"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, July 4, 2017

Why cap taxi medallions?

Yet another piece on how occupational licensing makes no sense and injures consumers instead of protecting them - which is what occupational licensing is declared to be doing to justify its existence.

It is reported that the cost of a taxi medallion in New York City (a right to operate a taxi business, one car) has dropped over the latest 4 years from the whopping $1.3 million per medallion to "just" $241,000 in March this year.

I wonder, of course, whether the drop in the cost was because of the Trump administration's efforts to corral illegal immigrants - who were most likely used as drivers by the wealthy owners of such medallions.

But, the question is - WHY, given that the declared purpose of occupational licensing (including taxi licensing) is PROTECTION OF CONSUMERS, would New York City CAP the number of taxi permits (medallions) in a multi-million city of residents, with more millions of people coming every day as tourists and to do business in New York City - to the meager 13,587?

It does not seem like protection of consumers, does it?

It seems like restricting competition to the existing taxi owners from potentially incoming competitors in order to keep supply of taxi services low and prices high.


Of course, everybody knows that the actual taxi drivers are often new immigrants (legal and illegal) whose command of the English language is limited and for whom driving a taxi may be the only way to earn a living.

These people most definitely cannot pay either $1.3 or $241,000 per "taxi medallion", so they have to work for richer people who do not driver that car, but who exploit these immigrants.

New York City, the self-proclaimed "sanctuary city", is supposed to be friendly to immigrants.  Right?

Then, how come that it not only allows, but promotes and establishes cruel exploitation of immigrants by taxi barons?

Why not reduce of taxi licensing to checkup on the car and checkup on the driver (background check and knowledge of the city)?

After all, that's all that is needed to establish safety and quality of service for consumers?

And why not cancel any caps on taxi medallions?

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