"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.

Saturday, June 10, 2017

On cynicism about the government, execution of innocents and satisfaction with justice

U.S. Supreme Court Judge Neil Gorsuch, the latest addition to U.S. taxpayers' burden in a useless court that enforces the U.S. Constitution only if it feels like it, gave a speech recently at Harvard where he claimed he does not share "cynicism about the government". 

That is an interesting proposition, coming from this judge, and from this court.

First, I wonder whether it was an all expenses paid plus a fee-for-lecture speech, as it usually happens with "justices" of this useless court that is doing nothing to enforce the law, but has long usurped the power to act as the ultimate lawmaker and policymaker based on judges' own personal values.

The fight over who is going to replace Scalia (Gorsuch did) was only a litmus test of what the U.S. Supreme Court has become - once again, a useless drain on taxpayers that takes only those cases it wants to take, and then makes policy and the law in those cases that it does take - likely in exchange for speaking engagements, all expenses paid national and international trips and the like favors, otherwise the identity of who is going to be the next judge on this court and who will impartially apply the law to the facts should not really matter.

Second, Judge Gorsuch did not elaborate what he considers as "cynicism about the government".  Very possibly it is criticism of the government - protected by the 1st Amendment.

Since the U.S. Supreme Court rules on cases based on personal values and views of its judges - and rejects 99% of cases for review - it is apparent that Gorsuch is no different than the other judges who, for example, refused to take a case of an attorney disciplined for criticism of a judge (one of their own class) for half a century.

Gorsuch's claim that he does not share "cynicism about the government" made in the same speech where he lauded (while his court is about to review immigration cases against the Trump administration) that the government may be stopped by courts without the use of arms - constitutes, in my view, a type of judicial misconduct.

It is a potential pre-judgment of cases against Trump, indicating that Judge Gorsuch thinks that no matter the lower federal courts do, whether their decisions are lawful or not, whether they are constitutional or not, somehow they need to be obeyed - even though unconstitutional court decisions are void, and a nullity, and even though precedents of federal courts are not part of the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution that Judge Gorsuch keeps taking various oaths (as an attorney, and then as a judge of various levels) to uphold.

Judge Gorsuch's own court has decided - in a case 214 years ago by which the U.S. Supreme Court has usurped the right to interpret the U.S. Constitution - that

"[c]ertainly all those who have framed written constitutions contemplate them as forming the fundamental and paramount law of the nation, and consequently the theory of every such government must be, that an act of the legislature repugnant to the constitution is void."

In other words, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that an act of the government (no matter which branch) "repugnant to the constitution is void".

Void means a nullity, having no force of law.

Certainly the same applies to unconstitutional decisions of courts.

Yet, as to court decisions, courts - including the U.S. Supreme Court - have a different position: no matter whether a court decision is or is not lawful, it must be obeyed, which is an opinion that lacks common sense and is unconstitutional.

So, we see that Judge Gorsuch, from a get-go, started spouting opinions that he does not "share" "cynicism about the government" - which is, from a judge of his rank, and coupled with his praise of the government obeying court decisions, no matter whether they are constitutional or not, can be regarded as a thinly veiled threat to critics of courts.

Moreover, Judge Gorsuch spouted in the same lecture one more "truth", which, considering the ongoing debate about the ever widening "justice gap", and a continuing debate of wrongful executions of innocent people - TWO of them already on Judge Gorsuch's conscience:

  • of Ledell Lee in Arkansas where Gorsuch played God and cast the decisive vote in execution of what could be an innocent man - a black man; and
  • of Robert Melson - another black man, in the state of Alabama - who was tied to a triple murder only by a co-defendant's testimony (in order to get himself out of his own death penalty) and a shoe print that was found (or appeared) at the crime scene "coincidentally" after the police forcibly took shoes from Robert Melson (and likely fabricated evidence to put him on the death row).
Robert Melson was not given a free attorney for his criminal appeals, and his out-of-state pro bono attorney, reportedly, screwed his appeals.

Judge Gorsuch and his court had a DISCRETION NOT to take the appeal of the State of Alabama to lift the stay imposed on Robert Melson's execution by the 11th Circuit - as the court does in 99% of cases coming for its review.

Yet, Judge Gorsuch took that case and lifted the stay imposed by the 11th Circuit, effectively killing Robert Melson and other Alabama death row inmates.

Robert Melson did not have an easy death.   Reportedly, he may have been not only innocent and framed, not only denied effective assistance of counsel by the racist "justice" system of the State of Alabama, but also may have been tortured to death - thanks to Judge Gorsuch's use of "discretion".

Gorsuch said something else in his speech at Harvard - something that gives a real insight into the mindset of Gorsuch, and other "golden boys" - and girls - who have been born with a silver spoon in their mouths and have had an easy way to the top, as Gorsuch did, because of their blue blood, the "titles of nobility" Clause of the U.S. Constitution notwithstanding.

So, in a country where
  • the death penalty is imposed EXCLUSIVELY on indigent criminal defendants who cannot afford their own attorney;
  • where the majority of people cannot afford a private attorney even at the trial level, much less at the appellate level;
  • where appeals have become prohibitively expensive - because of complexity of the law CREATED by the judiciary in order to keep in business the legal elite that pays for wining-and-dining and all-expenses-paid trips for judges -
in this country, a judge of the top court, the ultimate regulator of the legal profession who CREATES the justice gap

a judge of the court that consistently refuses to hear from attorneys who were disciplined for criticism of the judiciary, thus eliminating effective advocates for the public and thus widening the justice gap -

the judge of that court, that CREATES and EXECERBATES the problem of the justice gap,

the judge who KILLS PEOPLE, whether innocent or not, whether their constitutional rights were violated or not -

the judge who rejects 99% of cases coming for ultimate review of his court,

has the audacity to claim that the scarcity of appeals means satisfaction of the litigants with how trial courts work.

And, the same judge issues a thinly veiled threat, disclosing that he "does not share" the "cynicism about the government", in other words, if you want to criticize the government (to which Gorsuch belongs, especially the courts) for the prohibited "C" word - as in "CORRUPTION" - the court "will not share" your views, the U.S. Constitution and their own precedents be damned.

Now SUCH VIEWS of a judge would cause a lot of "cynicism about the government", wouldn't they?

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