"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, May 23, 2017

The Texas #judgeJamesOakley who publicly incited through a Facebook post to lynch a black criminal defendant remained on the bench with a slap on the wrist and an order of "racial sensitivity training"

On this blog, I frequently cover stories from all over the United States showing that judges did not only give themselves an illegal gift of absolute immunity for malicious and corrupt acts on the bench (for violation their own oath of office once they took it), but, even if disciplined (by people with ties to and livelihood derived from the judicial system), they are usually given a slap on the wrist and allowed to continue on, engaging in the same conduct.

Another example of that came from Texas, where a judge, James Oakley,

received a slap on the wrist and was allowed to remain on the bench after posting on Facebook, in response of a media announcement of an arrest of a dark-skinned suspect in the murder of a police officer, stated: "Time for a tree and a rope".

Of course, the judge later erased the post, apologized and claimed that his post was not meant as racist, and was taken "out of context".

Yet, what kind of context is needed to read it as anything other than racist?

Why just a slap on the wrist?  Why just a public reprimand (which, as you understand, is nothing in terms of accountability and deterrence of future misconduct) and order into "racial sensitivity training" with a mentor of the Commission's choice?

Can one teach a raging violent racist how not to be a raging violent racist?

And even that discipline happened only because of the judge's own stupidity of openly stating on Facebook his obviously long-held beliefs:

  • there is no presumption of innocence in criminal proceedings;
  • a black person charged with a crime is guilty on publication of charges,
and because somebody was quick enough to save the scan and send it to the media and social media.

And, of course, the "context" of the judge's Facebook statement, had it been made just a 100 years back would be a body hanging from the tree in the courthouse square, put their by a lynching mob incited by the judge's "fighting words".

Because those words CALLED FOR VIOLENCE.

They called for vigilantism.

And no public explaining-away can erase it from #JudgeJamesOakley - the lynching racist.

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