"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, July 26, 2016

Yay! We started to publicly discuss judicial misconduct - in cartoons. About murder cases in death penalty states. Where the only way a criminal defendant can call attention to ineffective assistance of counsel is to throw "F" words at the judge. And - the public is laughing...

A Utah judge, Scott Johansen, a white male, removed a foster child from a gay couple and placed the child with a heterosexual family citing her "research" that such a placement will be in the best interest of the child.

That is the same judge who sentenced a 13-year-old girl to 30 days' incarceration and 276 hours of community service for cutting the hair of a 3-year-old without her consent - and offered to the young defendant's mother a "deal", to humiliate the girl in the courtroom by cutting her own ponytail in exchange for a sentencing reduction.  Judge Johansen even provided scissors for the "ponytail-cutting sentence" - which was clearly in violation of 8th Amendment.

There were calls for the judge's impeachment, but Judge Johansen was not removed or disciplined.

A Michigan Judge Lisa Gorcyca, a white female, incarcerated three children because they refused to spend time with the father they claimed abused them and their mother - lashing out at the "disobedient children", including holding in contempt of court a child who was not subject to any court orders.

"Coincidentally", the lashing out against the child occurred after another child's testimony caused a million-dollar verdict against Gorcyca's husband, for wrongful incarceration of two parents and for splitting a family - exactly what Gorcyca did in retaliation, against a completely different family, see my blogs here and here.

Here are Judge Gorcyca with her former DA husband.

Judge Gorcyca was reprimanded for her shenanigans, but was met with a standing ovation in court arranged by herself, her husband and over 100 attorneys practicing in front of her - a real show of defiance and disregard of any discipline imposed on her.

A Texas judge Kerry Neves posted on Facebook a warning that he will not accept plea bargains in cases of assaults on police officers, a clear case of bias and prejudgment based on the identity and status of the alleged victims, and coupled that decision with an order indicating that he will not accept plea bargains in such cases unless there are "compelling reasons" for such bargains - but that order did not apply to criminal cases where the alleged victims were not police officers.

Judge Neves is a white male, and

a "true Republican we can trust" (whatever that means nowadays) who appealed to potential contributors to his election campaign with the following statement:

I guess, police officers and their associations or law firms representing them contributed generously.

Of course, the defense attorneys association stated that defense attorneys expect the judge to recuse from cases which he already prejudged, and, of course, the prosecutors said that the judge's statements did not affect his impartiality.

A federal judge in Milwaukee, Raymond Randa,

was just criticized by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit for engaging in "there went the neighborhood" reminiscences at sentencing, and in comments on protests in Baltimore regarding police brutality, which had nothing to do with the case.

The court said:

“A reference to general deterrence or protection of the public would have been proper, see 18 U.S.C. § 3553(a)(2)(B), (C), but blaming Robinson indiscriminately for everything wrong in that neighborhood would not.”

And, there is a recent report about shenanigans of a Wisconsin Judge James Troupis, who, as an attorney, was reportedly involved in secretive and politically charged redistricting scheme, and gave advice to detain Democratic Senators to prevent them from leaving the Senate during voting and preventing the vote from going through on quorum grounds.

Judge Troupis was, before he took the bench, reportedly a "leading attorney on conservative causes".

Judge Troupis resigned in May, claiming that the full-time judgeship position did not allow him to "attain to the estate of his mother, who has died last year".

Yet, as busy as Judge Troupis was with the estate of his mother, he still found time to waste taxpayers' money - and caused two people to incur giant attorney fees and made a little boy, at least temporarily, and unnecessarily, an orphan - because of his personal beliefs that having a child through a surrogate mother is a form of human trafficking.

Here is the hero, former judge James Troupis:

And, I recently wrote about a Kentucky judge Tim Philpot who wrote a book about his courtroom experiences and turned his court proceedings into a for-his-own-profit reality show.

A Georgia judge Bryant Durham Jr., who proudly makes known that he was raised by missionary parents, ordered criminal defendant in contempt, sentenced him to many days in jail, called him "looking like he is 'queer'" and discussing with the defendant that the defendant may be raped in prison - simply because the criminal defendant asked for a competent public defender, correctly stating that the public defender obtained just 4 pages through discovery, which is completely inadequate for effective defense in a murder trial.

The judge denied the defendant a new counsel, and mocked the defendant, through a series of question, trying to point out it would be stupid for the defendant to represent himself, but that the defendant has no other choice - either represent himself or accept the incompetent attorney Judge Durham imposed upon him.

The defendant then lashed out with a series of offensive and threatening comments about the judge, and the judge, instead of recusing, engaged in spewing vulgarities at the same level and punishing the defendant, while he was clearly biased and, as a victim of the defendant's threat, disqualified from continuing to preside over the case.

The result?

The media had a ball.


The criminal defendant is spewing vulgarities at the judge.


The judge is holding the criminal defendant who is threatening to kill the judge and his family in contempt, calls him "looking like a queer" and as much as promises him that he will be raped in prison.

The public is merrily laughing in the background, watching a merry cartoon.

A merry cartoon of a criminal defendant resorting to threats against the judge because the judge denied him effective representation in a murder trial - in a death penalty state.


Here is the comic judge from the death penalty case in the State of Georgia, Bryant Durham Jr.

These are just the recent news reports about judicial misconduct.

All of judges involved are white, and predominantly male.

All are imposing their views upon litigants in the courtroom instead of doing their job - applying the law.

Some of the victims of judicial misconduct I described here are likeable, some are not.

But, the rule of law is the rule of law because it is supposed to equally apply to all, likeable and non-likeable people.

I wrote of a female attorney trying to cater to those whims to the point of considering a gender and voice-change surgery and undergoing transgender voice therapy - in order to survive in the old white religion-proselytizing Republican male-shauvinistic environment of "the law".

Remember that joke - "a good lawyers knows the law, a great lawyer knows the judge"?

Not funny.

Especially for pro se litigants or for those who have no money to respond with contributions to judicial campaigns.

I wrote at that point, and I continue to insist that judicial whims, personal views and preferences should be left outside of the courtroom.

Otherwise, we have what we have, as described above.  The rule of ...

We have a mess.

No comments:

Post a Comment