"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.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

On "binding power" of uncontitutional statutes and court decisions. New York to its popular sovereign: you do not have a right to know whether you pay for employment of a torturer

On March 30, 2017, New York State Supreme Court Appellate Division, 1st Judicial Department, issued a decision, authored by 5 judges:

  • #JudgeJohnWSweeny,Jr (presiding judge) (by the way, I found only one John W. Sweeney in New York Attorney Registration database - admitted in 1952, and now dead, and another John Sweeney, admitted in 1989 who works for New York City Law Department, the one that is interested in non-disclosure of information about police officers) ;

each sworn to protect federal and state Constitutions.

Yet, being sworn to protect and uphold the U.S. Constitution did not prevent these 5 judges from making a decision that put a FACIALLY unconstitutional New York Statute - Civil Rights Law 50-a - and a 1999 decision of the New York State Court of Appeals promoting that unconstitutional statute's agenda (blocking the public from knowing whether police officers in the public employ are committing misconduct) above the public's 1st Amendment right to know, and above criminal defendants' right to effective confrontation of police witnesses, guaranteed by the 6th Amendment.

In a decision in Matter of Luongo v Records Access Officer, Civilian Complaint Review Bd., these 5 justice reversed the decision of the lower court ordering release of employment information (complaints against the police officer and their resolution) regarding the police officer whose actions led to the choking death in detention of Eric Garner in New York in 2014.

The U.S. Constitution, through its Supremacy Clause, is the law of the land, trumping all inconsistent state laws.

Of course, justices of the Appellate Division 1st Department, lawyers with up to 51 years of practice (Judge Moskowitz) under their belts, know that. 

But, even though information about public servants regarding safety of the public must be disclosed, and so is the information whether a police officer whose actions resulted in the death of Eric Garner, is predator on the loose whom his employers failed to control and disable, thus exposing the public to danger - the law named "Civil Rights Law", section 50-a, actually blocks the public from knowing whether they are properly protected BY the police FROM the police force, from the bad apples in the police force.

The law was enacted - as the New York State Court of Appeals ruled in 1999 - for these purposes:

"Hence, when access to an officer's personnel records relevant to promotion or continued employment is sought under FOIL, nondisclosure will be limited to the extent reasonably necessary to effectuate the purposes of Civil Rights Law § 50-a — to prevent the potential use of information in the records in litigation to degrade, embarrass, harass or impeach the integrity of the officer".

That is a clear admission, in so many words, that New York State Legislature enacted a statute MEANT, FACIALLY, to prevent impeachment of police officers as witnesses in litigation - which means in the context of criminal proceedings, to prevent effective cross-examination of police officers as prosecution's witnesses, which is a FACIAL violation of the 6th Amendment's Confrontation Clause.

Did these 5 justices rise up in arms and say - I, Justice Sweeny (Acosta, Moskowitz, Kapnick, Kahn) - took MY OWN oath of office to uphold the U.S. Constitution, and I will not uphold a facially unconstitutional statute, which was introduced specifically to undermine effective cross-examination of police officers as witnesses of the prosecution, in violation of the 6th Amendment.

Instead, these justices preferred to sell out their oaths of office in order not to upset the powers-that-be that put them in office.

And, of course, neither of these 5 justices can be subjected to disciplinary proceedings for their betrayal of their constitutional oath of office.

After all, one of them, Judge Rolando T. Acosta, is the member of the New York State Commission for Judicial Conduct.

No wonder why New York is one of the states from where people run the fastest.

It's called voting with their feet, from the corrupt government, including the highly educated, but still biased (and very likely - corrupt) judges.

People must demand that judges adhere to their constitutional oath of office first and foremost, and that they pay no heed to facially unconstitutional statutes and precedents.

And, judges SHOULD NOT be on Judicial Conduct Commission.  It should be populated only by lay people who have no ties with the legal industry, no connections with a judge or an attorney.

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