"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.

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

On Masterpiece Cakeshop, discretionary enforcement of the U.S. Constitution and the right of every individual to have their constitutional rights enforced

I wrote today about two U.S. Supreme Court cases, which the court chose out of 8,000 petitions, 99% of which the court tosses (it decides about 70 cases out of over 8,000 filed each year).

One of the cases chosen by the U.S. Supreme Court was decided in favor of debt collectors.

There, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it has no power to amend an Act of Congress.

The other case was against the Trump administration where the U.S. Supreme Court refused to review jurisdictional threshold issues and instead amended (without authority) another Act of Congress, after its justices received multiple benefits over the years from one of Trump's opponents, the State of Hawaii University School of Law, and after Justice Ginsburg has actually made a trip while one of the related cases was being decided by the lower appellate courts and had "meetings with faculty" of that state law school (part of the party in litigation in front of her), while the "faculty" included 3 law clerks of the judge of the federal appellate court deciding the case.

The U.S. Supreme Court has also ruled in June on LGBT rights of same-sex couples, continuing the line of cases started by its decision in 2015 in Obergefell v Hodges, just one precedent so far on the issue of gay rights.

The issue in Pavan v Smith decided on June 26, 2017 was that a male spouse is considered by default a parent and is included on the child's birth certificate, whether the child is or is not the male spouse's biological child, but a female same-sex spouse is not so included on the birth certificate of the child by default.

Now, the U.S. Supreme Court has announced that, out of the 8,000 petitions filed, it has chosen yet another gay-rights case, verifying whether a cake-shop owner had a right to refuse to decorate a cake for a same-sex wedding.

Yet, the same U.S. Supreme Court, while paying lip service to prohibiting the government to regulate speech based on its content, stubbornly refuses to take up any whistleblower cases against the government - and thus refuses to uphold a long string of its own precedents.

There are PLENTY of U.S. Supreme Court precedents indicating that the government cannot regulate speech based on its content - yet, this year, the U.S. Supreme Court chose to apply this principle not to whistleblower/retaliation cases, but to cases of credit card companies charging extra fees, and, lately, the right to trademark derogatory names.

It comes to the point that many people in the whistleblower community who have suffered retaliation from the government for criticism of misconduct of government officials expressed (even though discreetly) in their communications that, unless you are gay or transgender, nowadays it is impossible to get a review from the U.S. Supreme Court.

And such a resentment is understandable.

Nobody - nobody - should be given a free right to choose whose constitutional rights are to be enforced, and whose to be ignored.

Yet, that is exactly what the U.S. Supreme Court is doing, based on the 1925 Judiciary Act.

Choosing cases favoring debt collectors, credit card companies, "Wonder Doodles", birth certificates for gay rights, have much less impact on society than establishing, once and for all, access to justice for all by prohibiting the government to yank occupational licenses of attorneys who criticize judges IN MOTIONS TO RECUSE - yet, that is happening left and right, such attorneys are left without jobs, without money, without opportunities of employment, while the public is left without independent representation, because attorneys that remain license are intimidated that the same will happen to them if they do their job properly.

And, of course, ruling in favor of attorneys - or other whistleblowers against the government - will require honest, integrity, courage, and neutrality, while the U.S. Supreme Court, very apparently, lacks all of the above.

People, including same sex couples, will continue to get into situations where judicial bias and corruption will require to file a motion to recuse.

Yet, people will continue to run into reluctance of attorneys to do that because judges are both regulators of their livelihoods and decision-makers in court cases, which creates an untenable situation where attorneys cannot dare do their jobs and ensure for their clients their constitutional right to impartial judicial review, for fear of losing their own livelihoods.

That is a countrywide human rights problem, which the U.S. Supreme Court refuses to address.

Instead, it addresses issues whether it is constitutional when an artist is being punished for refusing to create a piece of art on a certain topic - a clear case of politically-correct compulsion of artistic expression.

It may be a violation of the artists' 1st Amendment rights.  And, it is an obviously frivolous lawsuit.

An artist may refuse to create a work of art for you for any reason, including lack of inspiration, which cannot be commanded.

Think about it.  Will you sue an artist for lack of inspiration regarding you?

With the  current amount of political unrest in our society, it will be for everyone's benefit to abolish the 1925 Judiciary Act and make ALL petitions for certiorari to the U.S. Supreme Court mandatory, so that people would not feel resentment that a gay couple - yet again - is given review while a whistleblower against the government - yet again - is denied review of glaring violations of constitutional rights.

Moreover, the U.S. Supreme Court, whose judges are sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution, should not be given a free reign as to which constitutional violation to address and which to ignore.

Not to mention that if the Court wants any kind of respect for upholding its own precedents, it should actually do that in all cases.

Not only for those who can afford to pay (taxpayer money) for the judges' vacations, for those represented by the judges' former law clerks, or for those whose cases will get the most publicity for the judges, and thus more opportunities for judges' paid speeches and readership for their books.

Let us make the U.S. Supreme Court actually work.

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