"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.

Saturday, July 9, 2016

#MaleChauvinistGalore on the bench - can one re-educate a sexist judge?

I recently wrote a blog about law graduates' support for the California Judge Persky

who has become a symbol of judicial favoritism to white rich rapists in this country.

Those aspiring legal professionals claim that Judge Persky should not be recalled because what he did - including making comments that belittled the victim - was a matter of "judicial discretion".

At the very same time a Canadian judge, this white charmer, by the name of Robin Champ,

stands to be disciplined because he stated to the victim of rape: "why didn't you just keep you knees together" - which was, basically, what Judge Persky implied, too, when he imposed a sentence upon the rapist of an unconscious woman less than for a petty theft.

In the U.S. recently, a judge in Montana, G. Todd Baugh, this white man

was reprimanded for giving a lenient sentence to the rapist of a 14-year-old girl while claiming that the raped child looked older than her age and was as responsible for the crime as the defendant.

Reprimanded - but not taken off the bench.

Yet, in Louisiana judge J. Robin Free 

has been recently suspended and ordered to pay over $11,000 of costs to the Judicial Qualifications Commission for, among other things,  "Scalia-like" behavior - accepting a trip from an attorney who obtained a $1.2 million settlement in a case tried in front of the judge,  and for joking about domestic violence against women in criminal proceedings.

And, in Nevada the judicial qualification authorities review a complaint against Judge Conrad Hafen

for handcuffing a female attorney when she was making a constitutional argument on behalf of her indigent client.

Four judges disciplined or turned in for discipline for sexist behavior, and one in the neighboring Canada.

All of the above five sexist judges are white.

The law graduates - male and female - who support Judge Persky are also predominantly white (only one dark-colored girl among 7 supporters of Judge Persky).

It appears that the "rape culture", that the woman is to blame, is part of "white male privilege".  

No wonder that many women are leaving the legal profession - what judges stated openly in rape cases, they practice impliedly against female attorneys, and many male law partners profess behind closed doors of their law firms.

Other women - like Stanford law graduates, like a petite New York attorney who first considered a surgery to change her voice to more masculine, and then took "speech therapy" sessions to change her mannerisms and speech to a more masculine, to succeed in the sexist world - try to adjust to male chauvinists by joining their ranks, mimicking them or expressing support for them.

Sexual discrimination, sexual harassment, disdainful attitude to females by white males in power is nothing new.

Media coverage and increasing public outrage against it, powered by social media, is new.

The public is right - the #MaleChauvinistGalore in public courts should not be allowed to continue.

California constituents should continue to pressure their government to remove Persky off the bench.

"Reprimands" mean nothing.

In fact, some judges - like judge Lisa Gorcyca in Michigan - wear judicial discipline (censure) like a badge of honor and host flash-mobs to practically celebrate her defiance to that discipline, complete with crowds of attorney practicing in front of the judge coming to the flash-mob, with flowers, standing ovations and hand-shaking receiving lines.

If judges engage in egregious misconduct, with the education and experience that judges have even before they come to the bench, and with the oaths they took before they came to the bench, such oath-breaking behavior and misconduct is not curable.

Such people cannot be re-educated, and should not be spared.

One cannot re-educate a middle-aged racist.

One cannot re-educate a middle-aged sexist.

One cannot re-educate people who believe they came to the bench as to their own fiefdom, to establish their own rules, and rule by whim and by favor to those who please them better.

But, the public can and should remove those judicial public servants from positions of power where they can hurt people.

Such people should not be on the bench.


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