"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.

Monday, March 26, 2018

The arrogant retired judge Richard Posner demeans pro se litigants and confirms that there is no federal appellate judicial review for pro ses in the U.S. - and that so it should remain

When a pro se appellant files an appeal in federal court - often with a hefty filing fee - the appellant expects a judicial review of the lower court's decision.

Little does the appellant know that no such review is to be given to him, for all his money - and especially when his filing fee is waived and when he is allowed to proceed as a poor pro se person.

The interesting part is that the judge, after 35 years on the federal bench, claimed that "most of pro se cases must fail".

And that - while supposedly advancing his new project, a law firm "protecting" pro se individuals from discrimination.

And that "judges aren't actually to read the pro se materials".

You know what THAT last statement means?

It means that if a pro se (without a lawyer) appellant files an appeal, with (or without) a filing fee in a federal appellate court, he expects a service from the court - that a JUDGE will read his materials and make a decision based on them.

But instead, the judge does not read his materials.

Instead, 1st-year law graduates, "staff attorneys", whose names do not appear on the court decision, who were never nominated by the U.S. President or confirmed by the U.S. Congress to decide judicial cases, are drafting judge's opinions and making "recommendations" as to how to decide each pro se case.

And, federal appellate judges actually do not see the original materials, but see only the chewed-up and filtered version provided to them by the youngsters.

Imagine - judges decide your appeals WITHOUT READING your arguments.

Imagine if, on a visit to a doctor, the nurse takes your pulse, vitals and some health history and then tells you that the doctor will not see you, but will rely upon the nurse's recommendations of how to diagnose you.

That is exactly what happens in federal courts - and Judge Posner, while "fighting" for the rights of pro se parties (while at the same time demeaning them by saying that most of their cases are meritless, and that they have a low IQ, just because they cannot afford an attorney and because they still try to gain a legal remedy for themselves on their own.

As to the "low IQ" of pro se litigants, the 7th Circuit supervising staff attorney quoted Richard Posner's recent book "Reforming 

Here is a fuller quote:

"whenever a judicial panel denies relief other than by issuing an order or opinion after full briefing and oral argument, the order denying relief should include an explanation of the reason or reasons for the denial. The explanation should be supplemented either by the staff attorney’s initial recommendation to the panel or by a supplemental memo by the staff attorney intended to amplify the explanation for the decision. I say staff attorney rather than judge because many (though not all) federal appellate judges don’t have the patience, or even the insight, to communicate effectively with a person (the typical pro se litigant) who lacks a good educational background and a reasonably high IQ."

Posner, Richard. Reforming the Federal Judiciary: My Former Court Needs to Overhaul Its Staff Attorney Program and Begin Televising Its Oral Arguments (Kindle Locations 576-581). Kindle Edition.

This is a judge who "awoke from slumber" after 35 years of discriminating and demeaning the poor litigants, and is not demeans them by selling a book and by promoting his own law firm that is supposed to protect people the judge demeans from discrimination.

First, Posner's "recommendation" is that when judges decide pro se appeals without reading them, through the filter of 1st-year law graduates, staff attorneys, that judges do not even have to provide an explanation of their decision to the appellant, but should simply attach a "recommendation by the staff attorney" why the decision BY THE JUDGE was made the way it was made.  So, the 1st year law graduate know better why a judge decided the case this or that way, after all, the judge's signature on the youngster's draft of the order is just a formality - not the judge, but the youngster read the appeal and decided it by drafting the order.

Second, Posner equates lack of money to hire an attorney - which is the characteristic of most of Americans - with lack of educational background and low IQ.

Imagine the arrogance.

Only a law degree equates to a proper "educational background".

If you do not have 3 years of half-baked courses consisting of reading US Supreme Court cases and listening to a law professor putting your classmates and yourself on the spot with the so-called "Socratic method" of teaching, questions and answers, you cannot be deemed educated - or of an appropriate IQ,

The judge does not obviously care that it is these "low-IQ" people who hired him as a judge and paid his salary for 35 years out of their taxes.

To equate low IQ with a lack of law degree is a special level of arrogance.

Recently, a Penn Law professor was ousted of mandatory 1st year programs for stating that African American law students never graduated in the top quarter of their class - and that was done without publishing statistics that would rebut the professor's statement.

In other words, the public outcry was because of the perceived presumption by a law professor that African Americans are less clever than non-African American law students.

There is no public outcry as to what retired Judge Posner said though - even what he said, and in the context of the circumstances, of his own background, what he said was no less offensive.

Judge Posner has been regulating the absolute attorney monopoly for court representation for 35 years as a judge.

The 7th Circuit has its own "bar" that Judge Posner regulated - as a legislator, investigator, prosecutor and adjudicator all wrapped in one.

That attorney monopoly CREATED the situation where the majority of Americans cannot afford an attorney, and produced, of necessity, the numbers of pro se litigants and pro se appeals.

Moreover, Judge Posner is part of the problem also in that his court repeatedly sustained chilling sanctions against civil rights attorneys for brining novel constitutional arguments, as it is happening across the country, sanctions that intimidated such attorneys from representation of victims of constitutional violations in civil rights cases, forcing people into a "choice" - to represent themselves in court, or to give up on even a possibility of a legal remedy.

Having caused the crisis of access to justice, Judge Posner has the audacity to now say that those people who STILL, against all odds, had the courage and determination to pursue their legal remedies in court without an attorney who they either cannot afford or who is intimidated by the prospect of sanctions for representing such people, simply for raising novel constitutional arguments in court, those people are either lack educational background or are dumb (have low IQ).

You do not have a law degree and a law license, you are "unrich" and cannot afford to pay thousands upon thousands of dollars to an attorney = you lack educational background and you have a low IQ, (c) Richard Posner.

And, you are not even entitled to have a judge read your appellate documents.  A fresh law graduate, a privileged kid without any life experience, a staff attorney, will be enough of a "judicial review" for you - and the "fighter for pro se rights" Judge Richard Posner insists that it should remain this way, judges should not read pro se appeals.  After all, they are mostly meritless, and written by poorly educated and low-IQ people.

You may be a Stephen Hawking, but, without a law degree, you are still a dummy for Richard Posner.

For Richard Posner, 

So, if you cannot afford to pay thousands of dollars to an attorney, you are "lower down on the social scale" for Richard Posner - or other federal judges, and because you are a second-rate appellant, Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment or not, you will be provided a second-rate justice, you will not get a judge to read your "pro se materials", you will not get a judge to decide your "pro se materials" and you will not get a judge to even explain those "pro se materials", the youngsters whose names you will never know will do that for the judges, as a courtesy to them - to save them the unsavory task of dealing with you, your "lower social scale", "lower educational background" and "lower IQ".

I do not see outrage in the media about this blatant deprivation of masses of Americans of legal remedy by courts, where judges are both regulators of lawyers and licensed lawyers themselves, of a statutory right to appeal because they cannot afford to hire a member of the judge's own profession.

That is some sort of punishment.

You can afford to pay for the member of my profession - I will read you appeal and decide it myself.

You cannot afford to pay for the member of my profession - I will diagnose you and order your treatment without seeing you, just upon what the nurse tells me to do.

I wonder whether we need such arrogant "public servants" who establish such arrogant and discriminatory "rules".

And, as to Posner himself, with such "friends" as Posner, with his brazen elitist down-his-nose views of any non-lawyers, and especially of the indigent and pro se litigants he claims he is "fighting for" now (to sell more of his books and to remain in the spotlight), pro se litigants in federal courts do not need enemies.

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