"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 26, 2016

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit unlawfully pick their cases for full opinions, and boy do they pick...

I wrote a lot on this blog about courts, state and federal, exercising "discretion" (discrimination among cases) that they do not have by law.

That the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit routinely, as a matter of policy, discriminates against civil rights appellants by putting their cases on a "fast-and-sloppy" track for non-precedential "summary orders", for negligent non-review by old judges who rubber stamp the lower court's decisions - whatever they are - by rubber-stamped phrases:

  • "we assume parties' familiarity with procedural history of the case", and
  • "we affirm on substantially the same grounds as the well-reasoned and thoughtful decision of the district court".
That is happening in the 2nd Circuit despite the fact that there is no distinction in statutory law allowing the 2nd Circuit to "pick" cases for full opinions (that require much more work) as opposed to summary orders that require no work at all.

And, the 2nd Circuit charges litigants who are provided with an "opinion" the same fee as litigants slapped with "summary orders" - so the "summary order" litigants, most of them civil rights appellants, are forced by the 2nd Circuit to finance the "opinion" litigants.

That discrimination being bad enough, look at what cases the 2nd Circuit gets to "pick" for a full opinion while tossing civil rights cases:

the two judges who did that are themselves "resident" attorneys licensed in New York (I will run a separate blog about that, there are interesting issues regarding these judges' attorney registrations in New York), so the personal interest is apparent; and

in view of the fact that a federal judge, even though appointed for life, can CHOOSE at any time to leave the bench and go practice law - 

it is pointless to make a claim that federal judges are not prone to decisions based on self-interest when they make discriminatory and turf-protective rulings about the legal profession.

2) The case of Tom Brady - it was really important for the 2nd Circuit (as opposed to civil rights appeal) to restore a suspension of a NFL player, really really important for the court to throw extensive resources on reviewing and resolving that case, all civil rights appellants be damned with their rubber stamped one-two page "summary orders" issued by octogenarian judges who never read the record.

Not only the 2nd Circuit "picks" cases for their opinions - but it picks it in a blatant self-serving manner, and only to either serve the judges' own personal interest or to gain publicity in a scandalous sport-related case.

A lot of justice there.

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