"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.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Louisiana does not have money for indigent criminal defense - only for corrupt judges and disciplinary boards

I just put in a blog article about institutional politics of allowing corrupt judges to sit on the bench in the State of Louisiana - at taxpayers' expense - while canning attorneys who expose judicial misconduct.

But, Louisiana is famous not only by THAT.

If you remember, Louisiana is also famous by the fact that government went after monks who tried to provide cheap coffins to increasingly indigent population after Hurricane Katrina - to help the monks' competitors in the coffin business, the local funeral directors.

That was not too corrupt, I guess.

The State of Louisiana has a lot of money to pay:

  • to corrupt judges, so that they would continue in their corrupt ways and corrupt more people around them;
  • to disciplinary boards going after whistleblower attorneys who expose corrupt judges (or, the state of Louisiana makes those attorneys, victims of unconstitutional persecution, to pay for being prosecuted, as they did with Christine Mire).  Reminds me of reported bills for bullets that Nazis sent to the families of those executed by firing squads.
  • to corrupt disciplinary boards who prevent cheap services from being provided to the state residents even at the time  and aftermath of epically catastrophic events;

What the state of Louisiana does not have money is, predictably, money for indigent criminal defense.

After all, criminal defendants are poor, predominantly non-white, they cannot wine-and-dine judges, or fly them to hunting ranches.

So, indigent criminal defendants get stuck with Louisiana public defenders who, according tot themselves, now that they are sued for TURNING DOWN CLIENTS, actually want to be sued.

Because they want to show in court that it is equally, if not more unconstitutional to pretend to represent a client when you know you have no resources or time to do it diligently and effectively, than to decline such representation entirely.

So, will Louisiana find money for indigent criminal defense?

Maybe, it should cut judicial salaries?

Just a little bit?

They have all expense trips anyway, they are wined and dined at the expense of litigants and attorneys anyway, they will survive.

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