"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.

Friday, November 18, 2016

A revolutionary federal decision regarding the roots of judicial bias - the aftermath of Pennsylvania's Porngate continues - and further exposes the need to deregulation of the legal profession seized by fear

Pennsylvania now former Attorney General Kathleen Kane was recently stripped of her law license, convicted and sentenced by the very system whose misconduct she exposed - on testimony of people she investigated and who wanted her job, and while the politically appointed judge blocked her from the very basic right of a criminal defendant, to present to the jury all relevant facts.  Kathleen Kane was blocked by the judge from presenting to the jury the very reason why she was on trial - the Porngate scandal.

Yet, that Porngate scandal is not dying, and continues to rage.

Right now there is reportedly pressure on Kathleen Kane's successor, Pennsylvania new Attorney General Bruce Beemer, to not release identities of people named in the e-mails (those which were not released yet).

Some media sources are now bothered by the price tag of Kathleen Kane's e-mail investigation, so far reportedly $385,000.

Yet, somehow, the same media sources do not seem to be concerned about hundreds of thousands of dollars spent upon investigations, prosecutions and then keeping in prison individuals who were convicted by racist and sexist investigators, prosecutors and judges.

Kathleen Kane, Pennsylvania's former Attorney General who paid with

  • her law license,
  • her career,
  • breakup of her family,
  • years of enduring harassment and abuse in the press, and a
  •  criminal felony sentence
for doing her job and exposing misconduct of high-standing public officials in Pennsylvania, deserves respect on par or more than whistleblowers such as Edward Snowden or Julian Assange because, unlike Edward Snowden (who disappeared into Russia fearing for his life) and Julian Assange (who took refuge in an Ecuador Embassy in London also fearing for his life), Kathleen Kane was exposing governmental misconduct while staying within the country and standing her grounds, until she was convicted by the very same crooked court system, and on the testimony of the very same crooked individuals whom she exposed.

Now, there is reportedly pressure on the new Pennsylvania Attorney General to not release names of people involved in the e-mail exchange (those whose names were not released previously, I understand), federal judge Gerald A McHugh specifically, and sua sponte, cited the racist and sexist e-mails exchanged by investigators, prosecutors and even Pennsylvania Supreme Court judges to give an admitted thief and prostitute a chance to overturn her murder conviction - based on confession coerced out of her after hours of interrogation during which a now-exposed rogue investigator reportedly subjected her to racist and sexist invectives.

Judge Gerald A McHugh's decision and footnote about Pennsylvania Supreme Court judges and their misconduct and biases,

 put front and center the question that attorneys, judges and the media have been either ducking or suppressing through sanctions - is judicial behavior outside of the particular court proceeding (in or out of court) relevant to judicial bias?

Judge McHugh ruled - reasonably, in my opinion - that judges personal views and personal conduct is relevant to their judicial decisions.

Note that the legal profession is seized with fear - with the federal judge having to raise the question of relevancy of Porngate sexist and racist e-mails that investigators, prosecutors and judges who handle a particular case were handling.


  • with the Porngate scandal raging for several years now,
  • several public officials, including to Supreme Court justices, Michael Eakin and Seamus McCafery, resigning (Michael Eakin - after participating in stripping Kathleen Kane of her law license),
  • the media being all over Kathleen Kane, and
  • Kathleen Kane stripped of her license and convicted, without being given a chance to present to the jury the evidence that the entire criminal case against her was the result of her exposure of the racist and sexist "good ol' boy's club" -
imagine, that the mentioning of Porngate e-mails as the basis of judicial bias appeared FOR THE FIRST TIME only now - and only mentioned sua sponte decision by a federal judge, not in any pleadings of attorneys, who are deathly afraid to touch the subject with a 10-foot pole, even to benefit their clients.

I keep pointing out on this blog that regulation of the legal profession in general, and, specifically, by the judiciary, is declared to be done in the interests and for the protection of consumers of legal services.

Yet, as the Porngate scandal clearly showed, such regulation by the judiciary (consider the former Judge Michael Eakin who, without any qualms or scruples, stripped investigator of his own misconduct Kathleen Kane of her law license in order to force her out of office at the beginning of the Porngate scandal) results only in the judiciary putting itself above the law and making attorney regulation a tool of political oppression and even of removal of honest and courageous elected public officials, like Kathleen Kane, from office, BECAUSE of the investigations such public officials are conducting AGAINST the judiciary.

Attorneys in Pennsylvania knew for years - and were silent - about Kids for Cash scandal, fearing repercussions from the judiciary.

Now attorneys in Pennsylvania knew for years - and were silent - about the Porngate scandal, so that when a federal judge mentioned the obvious in his decision, for the first time in a court case unrelated to Kathleen Kane in all the years that Porngate was a known to the public and the legal community, it was perceived  by the legal community and the press as some kind of a revolutionary move that nobody before Judge McHugh dared to make.

Here is the decision of Judge McHall in Hill v Wetzel and here is
the famous Footnote 6 (a sua sponte statement by the judge) that has the media and the legal community all so stirred up:

Hill v Wetzel is a very interesting decision that deserves an in-depth separate analysis, which I, hopefully, will be able to publish, time permitting, within the next week. 

But, as to the result of the decision - an evidentiary hearing allowed and a certificate of appealability given by a federal judge based on misbehavior of Pennsylvania Supreme Court judges and investigators - and the fact that the attorneys did not mention the Porngate scandal in the pleadings as a basis for the decision, but the judge himself did it, these facts raise questions related to all of us and our constitutional right to
true and effective access to court and for impartial judicial review.

Do we, the legal consumers, need regulation of the legal profession which results in legal profession gripped by fear to an extent that the court representatives having a monopoly for such court representation, are afraid to do their jobs properly?

A country where court representatives are seized by fear of losing their right to earn a living - for a lifetime - can it be called a democracy?  Seriously?


  1. Talk Talk Talk seriously, why not go to the Governor with this and ask on behalf of the Constituents of the Commonwealth of why this is allowed to not only happen, but continues to happen on both the watch of the Repukes, and the Dumocraps. The media can blah blah blah all it wants and blog all day, we the people know !! The media needs to go to the top, Gov. Tom Wolf, and every state legislature and hold them accountable for the mess.

  2. Legal blogger Tatiana Neroni asking for a meeting with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe... And "holding him accountable for the mess". Hm... Makes a lot of sense, and will change a lot in this situation, I am sure.

    I understand the frustration, but being blamed for not traveling to personally speak to leaders of state governments who I cover in my blog, and I cover stories from all over the United States... Well. At least, I see that people read my blog and understand the message - that the situation described is intolerable, and that a change, possibly a legislative change, is needed. Since, in this particular situation, I am not a Pennsylvanian, though, it is not for me to meet with Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolfe or to speak to Pennsylvania legislators, but for Pennsylvanians themselves - if that is their choice.