"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.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

The Russian Supreme Court has struck as unfair and unlawful a court decision litigated on a whim - just like American courts usually do

I wrote on this blog repeatedly about American courts completely disregarding the rule of law, or the record in front of them, as a pattern or a system of "that's how we do business in our neck of woods, and hell hath no fury like will be unleashed upon you if you cross us".

You can read about the kind of "fury" unleashed upon litigants who have the audacity to insist upon the rule of law and impartial adjudication in the American courts - and listen to the yesterday's interview of attorney and human rights advocate Zena Cranshaw-Logal.

You can also read about adjudication-on-the-whim on this blog, as well as in the social media where people, more and more, come out and publicly expose judicial retaliation and adjudication-on-a-whim.

It is actually habitual for American judges to rule on the judge's whim, often without an explanation of grounds for the decision, on the whim of a judge, telling the litigant - move up (appeal, if you can afford it) or move on.

The legal profession recognizes the fact of adjudication-on-a-whim as habitual part of the American judicial system - by sayings that "a good lawyer knows the law, a great lawyer knows the judge", and by the fact that attorneys pay a LOT of money (as part of their ETHICAL training) to learn about whims of different judges - to consider and rely on such whims in litigating cases in front of such judges (I understand, judges use their taxpayer-backed time and are paid for telling attorneys about their whims upon which their cases are decided).

And, I wrote a lot on this blog about retaliation by the American court against those who actually insist on fair and impartial adjudication of their court cases, following the rule of law.

At the background of a system of adjudication-on-a-whim in American courts, it was a breath of fresh air to read about a decision of - gasp! - the Russian Supreme Court reported today by the Russian legal press portal

The Russian Supreme Court reversed a lower appellate court's decision (the interlinked article is in Russian, but, I understand, it can be translated through Google), because the lower appellate court, "in violation of Article 67 of the Civil Procedure Code of the Russian Federation

  1. did not assess proof in the record as to: 
    1. relevance,
    2. admissibility,
    3. credibility of each separate piece of evidence offered as proof, as well as ,
    4. sufficiency and
    5. interconnection of the totality of evidence offered as proof, and
  2. did not eliminate existing contradictions among the aforementioned evidence in the record, even though the factual evidence in the record is material for the correct adjudication of the dispute"
But - that's exactly what American courts do all along, with no reversals!

After having read countless decisions of American courts that leaves an attorney stunned to the core by their lawlessness, and their arrogance in that lawlessness, where the record is disregarded or contradicted, the applicable law is disregarded or contradicted, or no grounds or explanations are given at all for the decisions that clearly contradict the record and the applicable law - my reaction to the reasons for this reversal by the Russian Supreme Court was - really?  Do courts still do that?  Do courts still reverse their brothers for not following the law and/or the record?

And, please, consider the fact that Russia is, basically, a dictatorship with an abysmal record of human rights violations.

And, please, also consider the fact that, even being a dictatorship with an abysmal record of human rights violations, Russia allows its citizens to sue the Russian government in an international court, the European Court of Human Rights, for violations of human rights, seeking monetary compensation from their governments - the relief blocked in the U.S. by:

1) federal courts dismissing such cases on the pretext of judicially created "abstentions", "immunities", deferences and Rooker-Feldman "the biased state court already decided your case, so what do you want from us" doctrines; and

2) by the refusal of the U.S. legislators to fully ratify the International Convention of Civil and Political Rights and to allow Americans to do what Russians (and citizens or non-citizen individuals wronged by other countries, including some dictatorships, subject to the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights and to the United Nations Human Rights Commission) already have - the right to sue those governments in an international forum for human rights violations.

So, it appears that we are not a dictatorship, after all, here in the United States.

We are much, much worse.

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