"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, January 15, 2016

Corruption in the government and lenient sentences for corrupt New York politicians - #NewYorkValues?

There is a rage going on in the media and social media about Senator Ted Cruz's insult to "New York values".

I lived in New York for 17 years, and just left it.  I like the people.  I have friends there.  But - I do not like the culture of corruption in the government, and the culture of silent obedience to that corruption in the people.

I described in many blogs the corruption happening in New York courts.

Only in 2015, 4 New York senators were convicted of federal corruption crimes:

Thomas Libous;
John Sampson - attorney and former Chair of the Committee on Judiciary;
Dean Skelos - attorney and Majority Leader of the Senate;
Sheldon Silver - attorney and lifetime friend since childhood of New York Chief Judge (now retired) Lippman, Assembly Leader

Corrupt Governor Cuomo is out there in the media defending #NewYorkValues.

At the same time, Governor Cuomo is promoting a corrupt candidate to the position of Chief Judge of New York Court of Appeals.

That is, for Cuomo, obviously also a part of #NewYorkValues.

Treating New Yorkers as obedient and voiceless cattle.

And look what happens to New York Senators even if they are caught, tried, and convicted of a felony corrupt scheme of getting lucrative "no-show" jobs for the Senator's son by touting the Senator's position?

Senator Thomas Libousconvicted of a felony in July of 2015, and, because of his connections, sentenced only to a house arrest, probation and a fine.  

Reportedly, "a senator for 27 years, Libous was removed from office after a jury found him guilty of lying to the FBI about a 2005 influence-peddling scheme that landed his son a $150,000-a-year job with Santangelo, Randazzo & Mangone, which was then a politically connected Westchester County law firm".

That's right, he was removed from office only AFTER the jury convicted him.

Don't tell me that he had cancer and was entitled to leniency.

I recently had a client who had a heart surgery and was - for decades - on weekly dialysis, and the Delaware County District Attorney Richard Northrup (elected Delaware County Judge this year) explained to me that there is great medical care in prisons, and pushed for prison time anyway.

And, I read a transcript of criminal proceedings before the now-retired Judge Carl Becker where Becker - in his usual manner - accused a man who had to undergo back surgery, of scheduling the surgery in order to avoid sentencing and angrily told his stunned relatives that he will get a lot of free medical care in prison.

That's the same Becker who sent to prison a legally blind man after claiming he is not as blind as he claims to be because Becker allegedly watched how the man navigated (by feeling out the surfaces) the courthouse - because he was, of course, not given a cane, for "security" reasons.

Convicted felon Thomas Libous was given leniency at sentencing not because of his diagnosis, but because of his identity, recent status as a Senator and political connections.

Government officials should show example of behavior to their constituents.

Those same #NewYorkValues.

#NewYorkValues shown to New Yorkers by its highest-ranking government officials are as follows:

1) we are Gods and will do all we want no matter what the laws (that we make) say;

2) you are cattle and must not raise your voice against it;

3) if you raise your voice, you will regret it;

4) even if we are caught, we will be sent, instead of prison, to spend time with our families and entertain guests at home.



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