"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, February 17, 2017

The ABA and the State of Wisconsin legal establishment warns the U.S. President not to criticize the hand that feeds them

After President Trump publicly called Judge Robart who made an illegal decision in an immigration case a "so-called judge" the ABA President claimed that criticism of a judge by the President was uncalled for and somehow "attacking" a judge is attacking the U.S. Constitution.

That is the same reaction from the ABA as came when President Trump criticized federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel for conflicts of interest (rightfully, see here, here and here). 

ABA President's feelings about criticism of a judge by President Trump in February of 2017 were seconded by a collective statement of 52 Wisconsin Bar governors:

It is interesting that the statement of the Wisconsin Bar governors does not reflect the opinion of the all Wisconsin attorneys - for example, a Wisconsin criminal defense attorney Michael Cicchini protested the protest in stating that the Wisconsin bar "governors" did not express his ideas and violated people's Freedom of Speech rights when they urged upon the public not to criticize judges, public servants.

Time to separate political activities of the Wisconsin's organized bar from its regulatory activities - like Arizona attorneys are trying to do now?

As to criticism of judges - the legal profession's position in viciously attacking the President and calling criticism of another branch of the government, "coincidentally", the branch that controls the legal profession's own livelihood, is not only disingenuous - it is shamefully hypocritical.

It is like saying - have your free press, have your social media and blogging, let's use it at large to attack those we do not like, but, do not dare to bite the hand that feeds us.

Well, maybe, if the judiciary feeds and controls the legal profession, licensed attorneys, who may be disbarred or suspended - and many are - for criticism of judges, are not very believable in trying to persuade the public that criticizing a judge is somehow inappropriate and is an equivalent of an attack on the Constitution?

When you see dirt in your house, you clean it, not sweep it under the rug.

And that includes exposing and trying to bring accountability upon judges committing misconduct - the way the person criticizing a judge understands it.

Stifling criticism, with even the most benign of intentions never helped.

Here, intentions of the legal profession are far from benign - those are acts of faithful slaves protecting their masters.


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  2. I rarely, if at all, remove comments. This was an advertisement of legal services by somebody else, and which was completely unrelated to the topic of this blog article.

    I will not let my blog to be used by law firms or by anybody else to publish their advertisement.