"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, November 6, 2015

There are good judges out there - at least, there is one

There has been a report that a California judge refused to approve a contract of Bindi Irwin, the daughter of Steve Irwin, without proof that her father is dead.

A media frenzy resulted.

The judge was mocked and insulted in comments on Facebook pointing out that why, stupid, do you need to see a certificate of death of Steve Irwin when "everybody knows" that he has been dead these past 9 years - because the media and his daughter said so.

Yet, the judge stuck to the law and continued to require the death certificate.

Whose mistake is it that in a proceeding approving the contract of a minor, the death certificate of one of the parents was not presented by the minor's lawyers?  Certainly, not the judge's.

The judge did what he would have done in similar contract-approving proceedings for any minor.

Because - the law is the law - and the Lady justice is (or is supposed to be) blind to status of the parties appearing before the judge - and there is equal protection of laws, going both ways, for the good and for the bad.

And you know what lawyers for the show are saying:

"We're told lawyers for the show will do what it takes to get the judge to sign off."

What does that mean?

The are going to bribe the judge?

Intimidate the judge?

Submit the judge to the media frenzy?

And they will do "anything it takes" to do what - make the judge NOT follow the law?


Why is Bindi Irwin different from you and me, the mere mortals?

Because she stands to earn over $230,000 in 8 weeks?

If money explains-away not following the law, then we are not the country based on the rule of law.

The judge is right.

And the judge should not sign off.

Because the only thing Bindi Irwin should do is to have her Dad's birth certificate FedEx-ed to the court, for the judge to be able to follow the law and approve her contract.

So, the rule of law is not dead yet?

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