"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, January 2, 2016

A "historic" fraudulent election of a black woman to the New York Supreme Court bench is cheered on by those who should have reported and disbarred her

On December 31, 2015, Christina Ryba, an attorney who worked for the Chief Judge of Appellate Division 3rd Department and was fired for unethical conduct in her election campaign, was sworn in as a State Supreme Court Justice.

Ryba's election was heralded as a "historic" election of a judge of color.  

The swearing-in ceremony was led by the recently-retired magistrate from the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York Randolph Treece (retired to give way to a member of judicial tribe Daniel Stewart, "godson" of a judge, selected through fraudulent selection process, and in an obvious reward for selecting a sitting Chief Magistrate of that same court David Peebles).

Randolph Treece could not have missed the scandal associated with election of Christina Ryba or the stop-gap job for 6 weeks preceding her swearing-in as a judge, offered by Chief Administrative Judge Michael Coccoma to Ryba as a consolation for her firing by the 3rd Department for unethical conduct - a firing that was strategically done so that not to prevent election of Ryba to the bench.

Nor did Judge Peters refer the employee she fired for unethical conduct to the disciplinary panel of her court. 

There were protests earlier in November of 2015 by GOP leaders claiming that

Apparently, for Treece, the most important factor in heralding the fraudulent election of Ryba as a historic event was Ryba's skin color - same color as Treece's

And that is - when attorney Treece, licensed in the State of New York, had a duty to report Ryba to disciplinary authorities rather than to herald her elevation to the bench - through fraud and unethical conduct.

At this time, the fraudster Christina Ryba who should have been disbarred instead of sworn to the bench, will "earn" - or rather take from taxpayers $167,700 a year,  with benefits for self and family, which will likely soon be enhanced to $193,000 a year due to the recent judicial pay raises suggested by representatives of business interests sitting as a "judicial pay raise panel".

Christina Ryba's swearing-in to the bench does a disservice to New York black community and to the legal and judicial community, for several reasons:

1) it raises an issue whether the "first black female judge" could be elected without fraud and unethical conduct;

2) it raises an issue whether a democratic judicial candidate can win an election without committing fraud upon voters;

3) it raises a real question about the value of attorney licensing and discipline when Ryba retained her license and her judgeship after what she did - and was fired from the licensing court for what she did, but was not referred to the disciplinary panel and not disbarred;

4) it raises and issue whether Ryba's oath of office is valid, in view of her violation of her oath of office as an attorney for her own personal gain during elections;

5) it raises the issue of Ryba's ability to rule impartially and without corruption or personal gain for the 14 years of her term on the bench, putting validity of each and every decision she makes into question;

6)  it raises the issue whether there is equal protection of laws in New York state where an unethical attorney fired for unethical conduct and fraud upon voters during election campaign is sworn onto the bench - with much fanfare and claims of a "historical" moment.

We do not need such historical moments in New York or in this country.

Judges, whatever their skin color and whatever their gender, should, first and foremost, be honest.

Christina Ryba is not.

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