"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, June 10, 2016

Donors to Catholic churches in New York contribute to the church's lobbying efforts to deny a remedy to victims of sex crimes

Several years ago I filed a lawsuit on behalf of a victim of sexual abuse (that occurred when the victim was a minor) against the perpetrator of such abuse.

The perpetrator immediately opposed the lawsuit claiming that the lawsuit is precluded by the statute of limitations.

Of course, the same perpetrator was threatening to kill the victim if she would complain about the abuse, and did it exactly for the duration of the statute of limitations that exists in New York for such crimes and civil lawsuits.

Of course, in civil court, a perpetrator who would preclude the victim, by threats, from filing such a lawsuit, would be equitably estopped from raising the statute of limitations.

But that is - in a fair court.

In the court where it was happening, the perpetrator was protected by a local powerful judge, and the victim was afraid to proceed with the lawsuit.

The statute of limitations in sex crimes is a big problem.

When sex abuse against children occurs, it takes courage for the victim to come forward and testify.

In many states, there are no statutes of limitations in sex crimes, and, I would say, that should be the law in all jurisdictions.

(1) repeal the 5-year statute of limitations (which limits filing of lawsuits by the victim until 5 years after reaching the age of majority, which is 18 + 5 = 23 years of age in New York); 

(2) give the previously time-barred victims a 1-year window to file their lawsuits.

You know what organization actually put millions of dollars into lobbying in opposition to the bill?

I do not see Governor Cuomo though issuing any executive orders prohibiting to pour public money into the coffers of various organizations owned and operated by Catholic Church - like he recently did in support of a foreign country, the State of Israel (for which he had no authority whatsoever, as it was a matter of federal national foreign policy).

Churches are public charities receiving tax exemptions from the IRS on the condition that they will not engage in politics.

Catholic Church in New York clearly engaged in politics, attempting to prevent introduction of a certain law that has a potential to bankrupt the church and expose many priests to civil lawsuits, and, possibly, criminal prosecutions, which are currently time-barred.

Here is the text of New York Child Victims Act.

So far, according to the New York Senate's website, the bill is still in the "Committee" - for 3 years, since 2013 when it was introduced.

And the reason why is because it has been stalled by the Catholic Church's lobbying efforts.

When you go to church next time and are expected to donate, please, think what you are donating for.

Because your money has been used so far for lobbying efforts to deny victims of sex abuse - including victims of the clergy, including child victims - a right to a remedy.

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