"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, May 18, 2016

A U.S. Supreme Court justice, while serving the rich, is demanding slavery for lawyers to serve the poor

Yesterday, it was reported by many leading media sources that U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonya Sotomayor "urged" that licensed attorneys in the United States should be subjected to "mandatory pro bono service".

That is a judge who has been sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution.

The U.S. Constitution that contains a 13th Amendment that prohibits involuntary servitude.

And that judge urges to impose the involuntary servitude requirement upon lawyers.

Of course, rules of involuntary servitude were already created by courts that do not allow attorneys to leave cases for non-payment unless the non-paying client consents or a court allows the attorney to leave.

So, the best way for a client to stiff a lawyer is to pay a down payment, then, after the down-payment is exhausted, refuse to pay more for ongoing services, refuse to consent to release the lawyer - and the court will mandate the attorney to work for you for free.

That's how it works in New York - I was subjected to that particular involuntary servitude several times.  

I wrote on this blog, three times, here, here and here, about rules and practices existing in the State of New York that authorize slavery in the legal profession, in violation of the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

Now, why would a judge of the court that repeatedly caters for the rich, predominantly rejects petitions from pro se (poor) litigants and creates unreasonable rules for petitions that require thousands of dollars in additional costs to even get a petition in front of the court, suddenly urge mandatory service of attorneys, for free, in helping the poor?

Sonya Sotomayor reportedly claimed: "“I believe in forced labor when it comes to improving access to justice for the poor".

In other words, a judge of the highest court claims "I believe in violation of the U.S. Constitution when...".

Yet, there is no "ifs" or "whens".

There is Supreme Law of the Land, the U.S. Constitution, which NOBODY - even a justice of the Highest Court - is allowed to violate.

Under any conditions.

The judge also recognized criticism of forced labor from at least the quality point of view - slave labor is ineffective.

To that, the judge said, astonishingly, that "ethics require" good representation in forced pro bono service cases.  What kind of "ethics" do or may require to perform a good service by a slave when slavery is prohibited by the U.S. Constitution?

So, Justice Sotomayor sees forced pro bono service by attorneys as a means to provide access to courts for the poor.

Yet, Justice Sotomayor herself participates in creating the situation where the poor is not properly served.

Justice Sotomayor is part of a licensing agency for attorneys where consumers of legal services have no say in regulation, which is an anti-trust violation.

Justice Sotomayor rejects petitions of pro se litigants, poor litigants and disciplined attorneys, including the mostly targeted defense attorneys, family court attorneys, civil rights attorneys suspended or disbarred for criticism of the judiciary, and thus removed from providing services for the poor.

Justice Sotomayor, by not opposing Rule 33 of her court that I wrote in my previous blog about, perpetuates discrimination against litigants who plainly cannot afford the extra costs of printing, typesetting and formatting required by Rule 33, and that would include not only poor lay litigants, but also civil rights, criminal defense and family court attorneys targeted by unconstitutional discipline and stripped of their livelihoods.

Moreover, when claiming that lawyers must be subjected to mandatory pro bono service rule, Justice Sotomayor did not offer to cut her own salary, or salaries of judges in federal or state courts, as a way to reduce financial burden on taxpayers, including those taxpayers who are unable to hire a lawyer, or pay extra costs to access the U.S. Supreme Court.

Such salaries only grow.

Apparently, Judge Sotomayor statements - though clearly demonstrating the judge's unfitness for the bench since she advocates violation of the U.S. Constitution - is a populist lip service as to "protection of the poor", while Judge Sotomayor creates and perpetuates the problem of the "justice gap" by her own conduct.

While hypocrisy of judges is not anything new to me, hypocrisy of this level, trying to justify continued existence of the legal profession and its monopoly by urging mandatory pro bono (not necessarily competent) service is completely disgusting.

And, since Judge Sotomayor apparently fights to preserve laywer monopoly, it is completely understandable why her court recently rejected certiorari petitions of attorneys who fight against lawyer monopoly.

Apparently, filing certiorari petitions with such courts by advocates of positions that judges personally oppose (and I am opposing attorney regulation and urge to deregulate and release court representatives from dependence upon the government for their livelihood) is not only a waste of money, but a waste of effort and time.

Access to court?

Forget about it.

Even with mandatory pro bono service.

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