"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.

Thursday, August 11, 2016

An update on the "blue-eyed assassin", the Tennessean #JudgeAmandaCampbell - Judge Campbell has been indicted for four felony counts and suspended from the bench

I wrote on this blog in May of 2016 about a Tennessee #JudgeAmandaCampbell, about a story when the judge ordered the Sheriff to elevate criminal charges against a mother from child neglect (for failing to buckle up her children) to aggravated child abuse, and where Judge Campbell initially refused to recuse from the case even when her role as a co-prosecutor of the case became known.

Judge Campbell is a former prosecutor and advertised herself in the election campaign in her Southern state as a "blue-eyed assassin" - not so subtly pointing also to her white skin.

Judge Campbell never notified the defendant of the increased charge.

There is an update to the story about #JudgeAmandaCampbell: she was reportedly indicted on four felony charges and suspended from the bench.

Judge Campbell has been charged with four counts of official misconduct in two separate cases and is accused of lying and misusing her authority.

Judge Campbell also reportedly commenced a sua sponte contempt proceedings against an attorney for not showing up for a hearing in a divorce case while the records show the attorney was not notified of that hearing (the judge's personel's mistake).

Instead of correcting the error and apologizing to the attorney, her name is #KristieAnderson, Judge Campbell instead sought to lie about the attorney's alleged misconduct: that "Anderson was disrespectful, showed disdain for the judge and yelled at court personnel — none of which was alleged in the show cause order nor was Anderson ever accused of such conduct".

Moreover, after attorney Anderson, through her own defense attorney, challenged Judge Sampson, Judge Sampson reportedly  advised attorney Anderson's opposing counsel in the divorce case to file a contempt proceeding against attorney Anderson, which constituted legal advice by the judge in that action and acting as an advocate for the opponent of attorney Anderson's client in the divorce action, not to mention that when a judge advises a part to file a certain motion, that constitutes a clear pre-judgement, as there is no doubt as to how the judge is going to rule on that motion.

The local press, The New Sentinel, reported since last fall "how [JudgeSamspson]

  • levied fees against the wrongfully accused for lawyers they did not use,
  • ordered children removed from their homes without authority,
  • barred people from coming into court and then ordered them arrested for failing to appear, and
  • began charging people a fee for drug testing that had not been authorized by any government body as required by law".

It took a year to get Judge Campbell indicted, even though her misconduct was pretty obvious.  Well, at least the indictment happened.

We will now see whether Judge Campbell will be  truly prosecuted and brought to justice, or instead whether she will be let go with an easy plea to something low and insignificant, and whether she will be taken off the bench (as she should) and disbarred (as she should).

Yet, for the present time, I am glad that the tide is turning, and that judges who committed misconduct are held accountable.

Yet, #JudgeAmandaCampbell's case, the criminal indictment is still very rare across the United States, the usual outcome is that judges can do anything in "their" courtrooms under the protection of absolute judicial immunity for MALICIOUS and CORRUPT acts (as Judge Campbell obviously did), hoping that nobody will ever dare to charge them criminally, and if they are not charged criminally, they will never be disciplined and lawsuits against them will be dismissed on immunity grounds, often with sanctions and attorney fees against their victims.

It is obvious that Judge Campbell was charged as a result of outrage in the media and social media.

And, outrage in the media and social media exposing judicial misconduct should continue.  Only this way we can clean up the act of our government, and the most powerful branch of that government, the judiciary.

Without that exposure and pressure, the "honorables" can only do what they already did - give themselves immunity for malicious and corrupt acts and act based on that immunity - maliciously and corruptly.

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