"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.

Friday, April 29, 2022

3 times is a charm? 2 judges in a row in Delaware County, NY (and bosom friends, too) ran from the bench mid-term. Will the 3rd member of the team be as "lucky"?

In 2015, Delaware County/Family/Surrogate's Court judge Carl F. Becker, just 2.5 years into his 2nd, much coveted, term, suddenly "retired".

While chased by the New York State Commission for Judicial Conduct, the State Comptroller and the FBI.

Witnesses report that what chased him from the bench was so bad that Becker would sneak out for lunch, withdraw cash at a Bank of Delhi ATM, cross the street to the Shire Pub and drink his lunch.  Often.

I imagine how sad it is for the now-Delaware County public defender Joe Ermeti who has taken off his candidacy for the County Judge seat in 2012 to "allow his party to win" (that's what he said in an interview when he announced his candidacy in 2021) - when "his party's" candidate so ingloriously folded in just 2.5 years' time.


In November of 2015 Becker's bosom friend Richard Northrup became the judge.

In October of 2021 though, 6 years into his 1st, much-coveted, term, Northrup runs from the bench, too.  

From a $210,000 a year salary and tremendous power.

The only thing that usually gets them off is an imminent and likely threat of a criminal prosecution, and such a threat arises for judges only when they did something really, really, really bad. and only when the feds are chasing them.

Because otherwise - who would be chasing Judge Northrup?  

His bosom friend DA John Hubbard who refused to criminally prosecute for forgery, solicitation of forgery, filing false instrument and a number of other crimes - his former law partner Carl Becker when Becker forged the certificate of election for his 1st term, filing it, with forged signatures, 9 years after election when all proof of election was gone - and only after being challenged in a motion as being not a judge, but an impostor? 

I personally spoke to Hubbard about the charges, and all he could bleat was - "why do you need that, Tanya"? 

Now Becker's former law partner John Hubbard is running for the same position (defense attorney Andrew Van Buren runs, too, but is unlikely to win, given the powerful support of the local establishment Hubbard is getting in these elections).  

Hubbard is part and parcel of the same team and, no doubt, had a finger in the same shenanigans that likely drove his two predecessors off the bench.  I am personally aware of some of them.

And, the eternal self-pushover-"for the party" Joe Ermeti has, once again, first announced his candidacy for the judicial elections in 2022, and once again took his candidacy off to let now John Hubbard go forward.  

When he let Becker win in 2012 (and did a couple of other things, I will write about them in further articles of this series), he's got his current Delaware County Public Defender's position.

When he stepped aside for John Hubbard, he, reportedly, was offered a deal to get John Hubbard's position as the District Attorney (we will see if reports are true shortly).

I wonder for how long Joe Ermeti's "sacrifice"-for-candy will last this time, for how long Hubbard will be able to keep on the bench once he grabs it.

I have a funny feeling the FBI file on Hubbard is as long as for his previous loved bosses and mentors...

We will wait and see, won't we?

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