"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.

Monday, April 24, 2017

DGAF as a doctrine of judicial non-recusal - yet another secretly demented judge has surfaced?

Do you know this brand spanking new abbreviation?


This is what it is:

And this is what it means in the "legal world".

This judge, Robert W. Sweet, appointed for life to "serve" on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York (on the right) who is just 6 years away from turning 100, is, apparently, a DGAF judge.  He is a senior judge, too, who assumed "senior status" on March 1, 1991, but did not stop judging cases.

He allows himself to make comments that surely would require any self-respecting jurist to recuse.

But, self-respect does not equal mandate to recuse.

Of course, there is a statute mandating recusal, 28 U.S.C. 455, and there are court precedents mandating recusal as a constitutional point, a lot of them, but, see above, who gives a F... , yes, that word?

We have judges with wet-brain eating diseases, hallucinations, demented judges who still do not resign - they just disappear when there is no longer a possibility to hide the fact that they are demented or wet-brained delirious alcoholics.

And, we have judges whose dementia shows up in other ways - by DGAF arrogance.

Apparently, Judge Sweet is such a judge.

And, of course, attorneys are deathly afraid to make motions to recuse judges, and thus sent just a letter seeking to "discuss" potential bias of the judge against the Plaintiff

- which the judge who was challenged with the letter, "deemed" a motion, ordered to be fully briefed, and denied.

Imagine what he will do next to the Plaintiff in this litigation.

With amazing frankness, the legal blog Above the Law states:

A translation for non-lawyers:  "do not criticize a judge, he will retaliate".

Imagine that you are given the power over the critics of your own potential bias or misconduct.  Will you be just exercising such a power?  Do you think it is appropriate to even give such power to you over your own critics?  Or, maybe, somebody else should handle such motions to recuse?  Because, remember, at the age of 94, the judge is a DGAF judge,

and, if he DGAF, he may also DGAF whether he is biased or not.

But, as to the claim that "few things antagonize judges more than an unjustified motion to recuse", isn't retaliation by a judge, or the fact that judges are even antagonized by "unjustified" motions to recuse them actually point at the fact that the motion to recuse WAS justified, that the judge DID have bias, and that the judge MUST recuse, as not being impartial?

Let's see what this Sweet - pun intended - judge will do to the Plaintiff later in litigation, as a consequence of the Plaintiff's "unjustified" motion to recuse.

And it is especially interesting that the lawsuit was by a whistleblower (critic) for firing her after she blew that whistle (criticized).

To have a 94-year-old, possibly demented, "sweet" judge presiding who himself views retaliation by a person in power against a person with less power as "humor" is, in my view, a denial of judicial review altogether.

Of course, we will never know whether the judge was "snarky" because he was demented until he either starts leaving home and wandering around on the highway in a daze, like federal judge Edwin Kosik did, or become delirious like federal judge in Louisiana Patricia Minaldi did, to such a degree that another judge of her court sued her claiming Judge Minaldi cannot even "safely" take care of her own affairs - much less of the court affairs in front of her.

Let's remember that these "humorous", "snarky", nearly-centennial, wet-brained and demented judges may potentially preside (or are actually presiding) over death penalty cases.

Maybe, it's enough?

Let's introduce terms for federal judges.  Short terms, too.  Not more than 2 years.  With a strict age cut-off of 70.  Not enough to "build a business" out of their appointment.  And, not enough to develop a dementia.

And, by the way, after judge Sweet refused to recuse - he was taken off the case anyway.

The docket report features another judge as assigned to the case now:

Such reassignment, and especially after denying of a motion to recuse, does not usually happen unless something is wrong with the previous judge.

The docket also shows that Judge Sweet's refusal to recuse, Dkt. 228 of April 14, 2017, was followed by a motion to reconsider that decision on April 18, 2017, a "sealed document placed into vault" on April 19, 2017, and a "Notice of reassignment" of Judge Cote on April 20, 2017.

So, we have another undisclosed demented judge now?

And, the judicial administration is hiding traces of that dementia?

I will not be surprised if Judge Sweet will be finally forced into retirement after his DGAF behavior and comments - but, unfortunately, the court will seek to do that secretly, without admitting any problem in his mental state or ability to perform, and without vacating any of his decisions, instead, keeping them as precedents and law of the case.

We cannot expect honorable behavior from judges, right? 

Because, with a lifetime tenure of federal judges, they all DGAF.

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