"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, October 12, 2015

What is common between the Hammer of Witches, the FBI fight against civil rights plaintiffs as domestic terrorists, the crime of seditious libel and the rule of frivolous conduct?

The immediate answer to the question asked in the headline is that it is apparent, based on the way the rules of frivolous conduct are applied to civil rights plaintiffs and their attorneys by courts, and now used by the FBI to brand civil rights litigants (and, I am sure, their attorneys, too) as "domestic terrorists" are identical twins with the medieval Hammer of Witches and with the crime of "seditious libel" against the government, long condemned by the U.S. Supreme Court as being in violation of the 1st Amendment.

All of these institutions:

  1. The Hammer of Witches and the Great Inquisition of the Catholic Church;
  2. The seditious libel crimes for criticism of the government;
  3. The FBI characterization of "frivolous" lawsuit of civil rights plaintiffs expressing certain viewpoints ("They clog up the court system with frivolous lawsuits and liens against public officials to harass them"); see also here;
  4. federal courts repeatedly sanctioning civil rights plaintiffs and their attorneys for novel arguments in constitutional litigation - have the same goals:

1) to enforce uniformity of thought in the governed population;
2) to enforce that the population uniformly respects the government no matter what kind of abuses the government is involved in;
3) to instill fear in the population through unavailability of legal remedies for governmental abuses.

The goals are being met admirably, judging by the tendency of a significant drop of civil rights litigation during the population growth (and increasing distrust to judge-presided trials in the surviving civil rights actions), increase of interconnection and spread of information by the Internet and frequent coverage in the social media at least of egregious governmental abuses by all branches of state and federal government.

In my previous blog post I described how the FBI targets certain types of speech, by certain groups of population, as a form of domestic terrorism.

Specifically, I showed that based on the content of viewpoint and legal argument, certain civil rights lawsuits and arguments, branded as "frivolous" by courts, have been also branded by the FBI as a form of "domestic terrorism" that puts individuals who file and litigate such "frivolous lawsuits" "on the radar" of the FBI (of course, as a lip service of its constitutional duty to the public, the FBI invites the public BOTH to report, as "suspicious activity", the filings of "frivolous lawsuits" by civil rights litigants of a certain viewpoint, and to report "civil rights violations", which are mutually exclusive requests.

I also wrote that that particular political philosophy, the so-called "sovereign citizen" philosophy, is, according to a study, increasingly adhered to by African Americans, adding racial profiling and discrimination overtones to the FBI attempts to prosecute free speech and even free political thought as a form of domestic terrorism.

The 1st Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits discrimination based on views, and especially based on political views.

The U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly upheld the right to criticize the government in the most unattractive ways, to the point of falsehood.

Here are at least some of the most prominent U.S. Supreme Court decisions on the subject.

The Year 1964.  Seditious Libel for criticism of the government is declared unconstitutional, on both state and federal level, 
criticism of the government with impunity, even based on false facts, is allowed

In New York Times v Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964) the U.S. Supreme Court provided that 

 "[The U.S. Congress] did pass the Sedition Act in 1798, [n3] which made it a crime -- "seditious libel" -- to criticize federal officials or the Federal Government. As the Court's opinion correctly points out, however, ante, pp. 273-276, that Act came to an ignominious end and, by common consent, has generally been treated as having been a wholly unjustifiable and much to be regretted violation of the First Amendment. Since the First Amendment is now made applicable to the States by the Fourteenth, it no more permits the States to impose damages for libel than it does the Federal Government." 

The court stated further that:

"We would, I think, more faithfully interpret the First Amendment by holding that, at the very least, it leaves the people and the press free to criticize officials and discuss public affairs with impunity."

The Year 1990.  The U.S. Supreme Court prohibits punishment for political criticism of the government, even in an offensive manner, is allowed 

In United States v. Eichman, 460 U.S. 310 (1990) the U.S. Supreme Court has struck on free political speech grounds a criminal prohibition to burn an American flag in front of onlookers that was clearly offensive and upset the onlookers. 

The court's reasoning was that the burning of the flag is permitted to dispose of old flags, but is criminalized as a form of political expression, and that is an unconstitutional violation of the 1st Amendment.

The Year 2012.  The U.S. Supreme Court reaffirms that the government lacks the power for unrestricted content-based regulation of speech about the government, and that truthful arguments in the public forum are enough to rebut false arguments.

In United States v Alvarez, 567 U.S. __, 132 S.Ct. 2537 (2012), the U.S. Supreme Court has struck the Stolen Valor Act criminalizing false claims of military awards.

The court has reasoned that:

"...some false statements are inevitable if there is to be an open and vigorous expression of views in public and private con-versation, expression the First Amendment seeks to guarantee. See Sullivan, supra, at 271 (“Th[e] erroneous statement is inevitable in free debate",

and that

"The remedy for speech that is false is speech that is true. This is the ordinary course in a free society. The response to the unreasoned is the rational; to the uninformed, the enlightened; to the straight-out lie, the simple truth. See Whitney v. California274 U. S. 357377 (1927) (Brandeis, J., concurring) (“If there be time to expose through discussion the falsehood and fallacies, to avert the evil by the processes of education, the remedy to be applied is more speech, not enforced silence”). The theory of our Constitution is “that the best test of truth is the power of the thought to get itself accepted in the competition of the market,” Abrams v. United States250 U. S. 616630 (1919) (Holmes, J., dissenting). The First Amendment itself ensures the right to respond to speech we do not like, and for good reason. Freedom of speech and thought flows not from the beneficence of the state but from the inalienable rights of the person. And suppression of speech by the government can make exposure of falsity more difficult, not less so. Society has the right and civic duty to engage in open, dynamic, rational discourse. These ends are not well served when the government seeks to orchestrate public discussion through content-based mandates."

Thus, quashing criticism of ANY kind against the government save a direct call to physical violence against particular individuals, is an acknowledgement by the government that the government's arguments that are opposing the quashed and punished argument will not win if tested by the "test of truth" and will not be "accepted in the competition of the market".

Blunt suppression through power is an easier way - short-term, of course - to eliminate unwanted speech, and criticism of the government at all times was at the top of unwanted speech - at least, for the government of any kind, church or secular, and in any country, democratic or tyrannical.

Yet, that is not a democratic, or even a legitimate way where the government suppressing that speech, is itself the servant to the sovereign (We the People - see the Declaration of Independence), and where all members of the government take their office through an oath to uphold, protect and enforce the U.S. Constitution and every part of it, including the much disliked 1st Amendment.

Therefore, all attempts of the government to achieve uniformity of thought through punishing people for "thought crimes", for their viewpoints, for their legal opinions, for the contents of their civil rights lawsuits, is unconstitutional in this country.

The thought control was recently exacerbated by the  President of the United States announcing, through its Justice Department, to use political speech screening and control to target people for contents of their political speech, lumping together as "anti-government" anybody who criticizes or sues the government (of course, by manipulating on people's fear of terrorism).

At the same time, President's spouse made a "Pavlik Morozov" speech at a high school graduation calling upon youngsters to spy on and police the speech of their family members - albeit with good intentions of eradicating racism.

So, the FBI - the arm of the President - under the guise of fighting "sovereign citizen" movement as a type of "domestic terrorism", fights African-Americans, see here.

On the other hand, Michele Obama, under the guise of fighting racism, instills into youth the necessity to fight within their own families, as did the (fake) Russian "pioneer hero" Pavlik Morozov (I still remember his story being pounded into my childish brains in school) and the "child heroes" of George Orwell's "1984".

We need to come to a consensus to agree to disagree.

All speech on political subjects, no matter how offensive, no matter how disliked by the "mainstream" establishment - whatever it is - is permissible unless it calls for acts of violence.

That is what the 1st Amendment is for.

And government officials - from the FBI to attorneys working for the government to federal judges - should well remember their own oaths of office, and should well remember that their vicious pursuit of civil rights plaintiffs and their attorneys for "frivolous lawsuits" OF ANY KIND - fighting race discrimination of blacks against whites, fighting "reverse race discrimination" of whites, fighting misconduct of any public officials including judges, equates them with those who administered the infamous

  • Hammer of Witches and
  • seditious libel laws

That's NOT a good company.

*  *  *

"To the future or to the past, to a time when thought is free, when men are different from one another and do not live alone— to a time when truth exists and what is done cannot be undone: 

From the age of uniformity, from the age of solitude, from the age of Big Brother, from the age of doublethink— greetings! 

He was already dead, he reflected. It seemed to him that it was only now, when he had begun to be able to formulate his thoughts, that he had taken the decisive step. The consequences of every act are included in the act itself. 

He wrote: Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime IS death."

Orwell, George (1983-10-17). 1984 (p. 74). Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Kindle Edition. 

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