"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.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Is Judge Gary L. Sharpe of the U.S. District Court of the Northern District of New York a drinker?

I just posed a question on a blog post, whether the Otsego County District Attorney John Muehl has a drinking problem.

And posted his picture.

I would like to state that the same or worse facial color, plus glassy eyes, plus unnatural laughter unbecoming the occasion of the court proceedings, I heard from Judge Gary Sharpe during my appearance in front of him in the spring of 2015.

I was shocked when I saw the judge.  At that time, he was the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York.  He was Chief Judge of that court for several years.

The court handles death penalty cases.

I understand that the economy is bad, that attorneys depend upon judges for their licensing and reputation and may be afraid to report Sharpe if he was indeed drinking.

But doesn't somebody, anybody, any independent authority, monitor whether judges are drunk on the job?

Federal employers randomly drug-check their employees.

Shouldn't the same be done with judges? 

I already raised the issue of drug use by judges on this blog.  See here and here.

The use of alcohol is not less serious.  These people hold in their hands our lives - Sharpe does literally, he handles death penalty cases.  WHO checks whether he is drinking?

The Conduct Commission of the 2nd Circuit certainly doesn't.  They will dismiss any complaint about Judge Sharpe's possible drinking during court proceedings based on the exemption in the Judicial Disability Act that does not allow to review judge's misconduct if it happened during court proceedings.

So, WHO will look into whether Sharpe has a drinking problem?

Moreover, judges may have a tendency to acquire a drinking problem, what with all the receptions attorney associations are inviting them to.

Once again - WHO will be checking on the potential drinking problem of this particular judge?

No comments:

Post a Comment