"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, October 26, 2016

What is common between Hillary Clinton, Andrew Cuomo and New York State Office of Children and Family Services? Shredgates

There is one common feature between
  • the Democratic candidate for Presidential Office Hillary Clinton,
  • New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and
  • the New York State for Children and Family Services -
their adamant disregard for the public's right to know what is going on in the government and shredding evidence of their and their agencies' misconduct.

The Hillary Clinton's e-mail shredding scandal and continues to rage at this time, with

  • Hillary Clinton protected by public officials as high as President Obama and the sudden support of his wife Michele Obama, by
  • refusal of FBI Director James Comey to do his job and turn Hillary Clinton's case into the grand jury proceedings, by
  • Loretta Lynch's Office refusal to prosecute Hillary Clinton after her peculiar airport meeting with Bill Clinton (while Loretta Lynch was a law partner in a law firm representing the Clintons) and instead giving immunity to lawyers and employees of Hillary Clinton who destroyed evidence despite court orders,
  • by the cowardly reaction of attorney state disciplinary authorities "waiting" for federal authorities to pursue either Hillary Clinton or her attorneys who shredded evidence sought in court in defiance of court orders - before taking any actions of their own.
Hillary Clinton actually is not alone in her e-mail shredding rampage, and she follows the tradition of New York State public officials, recently created, by the way - so Hillary Clinton has a great example to follow.

In 2015 New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

made his own waves by announcing a policy that the Executive branch of the State of New York will delete all e-mails older than 90 days.

Andrew Cuomo, of course, explained away and defended his policy, but nevertheless it was called a "purge" by the media, and happened at the time when
making Cuomo's Shredgate similar to Clinton's Shredgate.

But, prior to Cuomo's Shredgate and Clinton's Shredgate, there was a New York State Office of Children and Family Services' Shredgate from which Cuomo could take example - and Clinton could learn from Cuomo.

Instead of any meaningful discipline in any of the three Shredgate cases, what we see is just some tongue-lashing in the press - and that is all.

Yet, there is a means of addressing such criminal conduct - filing complaints with the U.S. Attorney's office demanding criminal prosecutions of participants in such "Shredgates", and then filing writs of mandamus (federal court cases) to force the U.S. Attorney's office to turn such cases into the federal grant juries - if they refuse to do it on their own, afraid of consequences.

There is a U.S. Statute, 18 U.S.C. 3332(a) that provides:

"It shall be the duty of each such grand jury impaneled within any judicial district to inquire into offenses against the criminal laws of the United States alleged to have been committed within that district. Such alleged offenses may be brought to the attention of the grand jury by the court or by any attorney appearing on behalf of the United States for the presentation of evidence. Any such attorney receiving information concerning such an alleged offense from any other person shall, if requested by such other person, inform the grand jury of such alleged offense, the identity of such other person, and such attorney’s action or recommendation."

So, whether the U.S. Attorney General deems feasible bringing criminal proceedings against high-ranking public officials like Cuomo or Clinton, or President Obama who, it appears, knowingly sent e-mails to Hillary Clinton's unprotected private server,

if "any other person" complains to the U.S. Attorney General and requests the U.S. Attorney General to turn such information against Hillary Clinton, her shred-happy employees, President Obama, Andrew Cuomo and any other shred-happy public officials,

18 U.S.C. 3332(a) requires the U.S. Attorney General to present the complaint, on the complainant's request, to a federal grand jury.

And, if the U.S. Attorney refuses to do her duty under this statute, a writ of mandamus remedy (a lawsuit in federal court seeking to make the U.S. Attorney comply with the statute and present the case to the federal grand jury) is available.

I wonder why nobody is filing such a criminal complaint or such a writ of mandamus action.

Afraid of the all-powerful Clintons and their financial supporters?

But, since there is a long statute of limitations for federal felonies, Hillary Clinton and her Shredgate helpers may remain on the hook for criminal prosecutions for a long time, even if she is elected President of the United States.

It is unfortunate that we have a choice between a presidential candidate of questionable fitness such as Trump and a candidate of unquestionable unfitness such as Hillary Clinton.

Yet, where there is a reasonable belief that a person has committed a crime, and especially a crime against national security, the person and his accomplices must be prosecuted as a criminal, no matter the rank, if this country has any hope of being respected by its own citizens and in the international community alike, as a country governed by the rule of law.

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