"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, May 20, 2016

On Copper vs Silver Justice and (Corporate Wives) PlayBoy Bunny Judges - the justice for sale galore

Two heads of New York State Legislature, Sheldon Silver (Assembly Speaker) and Dean Skelos (Majority Leader of the Senate) were convicted of corruption charges.

On May 3, 2016, Sheldon Silver was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

On May 12, 2016, Dean Skelos was sentenced to 5 years in prison.

Yet, in both of their cases, judge Valerie Caproni (for Silver) and Judge Kimba Wood (for Skelos) unanimously allowed these two public officials convicted of corruption, whose corruption was proven to juries through testimony and documentary evidence, to remain free pending resolution by the U.S. Supreme Court of a case pertaining - coincidentally - to government corruption.

Here is the procedural history of the U.S. Supreme Court case that these two federal judges used to give a summer break from prison to convicted felons Silver and Skelos.

Such unanimity, from two different federal judges - to keep three convicted felons (Silver, Skelos-father and Skelos-son) - out of prison, defying the jury verdict, defying the statutorily enacted power of the people of this country to criminally prosecute corruption in the government.

Here is judge Valerie Caproni, former wunderkid, former General Counsel for the FBI, former Chief of Special Prosecutions and Chief of the Organized Crime and Racketeering Section in the U.S. Attorney General's Office,  former "white-collar" criminal defense attorney.   Jane of all trades, who already has a history of using her knowledge acquired in a taxpayer-paid job for personal gain.

Let's see how her career will develop after the seminal decision to keep convicted corrupt public officials free until a corrupt court will decide the issue whether corruption is corruption or just "business as usual" for politicians:

Here is Judge Kimba Wood.  The country should know the faces of its anti-heroes.

Judge Kimba Wood, by the way, is married, by her 3rd marriage, to a Wall Street millionaire financier Frank Richardson III, where Richardson's diaries about his affair with Wood was an explosive part of his divorce action.  Frank Richardson is reportedly Judge Wood's law school classmate.

Judge Wood was reportedly in training as a PlayBoy Bunny in London, which did not prevent her from becoming a lawyer or a federal judge.

Quite a colorful past, and marriage to a rich corporate investor did not prevent Judge Kimba Wood from (1) presiding over a case which can benefit her husband; or (2) throwing herself into the public spotlight by her decision to let convicted corrupt politicians roam free.

It is definite in my mind that Judge Wood should be investigated as to whether her husband Frank Richardson ever engaged in lobbying activities or large campaign contributions to politicians, because then it is an irreconcilable and disqualifying conflict of interest for Judge Wood to preside over the case.

The U.S. Supreme Court is expected, within 2 months, to hand down a decision in the case of corruption of Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell in order to rule "what constitutes corruption as opposed to everyday government action for a benefactor".

Now, WHAT is a "government action for a benefactor" OTHER than corruption?

Yet, the U.S. Supreme Court (1) took the case of Bob McDonnell (in their discretion, remember, while tossing certioraris of Copper Joes left and right, without an explanation) and (2) expressed "concerns" - about this:

"Justices on both sides of the ideological divide expressed concern about federal corruption laws that could criminalize what they variously called “routine” or “everyday” actions that politicians perform for campaign contributors or supporters who have provided them with gifts."

Idiot-logical divide, rather.

First of all, judges CANNOT be "ideological".  If they are admittedly so, they should not be on the bench.

And, is there an issue at all in a reasonable person's mind that politicians' "actions" for "campaign contributors" and "supporters who have provided them with gifts", IS corruption?

Here, a couple of governing legal principles that must spring into action in the McDonnell case:

1) The restriction of the U.S. Constitution, Article III on jurisdiction of federal courts - such courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, may not legislate, only the U.S. Congress has such a right, under Article I of the U.S. Constitution;  thus, the U.S. Supreme Court may not change a federal statute by interpretation;

2) the rule of statutory interpretation - a court does not get to interpret a clear and unambiguous rule;  and, there is no ambiguity in the federal statute as to the "quid pro quo" - what the court expressed "concerns" about cannot be read by any reasonable reader OTHER than corruption.

Another interesting issue here is the exercise of discretion by the U.S. Supreme Court and the timing of such exercise.

Isn't it interesting issue here is - out of all constitutional issues tossed by the U.S. Supreme Court in their "absolute discretion", THIS is the most important issue for the country that the top court must consider - the distinction between "corruption" and "everyday government action for a benefactor"?

And shouldn't the FBI and the U.S. Congress start an impeachment investigation of ALL the U.S. Supreme Court justices in connection with this "timely" exercise of discretion on this particular issue?

The extra-busy U.S. Supreme Court, the court that regularly tosses petitions for a writ of certiorari by pro se litigants and attorneys suffering judicial retaliation for making motions to recuse and for fighting for their clients, those Joe Copper petitions - why such court would suddenly, and "coincidentally" in time as to convictions in Silver and Skelos' cases - decide this particular issue at this particular time?

Is this a bad case of "Silver Justice" - even though the "hunting trip" judge Scalia is already 6 feet under?

Is the power of money, corrupt money, such that the U.S. Supreme Court would take the case of the Virginia Governor while tossing cases of suffering average American citizens - so that Dean Skelos and Sheldon Silver would not have to spend one day in prison, despite conviction and sentencing, and without an inconvenience and uncertainty to have to go through their own appellate process, just through another case, "coincidentally" "timely" decided right about the time when Silver and Skelos must go to prison?

Now, imagine that not a Sheldon Silver, but, let's say, a Joe Copper, was just sentenced.

And, Joe Copper asks the judge to delay his reporting to prison because the U.S. Supreme Court may rule on an issue important for Joe Copper in Joe Copper's criminal proceeding.

Do you have a slightest doubt that Joe Copper will be awaiting the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court in prison.

I actually have no doubt that the U.S. Supreme Court would not even undertake a review of an issue beneficial for Joe Copper at the time of Joe Copper's conviction and sentencing.

But, that's, ladies and gentlemen, is Copper justice - reserved to us, mere mortals.

As to what will be the outcome of the Silver justice - the "coincidental" decision of the U.S. Supreme Court that Silver and Skelos are waiting for while roaming free despite their conviction and sentencing - I will cover the story further, so stay tuned.

But, let me tell you this - in a country where a top court has lost its moral compass to the point of considering, in its "discretion"  no less, a distinction between "corruption" and "everyday government action for a benefactor", we are doomed unless we fire that court and institute governmental reform from top to bottom, through constitutional amendments if necessary.

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