"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.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

On #ProprietaryInterestsOfStateUniversities, the true reasons why state universities and colleges try to get more immigrant students, and on measures necessary to make state colleges spend taxpayer money responsibly

In the recent controversial decision, the 9th Circuit granted to the states of Washington and Minnesota a standing to sue the U.S. President in order to strong-arm the President to change his immigration policy, based on allegations that state colleges have a "proprietary interest" in immigrant students.

Yet, as a taxpayer who has taxes has been used for years to fund those colleges, I have a problem with this approach, because I see the focus of state colleges on immigrant students similar to a trick of an an employer with lousy work conditions bringing in strike-breakers to break a strike - in this case, immigrant students with goals other than to succeed in the work market and paying full tuition (other than reduced in-state tuition) are brought in to fill the gap created by the lagging admissions, which are lagging because college curricula are not matched with market expectations and demand. 

Such import of immigrant students delays exposure, highlighting and resolution of current bad problems with the increasing decline of the market value of overpriced college education, and the 9th Circuit decision, by judges who, upon information and belief, themselves have ties to the higher education industry, did not help.

The main task of a state college (why taxpayers fund it) is to create specialists necessary for the state's economy.

Yet, colleges, funded by federal and private loans, do not care less whether their graduates do or do not find jobs.

And, as a direct result of sluggish economy and of inability of students to find jobs after they graduate - with staggering student loans - college degrees lose their attractiveness.

But not for immigrant students.

For immigrant students, a college or university degree from the United States have benefits other than a possibility to find a better job - which constitutes the ever more illusory goal of American citizen students.

Such additional benefits of a U.S. education for an immigrant student are:

1) an enhanced prestige and job prospects in the student's own country;
2) an opportunity to live in the U.S. and escape whatever bad situation the immigrant student may have had in his home country;
3) to use their education as an anchor for their "path to citizenship" in the U.S. and to bring their families inside the country

For colleges, on the other hand, immigrant students present income opportunities because:

1) such students have benefits from receiving education in the U.S. other than the prospect of a BETTER job (as compared to jobs without a college degree) for American citizen students - thus making for immigrant students attractive even such education in American colleges that has absolutely no prospect of a job in the future, simply to be able to get into the United States;

2) such immigrant students, unlike students who are residents of the state who is the "proprietor" of the State University (actually, the taxpayers are the "proprietors"), pay full tuition, and not "in-state" reduced tuition.

One big reason as to why the States were clamoring with the 9th Circuit for their alleged "right" to import students is because they could not attract enough Americans to pay their tuition - because their education, in the eyes of the taxpaying public, is not worth much.

Now, states, and state universities, received a boon from the 9th Circuit allowing the states to import even more immigrant students, paying full tuition for the right to be in the country for several years, and to forge their "path to citizenship" and bring their families in.

Because of this decision, state universities will obviously import more immigrant students, paying full tuition and looking to use the education as an anchor to get themselves and their families into this country, rather than to get a job with that same education.

For that reason, States colleges, still funded MAINLY by taxpayer money, notwithstanding tuition from immigrants - have even less incentive to put together education curriculum that would give their graduates a good chance to get a job.

The remedy for that would be that:

  1. the state colleges get strict budgets;
  2. the state colleges are required to finance student education through loans or grants from their budgets only, without any federal or private financing;
  3. introduce strict accountability of college officials for student defaults on loans because of bad grades or because of inability to find a job;
  4. to introduced assessment panels of state college performance by independent taxpayer panels, having authority to fire non-performing college officials.
That would drive the state colleges to:

  1. rigorously vet the incoming student body:
    1. through oral and written (essay, not multiple choice) entrance exams on many subjects;
    2. by requiring their faculty to put together curriculums for courses that would produce graduates whose knowledge and training would be in demand in the current employment market;
  2. to rigorously vet its faculty, specifically:
    1. to cancel tenure of faculty, indicating that teaching at the state college at taxpayers' expense is not a lifelong sabbatical, as many professors treat it, but a hard job meant to produce specialists in demand by the state's economy;
    2. to hire faculty who can deliver curriculums that would produce specialists in demand by the market;
  3. to rigorously vet its curriculum on the basis of true employment rate of their students:
    1. by having the curriculum;
    2. the majors;
    3. the faculty performance frequently assessed by independent taxpayer panels.
If anybody is concerned how can a taxpayer who does not have a clue about a math curriculum, will be assessing performance of a math professor (or of any other specialty), the approach will be the same as how a court, a judge trained in law only, is supposed to assess medical neglect cases - by involving experts who will testify before the panel, and the panel will make its determination based on that testimony.

Such measures will be fair and fiscally responsible, to taxpayers, to students and to faculty.

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