Judges refuse to follow their own precedents, statutory law, accepted rules of evidence and pleadings, as well as rules of standing and jurisdiction - only to find against Trump.
Public comments on social media brand "everything Trump" as bad, and anything "against Trump" as good.
Yesterday, President Trump pardoned Joe Arpaio who was convicted of a felony criminal contempt in a bench trial by U.S. District Judge Susan R. Bolton, a Bill Clinton appointee.
Because of this identity politics substituting the rule of law since Trump's election, across federal courts in the U.S., reaching up to the U.S. Supreme Court, and because of my own knowledge and experience as to how politicized (and corrupt) court proceedings operate in this country, I got interested as to, what exactly was the essence of criminal contempt proceedings against Joe Arpaio.
With that in mind, I purchased the docket report of the criminal contempt case against Joe Arpaio from Pacer.gov and reviewed relevant documents in it.
What struck me in these proceedings is the blatant bias and disregard of the applicable law, including jurisdictional and constitutional law, by the trial judge and her clear political bend and pre-judgment of the case.
For example, initially there were more defendants than just Joe Arpaio - which the docket I downloaded today did not reflect, but documents inside it did.
Somewhere during these proceedings, a motion was made to dismiss the whole case against all defendants because all events were barred by the 1-year statute of limitations.
Judge Bolton had NO CHOICE, but to apply the law and dismiss proceedings.
And, she did that - as to all defendants, but Joe Arpaio. Here is her order of dismissal.
Here is Judge Bolton's legal analysis of the claim that criminal charges against ALL defendants are precluded by the statute of limitations:
So, based on Judge Bolton's legal analysis, criminal charges against all defendants must be dismissed. Right?
Here is her conclusion.
Here is the "order to show cause" that Judge Bolton decided to prosecute - as a felony, as the docket states, while dismissing all charges on the same grounds against all other defendants, and let's compare that order to show cause (Doc. 36) with the initial accusatory instrument (Doc. 1).
The problem with substituting Judge Snow's order to commence criminal proceedings against Joe Arpaio (in addition that it is not an indictment of the grand jury, which was a jurisdictional defect and a violation of the 5th Amendment) by the order of Judge Bolton, the TRIAL judge in the case, is that by prosecuting Joe Arpaio on HER OWN order and by adjudicating that case in a bench trial (over the defendant's objection), Judge Bolton put herself into the role of accuser-adjudicator - which the U.S. Supreme Court specifically prohibited in June of 2015 in Williams v Pennsylvania.
By signing the accusatory instrument, Judge Bolton clearly put herself into the position of both accuser and adjudicator.
Did Joe Arpaio's attorneys raise that issue?
Did Joe Arpaio's attorneys make a motion to recuse Judge Bolton?
No, one group of Joe Arpaio's attorneys bowed out of the case, and the group that came as a replacement lamely applied for a motion for a "change of venue" claiming that local press coverage will unduly inflame "the court" - while such arguments are usually made as to the jury pool and not a judge presiding over a bench trial. The motion, of course, was denied by Judge Bolton.
Yet, when a criminal defendant is facing a bench trial, and the judge is as obviously biased and is pre-judging the case the way Judge Bolton did, the only possible motion is a motion to recuse.
Which, apparently, was a problem for Joe Arpaio's attorneys (Batch # 1 to make, for obvious reasons - because to make a motion to recuse may result in loss of attorney license, as it happened to this criminal defense attorney, the 1st Amendment and due process and duty to the client to make such a motion be damned.
In other words, attorneys are simply afraid to make motions to recuse for fear of losing their livelihood when the judge, and the judicial system regulating attorneys retaliate, instead, they bowed out.
Can we blame them? I do not know. They did have an obligation to make that motion, and should not have undertaken representation of this defendant if they were afraid to provide that representation in full, all that was required by the circumstances. I do understand their fear, though - very much so, since I myself lost my law license for making motions to recuse a judge, and know how very real this possibility is.
So, Joe Arpaio was prosecuted for a felony without an indictment by the grand jury, as is required for felonies and "heinous crimes" by the 5th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, but based on an order of the trial judge who conducted a bench trial over his objection, which is a DOUBLE jurisdictional violation.
- with a motion to dismiss - which Judge Bolton denied;
- with a petition for a writ of mandamus to the appellate court - that denied the petition without any legal analysis; and
- with a motion to vacate and reconsider the judgment of conviction - which Judge Bolton, again, denied.
deserve recognition for their courage.
Why wasn't Joe Arpaio given a jury trial when he was so obviously entitled to it, especially that the charge was a felony?
It is more difficult to convict with a jury - which has to be unanimous, and may very well result in a mistrial, given public support of a large portion of population of Joe Arpaio.
Was it a political decision for the judge, a Clinton appointee, to deny Joe Arpaio his lawful right to a jury trial?
I have no doubt about that.
What was going to happen to Joe Arpaio after the verdict - which the judge did not even care to pronounce in front of a defendant, but simply sent by an e-mail notification to his attorneys, in violation of existing law?
He had bleak chances on appeal, even though the law was on his side - because the 9th Circuit has already demonstrated that it does not want to interfere, when Arpaio filed a jurisdictional petition for a writ of mandamus, most likely on political grounds.
He had even bleaker chances with the U.S. Supreme Court since its review is discretionary, and it takes only 70 cases a year from over 8,000 petitions filed.
So, was President Trump justified in giving Joe Arpaio a pardon?
I do not know.
There are many enraged articles in the so-called "mainstream media" and enraged public comments on social media that President Trump defied the law in giving that pardon.
1) he didn't, because he had authority to give the pardon; and
2) he didn't, because by giving that pardon he UNDID AN INJUSTICE, not created it - since criminal proceedings against Joe Arpaio were unlawful, unconstitutional and void on many grounds, as described above.
Was Joe Arpaio wrong in racial profiling of Latinos and holding them in inhumane conditions, which some victims called a "tent concentration camp"? If that is true, of course, he was.
But, the criminal charge was not about that, it was about contempt of court, of a certain court decision, which also had to be proven, beyond the reasonable doubt, to be lawful - while Judge Bolton, according to pleadings of Joe Arpaio's lawyers, PRESUMED that the decision of Judge Snow that was the basis of criminal contempt, was lawful,
instead of making the U.S. Attorney's office PROVE it beyond the reasonable doubt.
The question is - do we want the rule of law in this country.
And, if we do, what do we understand by the rule of law?
Does it mean politically correct judicial decisions that pander to the views of whoever shouts louder and has more "presence" in the press and social media?
Or does it mean meticulously following the U.S. Constitution, the federal law, the precedents not inconsistent with the U.S. Constitution and written federal laws, including the rules of evidence - irrespective of the identity of the defendant?
I saw on social media that any attempt to make a reasonable comment about Arpaio's criminal case which does not agree that President Trump is a vile "Agent Orange" and a racist who pardoned a racist - but that the president vacated by pardon an already void criminal proceeding, which was made void by the presiding judge who screwed the criminal justice process at every turn - meets with allegations of racism against the commentator.
Yet, if we want the true rule of law in this country, if we want people to respect the law because it is based on that rule of law, and not on the rule of men (and women), which is what decisions in Judge Bolton's courts appear to be, then we cannot do what Judge Bolton did in criminal proceedings - break the law at every turn in order to arrive at a decision which she most certainly politically coveted.
The rule of law is blind as to identity of the defendant.
It has to be followed no matter what.
It was not followed in Joe Arpaio's case.
Had it been followed - by the U.S. Attorney's office and by the judge - the President may not have felt so compelled to undo the injustice of a criminal conviction in a proceedings which were thoroughly fixed.
I know that both the names of President Trump and of Joe Arpaio are red rags for many people, and their blind rage blocks them from even considering that a criminal conviction is only lawful when criminal procedure was followed in full to obtain it.
But, the rule of the crowd never equaled the rule of law.