"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, February 4, 2016

Californa to Nevada - we are happy if the lift on sovereign immunity works our way, but not your way

In 1979, the U.S. Supreme Court issued a decision, Nevada v Hall, by which it declared that the concept of the so-called "sovereign immunity" does not apply when a state is sued in the courts of another state.

The case was when Californians, victims of a motor vehicle accident that happened on a road in California, in a collision with a vehicle belonging to the State of Nevada, sued and obtained over a million dollars in damages against the State of Nevada.

The State of California was happy with the outcome and did not budge at that time.

The State of California started to budge when a citizen of Nevada (and a former citizen of California) sued California in the state court of Nevada and applied the same principle of Nevada v Hall - that California does not have sovereign immunity from suit in a tort action.

And NOW California is not happy.

Now California is filing briefs with the U.S. Supreme Court in the case Franchise Board of the State of California v Hyatt asking to overrule Nevada v Hal.  By the way, Franchise Board case already was in front of the U.S. Supreme Court in 2003 before trial (the litigation spans decades) and was decided against the State of California. 

California advances arguments like these:

Remember, Nevada v Hall was decided in favor of citizens of the state of California to sue the State of Nevada in California State court.

California was happy at that time, and did not think that a million-dollar verdict against the State of Nevada was unfair.

Yet, it is not happy when the same rule was applied to the State of California as a defendant and the verdict is now payable to the citizen of the State of Nevada by the State of California.

So, now California is asking to overturn Nevada v Hall where Californians were the winners over the State of Nevada, to prohibit a citizen of Nevada to do in Nevada state courts exactly the same things as Californian citizens did to the State of Nevada in California state courts in Nevada v Hall.

If the U.S. Supreme Court agrees to uphold California's frivolous argument and overturn Nevada v Hall, what will be the next step in the circus - another lawsuit for a motor-vehicle accident in California against Nevada where Californians will ask the U.S. Supreme Court to overturn "Franchise Tax"?

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