.

As a Delaware County taxpayer, I have a right to know what exactly I am paying for - as do you, my readers from Delaware County.

So, now the Delaware County police has tasers, pistols, batons/sticks, wheels (vehicles), dogs - and hooves.  Brains do not have to be added to that equation.

The dwindling Delaware County taxpayer population can expect lawsuits, defended at their expense, for excessive use of horse force now, in addition to excessive use of dog force, vehicle force, baton and taser force.

Because dumb brutes on the police force come at a price not only to their victims, but also to taxpayers.

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