While I was doing research for a book about proliferation of the American Bar Association to other countries (such as, my native Russia, and other former socialist countries) as emerging markets for businesses that ABA members represent, a number of "world-touring" judges came on my radar.
There is nothing better than to tour the world on somebody else's dime.
Of course, public officials, and especially judges, must make sure that there is no impropriety or even appearance of impropriety involved in anything they do in or even out of office.
Yet, American judges continue to tour the United States and the world giving lectures about the U.S. Constitution, "rule of law", judicial excellence and ethics - while being paid for by the very people who they "regulate" and give monopoly to (lawyers in the United States are licensed and disciplined by judges) and who appear in front of them, a direct conflict of interest.
Recently, I started to research the American Bar Association's "Rule of Law Initiative" (ROLI) that sponsored such judicial tours, lectures and "seminars" around the world - from Russia and Kazakhstan to Latin America.
Since Russian is my native language, I started my research of the ABA ROLI project from Russia and other countries that, due to having being, in the past, a part of the Soviet Union, still have information published in Russian.
The ever-growing lists of people who participated in the projects on both sides floored me.
I remember the claims made by American judges of
- low salaries - from $100,000 to over $200,000 in federal judges;
- crushing caseloads;
- possible unethical practices of the ABA or its members, whether attorneys or judges;
- possible problems with judicial accountability for bias, misconduct and corruption - and corruption of judges BY prominent members of the American Bar Association, or, such a sticky issue that
- creating monopoly of court representation only for licensed (ABA-approved) attorneys creates and widens the "justice gap" and deprives millions of Americans of affordable and diverse court representation, and that the ABA is ultimately responsible for the human rights crisis in the United States that would surely not be mentioned in seminars on "the rule of law" sponsored around the world by the ABA; and
- that the laws and rules of judicial discretion created with ABA's participation, make the "rule of law" non-mandatory, discretionary, at all levels of judicial review in the United States, and thus non-existent.
- attorneys rule the U.S., by making laws in legislatures the way that are favorable to them and
- by having judges they personally know make decisions they need.
- that there is the rule of law in the United States;
- that it is so good that it should be used as a model by other countries;
- that there is no rule of law in Russia, because it was not secured yet, and
- that Russian judiciary, as diligent pupils, try to gather wisdom from the American judiciary in how they should do their jobs in their own country;
- that Judge Stephen Friot is the role model for the Russian judiciary to get that wisdom from; and
- that Judge Stephen Friot has done a tremendous job in teaching those ignorant Russian judges what the rule of law is.
- creating, and demanding of lawyers and parties to accept, the "presumption of integrity of the judiciary", and
- creating, and demanding of lawyers to respect, the absolute immunity of judges for malicious and corrupt acts on the bench.
What do a judge's efforts to strengthen the rule of law anywhere other than in his own courtroom, and especially in a foreign country, has to do with judicial duties, and why such world-touring requires an award by those dependent upon the judge's good graces for their livelihoods (licensed attorneys), is anybody's guess.
So, Judge Friot's world-touring was done with support and, possibly, sponsorship also from:
- the Federal Judicial Center (an organization of the federal American government); and
- the Open World Center, "the only exchange program within the U.S. legislative branch", and a program that "receives annual funding from U.S. Congress" - so tours sponsored by the Open World are directly sponsored by the U.S. government, which creates a great problem for Russian judges to travel to the U.S., as a violation of the 2008 law not to travel abroad on foreign dime.
Compare with Judge Friot's picture next to American flag, stressing his status and "judicial excellence".
Judge Ulanov, same as Judge Friot, has an award for his "contributions to the justice system".
By the way, Judge Ulanov was a Communist Party instructor before becoming a judge - as a lot of judges his age are in Russia, which, obviously, does not make communication with them for American judges and the American Bar Association any less sweeter.
The article mentions that Judge John Dooley, the President of the same Russian American Rule of Law Consortium where U.S. District Judge Stephen Friot is a Director, participated in that tour in 2003.
In this instance, Judge Friot put himself above even "policy-makers" in Russia, providing them with "guidance".
I wonder whether it is appropriate for a federal judge to "provide guidance" to "policy-makers" of a country which is not exactly friendly to the U.S., or whether it is, in fact, grounds for impeachment. I would stick with the latter.
The paragraph mentions that judge Friot visited the Russian towns of:
- Ulyanovsk (a town located on the Volga River);
- Nizhniy Novgorod - a tourist destination on the same Volga River; and
- St. Petersburg - a very expensive (and thus attractive for the freeloading judges) tourist destination
I wonder, I really wonder - when did judge Steven Friot get all that time for all that activity:
- world touring -
Remember, this is the lecturer to the Russian government, judges and attorneys on "comparative constitutional analysis".
In 2001, when Steve Friot was nominated for the federal bench - where he was supposed to decide, predominantly, civil rights cases (constitutional law) and federal criminal cases, including death penalty cases, here is his litigation experience, as paraded in the confirmation hearing in the U.S. Senate in 2001:
Working for 29 years in the area of law that had nothing to do with constitutional law, civil rights, criminal law or the death penalty, truly "qualified" Steve Friot to be a federal judge.
I wonder what Steve Friot or his law firm did to secure his nomination to the federal bench from President Bush. Judging by accounts in a book "After the Madness" by the former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals Sol Wachtler, and in a book by journalist Linda Wolf about Sol Wachtler, President Bush gave out nominations to completely unqualified people, simply because they donated a lot to his election campaign.
For example, President Bush reportedly nominated to the position of an ambassador Sol Wachtler's former lover (and big financial contributor to President Bush's election campaign at the time when all "heavyweight" pollsters thought that his opponent will win) Joy Silverman to Barbados, while she did not even have a college degree, and her entire "qualification", apart from being the financial contributor to President Bush's election campaign was that she took French in high school (the U.S. Congress did not confirm that nomination).
The next paragraph explains why the Oklahoma State Bar was so eager to give an award of any kind to Steven Friot - he was one of their functionaries.
The statement in the confirmation hearing runs that, before coming to the bench:
- Friot "has been very active in the Oklahoma Bar Association serving several times as a member of the Association's House of Delegates", and that
- Friot "has also served as chairman of the association's committees on Legal Specialization and Administration of Justice", as well as
- Friot "served as president of the Oklahoma County Bar Association", not to mention that
- Friot was, in the 2001, the president of a "Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inn of Court", American Inns of Court being a secret-membership organization where attorneys meet with judges behind closed doors, wine and dine them, and - sponsor their trips.
The officers of that Inn of Court are private attorneys, a U.S. attorney and several judges from Oklahoma courts, including several officers of the Oklahoma Bar Association.
The "meeting schedule" of these "officers" and of members of this "Inn" is secret, and, obviously, opponents from court cases that these judges and attorney members of the Inn of Court may be happily discussing behind closed doors are not invited.
Judge Friot was promoting this illegal scheme for years, as president of this Inn of Court.
I doubt that he shared this experience either in the confirmation hearing to his judicial position, or in his grandstanding lectures to Russian attorneys, judges and "policy-makers".
After learning that Steve Friot was the backseat driver and benefactor of the American judiciary, and did his behind-the-scenes puppet show in the name of the sitting justice of the U.S. Supreme Court Ruth Bader Ginsburg, one does not need to read anything else about Friot to figure out why was he nominated.
It is likely that Friot's nomination to the federal bench was decided not in the U.S. Congress, but in his own "Inn of Court", over a dinner with wine with somebody who knows how to make things happen.
Of course, Friot has a great commitment to his community because he supported Boy Scouts of America and even served as "Assistant Scoutmaster for Troop 4" - likely, for his own children.
And, of course, Steve Friot built houses for low-income families through the "Habitat for Humanity".
I am wondering - where a busy law partner of a large law firm who was supposed to work 16 hours a day litigating for his clients in the area of:
- corporate defense;
- tort defense; and
- aviation litigation
took time to do all of that:
- "service" on the House of Delegates of the Oklahoma State Bar Association;
- "service" in several Committees of that same association;
- Presidency over the Oklahoma County Bar Association;
- Presidency in the Ruth Bader Ginsburg Inn of Court;
- Assistant Scoutmaster-ship in Troop 4 of Boy Scouts;
- building houses for the Habitat for Humanity;
- "service" as a co-Trustee of the Oklahoma State Housing Financing Authority.
Just after 6 short years on the bench, Judge Friot became, from an expert in aviation litigation, an expert in constitutional review, and "served as the U.S. judicial delegate to the Tenth International Forum on Constitutional Review, in Moscow" - an all-expenses-paid trip sponsored by the "Institute for Law and Public Policy" which is, interestingly enough, located in Moscow, Russia.
During his years on the bench Judge Friot did not abandon his routine that he established while he was still an attorney - to do anything but his job.
Judge Friot's picture posted on the Internet - in chambers, shirt-and-suspenders only, the American flag next to him, with a heavy, cruel and arrogant gaze - shows all that you need to know about who Judge Friot is in the way of "judicial excellence".
And, for his continued efforts towards excellence, his own, and his colleagues from other countries that he needs to provide "guidance" for, as for ignorant children, the Oklahoma State Bar Association congratulated Judge Friot and gave him an award of judicial excellence in 2012.
- a judge can, for years, entertain himself during criminal jury trials by using a penis pump on the bench instead of following testimony, while court employees knew about it and were deathly afraid to report it for fear of losing their jobs;
- a judge can be convicted for stealing cattle and embezzling thousands of dollars from people, but not for sending a 7-month-old baby back to his abuser, to the child's death;
- where the top court of the State of Oklahoma is lowering the bar for the required qualifications for attorneys - and, obviously, judges who are required to be attorneys - to enter the profession because otherwise there will be nobody for law schools to lure and soak for tuition fees - with a resulting quality of criminal defense;
- where the top Oklahoma State Court does not consider forcible sodomy of an unconscious victim a rape; and
- where the death penalty is, reportedly, racist in regards to both the race of victim (if the victim is not white, then the death penalty is less likely) and the race of defendant (if the defendant is not white, the death penalty is more likely):
Today, on January 26, 2017, another federal judge, U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Michael Merz has ruled that the use of midazolam in executions would created a "substantial risk of serious harm" or "an objectively intolerable risk of harm" - and stopped executions in Ohio.
After being declared unconscious, Lockett was able to raise his head and said, "Oh, man", "I'm not..." and according to some sources, "something's wrong". Lockett began writhing at 6:36 p.m. and was observed twitching and convulsing. He attempted to rise from the table at 6:37 p.m. and loudly exhaled. A lawyer for Lockett reportedly said, “It looked like torture.” 
All three drugs had been administered to Lockett, but it was unclear how much had entered his system. A vein in the groin was selected as the injection site, and a cloth was put over it to prevent witnesses seeing the groin area. This prevented staff from seeing that the IV connection had failed. Patton has stated "the chemicals did not enter into the offender". Prison officials had reportedly discussed taking Lockett to a hospital before he died.
A subsequent report showed Clayton Lockett's execution was halted 33 minutes after it began. His vein collapsed as the drugs were administered, and after this was noticed by the doctor, that doctor stated that Lockett had not been given enough of the drugs to result in death, but there were not enough of the drugs left to attempt to continue the execution. The report noted:
The doctor checked the IV and reported the blood vein had collapsed, and the drugs had either absorbed into tissue, leaked out or both. [...] Patton asked if enough drugs had been administered to cause death, to which the doctor replied “no”. The director then asked if another vein was available to complete the execution, and if so, were there enough drugs left. The doctor answered no to both questions."
So, let's count the "attempts" of TWO medical professionals - a paramedic and a doctor - to get a needle into a condemned inmate's vein:
Number of attempts
Bracial vein in the biceps
Veins in the left foot
Doctor Johnny Zellner
Jugular vein in the neck
Subclavian vein in the collar bone
Femural vein in the groin
10 ATTEMPTS TOTAL: 5 attempts by paramedic and 5 attempts by a doctor Johnny Zellner (who was sued after his "efforts" by the family of the executed man) to get a needle into a man's vein, 9 of them botched.
Clayton Lockett was tortured by incompetent medical personnel before any drugs started to flow into his veins.
And remember - THIS man the American Bar Association has chosen as an "expert on judicial excellence" to speak overseas about "the rule of law", and how it should be.
And THIS man was given a reward by the Oklahoma Bar Association, after he allowed the tortured execution of John David Duty with the unproven drug, thus allowing unlawful medical experimentation on humans.
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