"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, June 7, 2016

A judge-advocate for the rapist is condemned in the media and by the state Legislature - just one judge-advocate, and only because of the social media outrage

I wrote about a couple of judge-advocates today - one from Kentucky, who advocated his religious beliefs on marriage in his courtroom while promoting his novel and acting out his invented procedures from the novel.

Another is about a military veteran judge who was giving leniency to violent felons who were military veterans and advocating for them even after he gave them "house arrest" and probation instead of 20 years in prison in accordance with charges.

By the way, I did not discern any public outrage from that sentence - where a trained-to-kill man is being unleashed upon the community, and 50 more such people are hatching in the Veterans Treatment court.

Yet, public outrage with judicial decisions which look pretty much like advocacy for the defendants still happen.

For example, a petition has been launched to take from the bench the judge who sentenced a rapist convicted by a jury to 6 months in jail plus probation - for a felony, where, as of yesterday, 152,000 signatures have been collected.

The public outrage is complete with an Assemblywoman's public request to the judge to resign, and threatening to "exhaust other measures for holding him accountable" if he does not resign.

On the one hand, a judge must not be swayed by public opinion, and pressure from outside sources should not sway judicial decisions.

On the other hand, the public is obviously capable of seeing things through and seeing that Judge Aaron Persky, a former athlete, had a soft spot for another former athlete, convicted felon Brock Turner - and thus thought it too tough to hold him fully accountable for rape he was convicted of by the jury.

Yet, I am sure that if the prosecution would have asked the judge to recuse because of his background as an athlete, the judge would have laughed the prosecution out of the courtroom by telling them that his background as an white male athlete is "too attenuated" to recuse him from this case.

And, nevertheless, his background mattered - and he did act as an advocate for his "brother" athlete-the-rapist.

So, next time a judge tells you that his background is not important and is "too attenuated" for the appearance of impropriety charge - remember this case.

And remember Judge Holder's case.

And remember Judge Philpot's case.

Because the judge's background matters - and judges often engage in advocacy for the parties they deem attenuated to.

Here it is the rapist who was an athlete.

In another blog here I described a judge who gave leniency (in an ex parte hearing, without the presence or notification to the prosecution) to a sex offender probationer who sang in the church choir at the church the judge attended.

Judges know they are immune from prosecution.

And they do engage in advocacy on behalf of parties they favor.

And the only reason, unfortunately, for calls for resignation of Judge Persky is because of the storm in social media.

If people are silent, judges advocates will proceed fixing cases for those they favor.

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