"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 11, 2016

The warts on the U.S. Constitution - from the lips of a constitutional law professor

My Constitutional Law professor Stephen Clark, who for some reason no longer teaches Constitutional Law, published an article on constitutional law in connection with the lawsuit against Ted Cruz to declare him disqualified from the presidential race and not satisfying the "natural born" American citizen requirement.

Professor Clark expresses an opinion that the "natural born" disqualification provision in the U.S. Constitution should be narrowly construed in order not to undermine the people's right to elect their own leaders.

Yet, the U.S. Constitution itself is the people's agreement as to how they elect their own leaders, and should be not narrowly, but strictly construed.

Even if "narrowly construed", Ted Cruz was born in Canada, so he is not "natural born".

Of course, Professor Clark has a right to his own opinion.

And, I respect Professor Clark very much, he was a VERY good professor of Constitutional Law and I fondly remember his class.

Yet, I respectfully disagree as to one phrase Professor Clark used, which, in my opinion, continues to erode the respect to the U.S. Constitution which is nearly completely gutted by now by the very government whose every member is sworn to uphold it.

Here is what Professor Clark said in his article:

"While plenty of people may doubt that he is fit to be president, they ought to make their case to voters on the merits. They should not use a wart on the Constitution to disqualify him from the ballot."

Now, we need to remember that the U.S. Constitution is the Supreme Law of the Land.

And that Senator Cruz has been sworn to uphold that U.S. Constitution, in public and private conduct, in its entirety and without exceptions.

To call any provision of that U.S. Constitution that Senator Cruz is sworn to uphold "a wart" because it does not fit Senator Cruz' private bid for presidency, is encouraging a public official to disregard parts of the U.S. Constitution that do not suit their personal needs.

And that is just plain wrong. 

And - wart or no wart - the U.S. court where the lawsuit to declare disqualification of Ted Cruz is filed, is bound by the entire U.S. Constitution and by every part of it.

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