"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, March 4, 2016

If 3-year-olds can be educated enough to represent themselves in court, why do we need lawyers? At all?

I get it, I get it, when people are talking money, sometimes they forget reason.

Right now we are riding the wave of the craziest presidential campaign where the issue of illegal immigration is raised by all candidates, and that issue is serious, no doubt about it.

But, when a person gets onto the soil of the United States of America, that person is entitled to due process of law in how that person is being ejected.

I know that immigration proceedings are civil proceedings.

And I know that in civil proceedings, taxpayer-paid attorneys are often not provided.

Yet, federal courts have found that in deportation proceedings, there may be a right to government-paid attorney based on age and mental capacity of aliens to be deported.

And, where the "alien to be deported" is a 3 or 4-year-old child, it is clear that such a child is not legally competent to present legal representation of himself or herself, and is not supposed to have assets of his or her own to be able to hire an attorney.

Thus, denial of a government-paid attorney to a 3-year-old because allegedly, a 3-year-old can be "taught immigration law" enough to defend himself or herself (I wonder who will be doing THAT, and at whose expense) is most definitely a 5th Amendment due process violation - as well as a basic human rights violation.

Yet, that is exactly what a federal government official proposed, no joke, no fake, it was just reported by the Washington Post.

The name of the "hero" who made that statement, that 3-year-olds can be taught to represent themselves in deportation proceedings, was made by JackH. Weil who is an Assistant Chief Immigration Judge of the United States:

#JudgeJackHWeil was appointed with a "responsibility for training immigration judges, court administrators, interpreters, legal technicians and judicial law clerks".

Once again, Judge Weil's responsibility is to train 5 categories of people:

  1. immigration judges;
  2. court administration;
  3. interpreters;
  4. legal technicians;
  5. judicial law clerks

Yet, Judge Weil, in a deposition, admitted under oath to training 3-year-old immigrant children how to represent themselves in deportation proceedings:

The Washington Post quoted Judge Weil as saying in that deposition: “I’ve taught immigration law literally to 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds. ... It takes a lot of time. It takes a lot of patience. They get it. It’s not the most efficient, but it can be done.”

First, what was Judge Weil's authority to "teach immigration law literally to 3-year-olds and 4-year-olds?"

Second question, what was the necessity of that?

Third question, who paid for that?

Fourth question, isn't it cheaper (if no other issues than money can lodge themselves into the minds of immigration judges and authorities) to pay for an attorney to represent a child than to teach a child, most likely a non-native speaker of English who is barely verbal, immigration law - and not in lieu of a lullaby, but so that the 3-year old would be able to use it in representing himself or herself in a deportation proceeding?

I wonder how did we arrive to a situation where judges are not even ashamed to say what Judge Weil said?  And in the context where he said it, obviously justifying denial of counsel to 3- and 4-year olds.

Remember, this is the judge who teaches other immigration judges.

Judge Weils' statement, which makes a reader to question their perception of reality, because it is not a joke, not a fake and not some kind of warped science fiction, can be also developed on a whole new level.

Because, if 3-year-olds can be successfully taught law at the level allowing them to represent themselves in court in life-changing proceedings, why do we need attorneys at all?  Why do we have the right to counsel at all?  Why do we assign counsel to children in Family Courts at all?  After all, they can be taught - in public schools, as part of regular curriculum - to represent themselves.

And, if any 3-year-old can master the intricacies of the legal profession, why license attorneys, why protect adult consumers of legal services?  If a 3-year-old can get it all?


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