"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.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

Federal Judge Margo Brodie strikes at an indigent civil rights litigant - again

I recently wrote a blog about a federal #judgeMargoBrodie, a favorite of Senator Schumer, who dismissed, without disclosure of her conflict of interest (she represented New York City, the defendant in the action, in the past), a civil rights case of an indigent taxi driver because, as the judge arrogantly stated, a "state law procedure" was available for the driver - while 42 U.S.C. 1983, the Civil Rights Act, gives civil rights plaintiffs the right to choose federal court as their forum of choice, and gives a federal judge no authority whatsoever to force upon a civil rights plaintiff the choice of state court to bring his civil rights action.

Yet another case where Judge Brodie screwed an indigent civil rights plaintiff of her day in court was reported in June of 2017.

In the case Hennsler v DEC decided this month, Judge Brodie had outdone herself in incompetence and arrogant abuse of power against he poor.

An indigent woman asked DEC to approve building a residence on her inherited property in order to generate income to feed her two children.

DEC denied the request.

The woman sued for a constitutional violation.

Judge Brodie tossed out the lawsuit because she found that:

  1. the woman should have pled more facts (before discovery) indicating how her constitutional rights were violated, while all records related to violations were in possession of DEC, and while Federal Rules of Civil Procedure require notice pleading and not factual pleading - which the judge has no authority to change;
  2. DEC has "sovereign immunity secured by the 11th Amendment, while, of course,
    1. 11th Amendment has nothing to do with sovereign immunity - as the U.S. Supreme Court has recognized 18 years ago, of which Judge Brodie is seemingly unaware;
    2. 11th Amendment, by its text, does not bar lawsuits of citizens of a state against their own state, and the text of the constitutional amendment controls over any incorrect interpretation of that text;
    3. New York specifically waived sovereign immunity in 1925 through the Court of Claims Act.
  3. The plaintiff had available to her a "process" of contesting the denial of building permit before the DEC - thus amending the Civil Rights Act and imposing forum choice and exhaustion of administrative remedies requirement upon the plaintiff, for which the judge had no Article III constitutional authority.
It appears that abuse of power against the poor is becoming Judge Brodie's penchant.

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