"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.

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

A Freedom of Information Act request has been made with the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit about records of the State-Federal Judicial Council of the State of New York

I wrote on this blog about my battle with the New York State Court Administration to produce records - any records of the mysterious "State-Federal Judicial Council" which is not shown in any statutory provisions, no information is available as to its composition, operation, financing, and the only information that is available is the spotty proud announcements by various attorneys that they have been "appointed" - by whom, nobody knows - to the "Advisory Council" of that "Council".

There is this mysterious old "advisory", a federal public document, as to what such "councils" "may" discuss.

It is the most interesting document because - guess what - state judges are usually brought into federal courts as DEFENDANTS, so any "councils" between state and federal judges are ex parte communications between judges and defendants in federal civil rights actions.

I finally got one (ONE) document coughed up by the NYS Court Administration indicating ONE letter of appointment by New York State Chief Judge Lippman, on the last day in office, on December 31, 2015, to that "Council" (that's over nearly 40 years of the alleged existence of this "Council" - judging by this law review article written by a judge).

Here is the letter:

Based on information revealed in this letter, I made two federal Freedom of Information Act requests - 

1) to the federal appointing judge, that is, according to the letter above, the Chief Judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit, my FOIA request is here,  and to

2) Judge Mae D'Agostino, of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of New York, who, Judge Lippman said, was the Chairperson of the Council as of December 31, 2015, the FOIA request is here.

Also offered for your attention is my printout from the database of non-profits,, where I searched the database for the Federal-State Judicial Council.  

The search returned no information, so this "Council" is not a non-profit.

I simply want to know what is the legal authority to form it, appoint people to it, finance it, operate it, what is its structure, and who, and at what time, was appointed to it as judicial members and non-judicial "advisors" to judicial members.

I am also most interested in responses of these two judges, because both of them handle civil rights lawsuits AGAINST New York State judges, so I am most interested to see the list of members of this so-called Council.

Of course, I predict that I will be told that there are "no records responsive to my request" or any other such crap.

Yet, any answer to this request will be interesting, and I am looking forward to see how these two judges will be wiggling out of the situation.

I will post any responses to these requests on this blog.

Stay tuned.

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