Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Gender bias in the courts

Rockville, CT: family court requires mothers to work only 12 hours a week when calculating child support, but fathers must work 40+
In order to increase/extort the maximum money from fathers, Rockville court held a mother to only 12 hour work weeks and ignored over $100,000 of income deposited to her bank account. In this case, Jan. 24, 2008 and in another today, Jan. 28, the same judge requires the fathers to work 40 hours a week or more to maximize the support orders. The mother scammed the state as well for health insurance, earning near 4 times the income limit.

This is the definition of FRAUD. Applying different standards to each parent to maximize the federal funding for child support. Contact Federal investigators immediately and file a formal complaint. We need to take a class action to Federal court to stop these judges and the abuse by our state.

January 28, 2008, the same judge held a hearing despite the fathers motion for continuance - he was traveling from California to attend the hearing, " He did call me your honor to say he was coming but I want tot continue now." The mother simply claimed unpaid support, alimony, insurance, school tuition and books in a contempt hearing. No evidence, no document, whatever she demanded was gospel.

Not only must the person be present for such a hearing but he is entitled to representation according to the Judicial practice book due to the threat of jail. As is all to common, the rule book be damned and the mother is given whatever she asked for. Marshal fees, days pay, capias for the fathers arrest, Support, alimony, insurance money, collage tuition, room and board and book costs totaling $6300.

The hearing was ending at 10:00am when the mother insisted she needed pay for lost work. "Can't you go to work now?" asked the judge.

"Oh no, I have to go home and change and it would take too long" What about sick time or vacation or personal time, doesn't work provide that? "Oh no, I spent so much time in court" So the judge granted her $200 day pay. Then she went for the jugular, "what about a capias for his arrest" "No" said the judge, "he's in California" "But they could arrest him if he came to Connecticut" the judge issued a capias for his arrest with $6300 bond. Not a bad days pay, in 15 minutes a mother can make whatever claims she wants and the judge awards her $6300.

We need to help these fathers and expose the corruption. Write, email, call, meet with Federal investigators and report this FRAUD!!

-Chris Kennedy

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Chris Kennedy speaks out about "Stalker Judge"

Sunday, January 27, 2008

50 administrative charges for cop


Officer Fired Following Internal Investigation

Staff And Wire Reports

January 26, 2008

MADISON [Connecticut] —

Madison officials have fired a second police officer who was caught up in an internal affairs investigation into misconduct, including allegations of encounters with prostitutes.

Police commissioners voted 5-0 Friday to fire Officer Bernard Durgin, 39, who is one of four town officers accused of consorting with prostitutes dozens of times over the course of a year while on duty.

"This commission is absolutely committed to zero tolerance of any nefarious behavior," said Emile Geisenheimer, head of the police commission. "No one is exempt."

Durgin was the subject of four separate internal investigations, yielding over 50 administrative charges against him, Geisenheimer said, including conduct unbecoming an officer and violating his oath of office. He was also accused of meeting with convicted felons and helping establish a motorcycle gang.

A message asking for comment was left at Durgin's home Friday night.

Durgin has been arrested in recent months on various criminal charges, including workers' compensation fraud and using police computers to track down information on his ex-wife and other women while he was working a private duty job.

He also was charged with witness tampering and intimidation after police say he tried to stop witnesses from cooperating with an internal investigation against him.

They were looking into an August confrontation Durgin had with New Haven police outside a Temple Street bar on a night he had called in sick.

Durgin had been under suspension without pay since early August, following the incident in New Haven.

On Thursday, police commissioners also fired Sgt. Timothy Heiden.

He was accused of failing to properly supervise the officers, including Durgin, accused of meeting with prostitutes.

Heiden says he plans to contest his firing by filing a lawsuit and an appeal to a state labor panel.

The commission will have another hearing Tuesday at 9:30 a.m. concerning Officer Matt Sterling, who is also accused of meeting with prostitutes on duty.

Copyright © 2008, The Hartford Courant

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Monday, February 18, 2008

"Bandits in Blue" fueled Crime Wave?

When Badges Are Tarnished
Troubled Madison Police Force Facing Crisis Of Confidence

By JOSH KOVNER | Courant Staff Writer
February 17, 2008

Bernard Durgin

Joseph Gambardella

Matthew Sterling

Timothy Heiden

MADISON [Connecticut] - The biggest problem facing the Madison Police Department isn't the dizzying list of brazen, on-duty crimes by officers, from burglaries to the electronic stalking of women to receiving oral sex from prostitutes to ripping off taxpayers through workers' compensation fraud.

The thorniest consequence, the one facing most crippled police departments, is this: The climate of corruption is so deeply seated that just removing the bad cops -- the painful process going on now with no clear end in sight -- may not by itself bring radical, permanent change.

"The 'rotten apple theory' is a farce,'' said Neal Trautman, who's been teaching police officers about moral dilemmas for 20 years through the National Institute of Ethics, which is based in Mississippi. "These problems are cultural, and they're created over a period of years. Just removing the bad apples is a way of the dodging the truth.''

Who's to blame in a situation like this?

"If a chief's been there a long time, then he owns part of it, and the police commission owns the rest,'' said Michael Buerger, a professor of criminal justice at Bowling Green University in Ohio and a former police officer.

The Madison police, with a $3 million yearly budget and a spacious $5 million station, serve a shoreline community with hardly any violent crime. But problems in the 22-member department, led by Chief Paul D. Jakubson for the past 10 years, have resulted in the recent firings of four officers. A fifth faces a termination hearing; one more is still under investigation.

Here's an example of the extent to which shoddy work and criminal behavior became part of the agency's culture:

Officer Joe Gambardella was confronted by local marina owner Bruce Beebe in June 2006 after an alarm was tripped at his business. Beebe ran out in his underwear to investigate why the alarm went off and encountered Gambardella in his cruiser, driving away -- after allegedly stealing equipment from Beebe's shed.

All Gambardella said to his sergeant, Tim Heiden, about the incident was that he had had a weird encounter with a guy in his underwear. Gambardella was later charged in that burglary, and in October 2006 he would be suspended when he was caught on videotape stealing lobsters from Lenny & Joe's Fish Tale.

"In hindsight, you'll always find something that could have or should have been a trigger,'' Jakubson said in an interview last week.

He said the same held true for the long-running misconduct attributed to another fired officer, Bernard Durgin, who was charged in October with making dozens of illegal computer queries dating back to February 2006. The names he ran included his ex-fiancee, her new boyfriend and 10 women he met in his second job as a security officer at Yale-New Haven Hospital.

Durgin's boyhood friend, convicted felon Albert LeClaire, would tell internal police investigators that he brought two prostitutes to Madison to service Durgin "30 to 40 times.'' Durgin was out on injury leave for 468 days between 2000 and 2006; he was later found to have worked on at least a dozen occasions at the hospital, beginning as early 2003, while getting disability pay from the police department.

The department began an investigation after Durgin, co-founder of the Poor Boyz Motorcycle Club, flashed his Madison badge last summer in front of New Haven officers in defense of a riding buddy, ex-felon Gerard McAfee, who was fighting with the officers. Durgin and his friends had been stopped for reckless driving -- on a night when Durgin had called in sick.

"No one suspects a police officer is a criminal. As soon as we heard even a rumor of misconduct we investigated,'' Jakubson said. "Yeah, I'm upset. It's upsetting to know that people think they can get away with this behavior. But I didn't foster any belief in the workplace that you could do this stuff and not face consequences. These are grown men and trained professionals. What caused these people to do this? I can't climb inside their heads.''

'How Much Did Those Hookers Cost?'

Trouble has come in waves for the Madison police. It has destroyed the public trust and has hampered officers on the job.

"How am I supposed to believe that when I need help and I call, that they're going to deal with the situation in an effective manner?'' said resident Charles O'Meara, a registered nurse who lives on Durham Road. "I mean, my friends from out of town are calling me up making jokes about our police department. 'Hey, how much did those hookers cost?' There's just no defending this conduct.''

The damage done by rogue officers has hurt the department in other ways. There's a telling passage in the internal affairs report about Officer Matthew Sterling, who was fired in January after he patronized strip clubs, massage parlors and a house of prostitution in Bridgeport that was under investigation by police there. The report refers to unrelated accusations of sexual misconduct in 2003 against a former Madison officer who had been running the Madison Police Explorers, a youth group.

"This officer engaged in sexual activity with a female explorer that he was entrusted to mentor. Due to these events, our agency additionally lost support regarding proposals to assign a school resource officer to the school system. Patrolman Matthew Sterling was allowed to take over [as adviser to the explorer's post] in an effort to rebuild the credibility and reputation of this agency,'' the report says.

Scandal has dogged the department since the early 1990s. Current and former town officials said in interviews over the last three weeks that the betrayal and disgust residents are feeling now is the legacy of ineffective chiefs and 25 years of cronyism on the police commission.

"Commissioners wanted to be pals with the cops, and some cops always got preferential treatment, sometimes because they had something on one chief or another,'' said Michael Haynes, former chairman of the Republican town committee. He quit the post in 1997 over a dispute about appointments to the police commission.

"Both parties in this town should have taken more care in who was appointed to that commission,'' Haynes said. "We're paying for it now.''

'Proud Of My Time Here'

Wrenching and costly appeals, lawsuits and medical claims are expected to follow the recent set of disciplinary hearings and internal probes. Counting the officers charged with corruption, those compelled to give statements against them and those doing the internal investigations, twothirds of the department has been consumed for much of the past year.

There's a crisis of confidence in Jakubson, who makes $96,000 under a contract with no time limits that was awarded by a prior police commission; he can serve as long as he is able.

During the past few years, as the alleged misconduct went on, Jakubson never varied his business travel schedule. Expense records show the chief faithfully kept to a yearly slate of conferences, training workshops and business meetings outside the department from 1998 to 2008. He collected $28,000 in reimbursements for food, travel, fees and other related costs during that time.

Sources told The Courant that Jakubson was told, as far back as 2002, about problems with production on the midnight shift, with officers doing little or no work. These were some of the same officers who would be ensnared by the corruption probe and charged with criminal offenses four and five years later.

When Madison residents sent Jakubson a message recently by delaying action on an $84,000 payment he's scheduled to receive from a heart and hypertension claim, the action received wide publicity. But he is also pursuing a claim for a neck and cervical spine injury that he sustained Dec. 3, 2004 -- when he was flipped by another officer during prisoner-restraint training.

A doctor examined him and determined that he had a 42 percent disability in the neck and spine -- a rating that translates to a workers' compensation payment of $911 per week.

The payment is being withheld while the town's insurance carrier disputes the disability rating. The amount of the award and the number of weeks that it includes have not yet been determined.

Jakubson said he filed the heart and hypertension claim in the late 1990s because he was entitled to it and said the neck injury is the only workers' compensation claim he has made in his 33-year career.

"I'm proud of my time here, and I'm proud of my accomplishments for this department and the town,'' said Jakubson, who is the president-elect of the Connecticut Police Chiefs Association.

"In June, I'll have 34 years of service. I will remain here as long as it takes to get through these current issues and to get beyond them,'' Jakubson said.

"With the terminations and retirements, this department will have a fresh new look, and we're going to get into extensive retraining and a reaffirmation of management philosophies. That's where my focus is -- getting this straight and moving forward.''

'Legal, Moral And Practical'

Criminal justice experts contacted for this story were given a snapshot of the Madison situation. They were told the department has struggled to string together a few scandal-free years since the early 1990s; that the current chief was promoted from captain without a search, a job posting or any interviews of other candidates; that the appointed police commission is autonomous from the elected town leaders; and that some of the police misconduct that came to light between the fall of 2006 and the summer of 2007 had already been going on for three years or longer. The experts were asked whether a chief should be held accountable for officers who commit repeated, systematic transgressions.

"There's a doctrine called 'respondeat superior,' the notion that the department leaders -- the chief, the police commission -- are responsible to hire, train, supervise and properly correct the officers. That's why, in a lawsuit, chiefs and towns are named. It's a legal, moral and practical responsibility,'' said Buerger, the criminal justice professor at Bowling Green.

Robert Castelli, a professor of police science at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice in New York and a former supervisor with the New York State Police, had difficulty swallowing the idea of a chief who was appointed without a job search or competing candidates.

Jakubson's appointment was arranged at an "emergency'' meeting of the police commission and immediately followed the sudden retirement of Chief James Jay Cameron.

A few years back, Castelli helped a small police department in Westchester County, N.Y., hire a new chief. The recruiting effort drew more than 130 applicants from as far away as Washington, California and Florida, which included police executives bristling with academic degrees and a New York City deputy chief with 5,000 people in his command.

"There's talent out there, and they want jobs like these. It's the responsibility of any police commission or town board to cast as wide a net as possible. The problem in the situation you're describing is that, at best, the question of whether they got the best candidate for chief will always linger," Castelli said. "And you'll never know.''

Madison First Selectman Al Goldberg is much more limited in his freedom to talk about the situation. He and other town officials have been told by lawyers that any statements they make that are viewed as "prejudicial'' could come back to haunt the town in lawsuits.

When Goldberg was asked if Jakubson should face negligence charges and a termination hearing, the former health care administrator, who was elected in November, said: "There has to be a change in the leadership structure.''

" 'Structure' is a politician's word. But all I have is my bully pulpit," Goldberg said. "Hiring and firing, by charter and state statute, is the purview of the police commission. The board of selectmen, the finance board and the voters have control of the budget; the police commission has control of the oversight, management and governance of the police department.

"I have told the police commission that we need to completely and convincingly finish these investigations, that there has to be that structural change in leadership and that the plan of corrective action has to involve public input and focus on the selection, hiring, training and supervision off officers. In other words, identify all the things that excellent police departments do. Without those three legs, the stool won't stand.''

The police commission, headed by businessman Emile Geisenheimer, has discussed paying for a study of the police force that is shaped, in part, by what the remaining officers see as the priorities. But the panel still has at least one more termination hearing to hold.

And something else is nagging town officials. There was a string of nighttime thefts of tools and power equipment from construction sites from 2002 to 2006. The thefts are unsolved, and there is a lingering question about whether they were thoroughly investigated, the officials said. The thefts stopped in the fall of 2006, when the latest scandal broke.

"We were hoping, with these hearings, that someone in the department would crack and name the person or persons responsible,'' said one official, who requested anonymity because he wasn't authorized to speak about internal police matters.

"If that doesn't happen, then these investigations will not have uncovered all of the problems.''

Contact Josh Kovner at jkovner@courant.com

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[click here] for, Excerpt:
The state attorney general's whistleblower unit is investigating allegations that a state police pilot threatened to kill other troopers and to crash the Trooper One helicopter into airplanes at the department's aviation unit in Hartford, state officials said Tuesday.

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[click here] for:

Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire?


Enfield Connecticut Judge Howard Scheinblum

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[click here] for blogger's fair use of copyrighted materials, notice.

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How does the police informant/retaliation machine work? [click here]
scroll down for smaller print

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Police in Connecticut hire informants to kill citizens. Police will target citizens on their "Enemies List" using informants to terrorize citizen out of town that lodge police misconduct complaints.
[click here for more]

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Center for Judicial Accountability, Inc.

A national, nonpartisan,
nonprofit citizens' organization
documenting how judges break the law
and get away with it.

Our Mission . . .

To improve the quality of our judiciary by removing political considerations from the judicial selection process and by ensuring that the process of disciplining and removing judges is effective and meaningful.


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NY Times sued over Hillary Clinton and Eliot Spitzer election fraud

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Hillary Clinton, George W. Bush on SAME TEAM

Did US Senator Hillary Clinton act to obstruct justice and cover up judicial corruption by seeking to have her constituent Elena Sassower arrested to be jailed 6 months to shut her up? Did Hillary Clinton allow a corrupt judicial nominee, Richard C. Wesley, to become a Federal Judge even though there was evidence and documents proving that he should not have been confirmed?

[click here] for more Steven G. Erickson videos

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Part of Francis C. P. Knize "In the Interest of Justice" Documentary series. Should Judges be Judging Judges?

Are you interested in sharing your story of judicial corruption? Please email me:

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Email to CT Gov. Rell

January 22, 2008

Governor Rell [website],


You seem interested in the plight of a rich, elite, and White Connecticut resident when there is a lot of news coverage. What about everyone else?

I am talking about [this].

If the Petits [story] in Cheshire, Connecticut, were a minority family in a downtown Connecticut neighborhood would you have done anything and would there be a special legislative session if there were a home invasion and murders?

I had invested in Connecticut property in a downtown area [video]. Stafford and Troop C Connecticut State Police had refused to offer protection and service because I was not connected and “was stupid” for buying property in a crime area. I went to elected officials and to the Governor’s office for help. Former Police Commissioner Arthur L. Spada was given my name to send his trooper out after me, for complaining and suggesting legislation he wanted blocked from being voted on.

My home was invaded multiple times. I was assaulted numerous times. The State Police made it clear they would only arrest me if I called them, because I was kicked out of Connecticut by them, for what I had written in newspapers and the legislation I had proposed to elected officials. Resident Trooper Mulcahey made it clear that if I did not leave Connecticut that I would be arrested.

The Ken Krayeske incident has proven that the Connecticut State Police target citizens for political reasons so they can be falsely arrested and held in prisons.

Peter Coukos broke into my home, changed my locks, and stole and destroyed my possessions. That is a home invasion. Police refused to do anything. I sued Coukos and he settled the case, an admission of his guilt.

Police then offered Coukos help in obtaining a pistol permit even though Coukos may have mental stability issues, has smoked crack cocaine, continually smashed into a woman of color over miles of roads in an incident of drunken road rage, to threaten and harass me out of Connecticut. Coukos left death threats on my voicemail.

Coukos assaulted me when I walked out of my home to get into my van punching me in the back slapping me in the back of the head telling me that he wanted my 14 year old daughter to give him oral sex, taunting me to fight. I knew that if I defended myself that only I would be arrested as I had previously resisted being mugged, and only I faced prison for using pepper spray no deals. I was sentenced to a year in prison by a judge that heard from my assailant’s mouth that he had threatened my life demanding money on my property before we had an altercation.

Everyday I was in prison I was taunted and ridiculed by guards, they referred to my “feud” with the State Police. When on parole, I was told I would be put back in prison if I lodged complaints against police officers or contacted the media. The parole officer was abusive and threatening. My probation officer gave me a choice of packing up and being out of Connecticut or being violated on probation for no other cause than not being out of Connecticut, in one hour from the first meeting I had with her.

The dishonesty of the courts, the cruel and unusual punishment of jail, parole, and probation can cause larger and larger segments of the population to want retribution, blaming the rich, White, and Elite in Connecticut possibly increasing the number of murders and home invasions in the rich Connecticut suburbs.

Making an abusive and unjust system more abusive and unfair will only cause more suffering and increase the likelihood of home invasions and murders.

Two Judicial Employees have blown the whistle on the fairness of the Connecticut Courts [video]. Please have the transcripts of the trial that passed off as justice looked into, and then please say the Connecticut courts are fair and just, for everyone.

-Steven G. Erickson


I am posting this email to you, here: [click]

My email to legislators posted, here: [click]

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Lawyers run a muck

Tyranny of the American Bar Association

Posted: January 12, 2008
1:00 a.m. Eastern

My study found that Clinton nominees had more than 10 times better odds of getting the ABA's highest rating than similarly credentialed Bush appointees.

In short, being nominated by Bill Clinton was a stronger positive variable than any other credential or than all other credentials put together.

Professor James Lindgren
Northwestern University School of Law

Show me a monopoly, and I'll show you a tyranny.

Ellis Washington ("Unpublished Thoughts," 2007)

In a prescient article on the American Bar Association, "Yes, the ABA Rankings are Biased," Northwestern University law professor James Lindgren compiled a remarkable study outlining the clear-and-present bias of the ABA against judicial nominees to the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court, made by a Republican president, as compared to the judicial nominees of a Democrat president. The differences were so prejudiced that his findings were beyond rational argument.

Lindgren writes:

Although 62 percent of Clinton's 66 confirmed appellate nominees got the ABA's highest rating of unanimously "Well Qualified," only five of the first 11 new Bush nominees – 45% – have received the highest ABA rating, the same percentage that confirmed nominees received under the administration of the elder Bush.

At the end of the day, one nagging question remains: Why hasn't the ABA itself noticed the large political differences in its evaluative processes and worked harder to understand, explain or eliminate them? Now that there are hard data that support the claims of its critics, it would be good to see fewer denials and more introspection and reform.

This brings me to address the following questions:

    1) What is the ABA?

    2) Why does the ABA have so much power over law school accreditation and a 50-state mandated bar admissions requirement?

    3) Why does America allow the ABA to judge the competence of the president's judicial nominees?

    4) To shape and control policy over a host of law areas from constitutional law, torts, contracts, family law and trial litigation to patents, trademarks, bankruptcy, corporations and recently, environmental law?

The American Bar Association, founded 130 years ago on Aug. 21, 1878, like many associations that came of age during the Victorian and Progressive eras, did so without the president, Congress, the courts or the Constitution granting them their power. They merely assumed power.

The ABA was suppose to be a voluntary bar association of lawyers and law students, which was not specific to any jurisdiction in the United States, yet today it lords over them all. Originally, the ABA was little more than an elitist club for white upper-class males that only until very recently actively shunned women, blacks and foreigners from it's leadership ranks.

The ABA has monopolist mandates: for example, the bar exam requirement in all 50 states. It controls academic and accreditation standards for law schools, and the formulation of model ethical codes related to the legal profession. Presently, the ABA has close to a half million members (roughly 50 percent of all lawyers).

Regarding the ABA's monopolistic stranglehold over law schools, the courts and America's legal system, the government brought an Article 1 Sherman Act violation against the ABA to try to lessen the ABA's leviathan domination over all aspects of our legal system and law schools in the case: "United States of America v. American Bar Association" (D.C. 1995). Although the U.S. District Court ruled against the ABA and placed many new checks on its powers, the overall effect of this case has been business as usual.

The ABA claims that "ABA accreditation is important not only because it affects the recognition of the law schools involved, but it also impacts a graduate's ability to practice law in a particular state." However, this is circular reasoning: Who concocted the ABA in the first place and seized power over law school accreditation and academic standards? That's right, the ABA. The ABA's mandate that all 50 states require graduation from an ABA-accredited law school is an ironclad prerequisite for being allowed to sit for that state's bar exam, and even for existing lawyers to be admitted to the bar of another state upon motion. This is a monopoly. This is tryanny.

What's the purpose of going to law school, paying tens of thousands of dollars, giving up three or four years of your life, taking dozens and dozens of law school exams only to be required after graduating from law school to take another test – the bar exam? An exam that many experts have claimed for decades has no association or relevance whatsoever with what students learned in law school. Either law school or the ABA has got to go!

In my view, the ABA is a diabolical and needless layer of bureaucracy that has little to no effect in maintaining academic excellence or indicating success as a lawyer, and most people know that one of the least regarded (and most powerful) professions in America is the law profession.

Politically-speaking, the ABA is an extreme leftist, special-interest group with a strong liberal bias regarding it's philosophy, interpreting the Constitution and against giving excellent conservative appellate and Supreme Court nominees a "highly qualified" rating.

For example, the ABA gave Ronald Reagan's judicial nominees, Richard Posner and Frank H. Easterbrook, low "qualified/not qualified" ratings; later, the ABA gave Bill Clinton judicial nominees with similar resumes "well-qualified" ratings. Meanwhile, Judge Posner (a beloved mentor of mine), and Easterbrook, who took over as chief judge from Posner of the 7th Circuit in Chicago, have gone on to become the two most highly cited judges in the federal appellate judiciary.

In July 2006, an ABA task force under then-President Michael S. Greco released a report concluding that George W. Bush's use of "signing statements" violates the Constitution. These are documents attached by the president to bills he signs in which he states that he will enforce the new law only to the extent that he feels the law conforms to the Constitution.

The ABA's anti-signing statement policy shows the intellectual vacuity of the leadership of this organization and goes to the heart of my argument that the ABA should be abolished, for it has led to the downfall of our entire legal system. What unmitigated arrogance does the ABA have in thinking that it can force the president of the United States to sign and enforce laws attached to any congressional bills that he (or any rational person) knows are obviously unconstitutional?

Over the past 35 years, the ABA has also drawn criticism from numerous conservative and libertarian groups for taking positions on controversial public policy issues such as abortion, capital punishment, gun control, border enforcement, judicial activism and the limits of presidential authority. This blatant partisanship of the ABA's official non-partisian position in favor of abortion rights led to the formation of an alternative organization for lawyers – the National Lawyers Association.

In conclusion, why should the ABA be abolished? In addition to all the reasons cited above, the ABA is driving up law-tuition costs, actively creating a litigious society and is basically a needless, bloated, self-serving bureaucracy whose leadership and membership contain a bunch of self-important, shyster lawyers who in many cases aren't in the least interested in "improving the legal system for the public," but merely lust after money, power, prestige and privilege by mandating obedience to this relatively small organzition that weilds such disproportionate amount of political power by no other authority than by its own self-aggradizing decrees.

As at stated in the opening quote, any man, woman or organization that has such a comprehensive, monopolistic influence as the ABA, in my opinion is equal to a tryanny.

Ellis Washington, former editor at The Michigan Law Review and law clerk at The Rutherford Institute, is a graduate of John Marshall Law School and a lecturer and freelance writer on constitutional law, legal history, political philosophy and critical race theory. He has written over a dozen law review articles and several books, including "The Inseparability of Law and Morality: The Constitution, Natural Law and the Rule of Law" (2002). See his law review article "Reply to Judge Richard Posner." Washington has just completed the manuscript to his latest book, "The Nuremberg Trials: Last Tragedy of the Holocaust" (2008).

Lawyers and Judges left unchecked will wreck America

The Fraternity: Lawyers and Judges in Collusion
By Chief Justice John F. Molloy
(Author Miranda Decision, AZ.)

When I began practicing law in 1946, justice was much simpler. I joined a small Tucson practice at a salary of $250 a month, excellent compensation for a beginning lawyer. There was no paralegal staff or
expensive artwork on the walls.

In those days, the judicial system was straightforward and efficient. Decisions were handed down by judges who applied the law as outlined by the Constitution and state legislatures. Cases went to trial in a month
or two, not years. In the courtroom, the focus was on uncovering and determining truth and fact.

I charged clients by what I was able to accomplish for them. The clock did not start ticking the minute they walked through the door.

Looking back

The legal profession has evolved dramatically during my 87 years. I am a second-generation lawyer from an Irish immigrant family that settled in Yuma. My father, who passed the Bar with a fifth-grade
education, ended up arguing a case before the U.S. Supreme Court during his career.

The law changed dramatically during my years in the profession. For example, when I accepted my first appointment as a Pima County judge in 1957, I saw that lawyers expected me to act more as a referee than a judge. The county court I presided over resembled a gladiator arena, with dueling lawyers jockeying for points and one-upping each other with calculated and ingenuous briefs

That was just the beginning.

By the time I ended my 50-year career as a trial attorney, judge and president of southern Arizona's largest law firm, I no longer had confidence in the legal fraternity I had participated in and, yes,
profited from.

I was the ultimate insider, but as I looked back, I felt I had to write a book about serious issues in the legal profession and the implications for clients and society as a whole. The Fraternity: Lawyers and Judges in Collusion was 10 years in the making and has become my call to action for legal reform.

Disturbing evolution

Our Constitution intended that only elected lawmakers be permitted to create law.
Yet judges create their own law in the judicial system based on their own opinions and rulings. It's called case law, and it is churned out daily through the rulings of judges. When a judge hands down a ruling and that ruling survives appeal with the next tier of judges, it then becomes case law, or legal precedent. This now happens so consistently that we've become more subject to the case rulings of judges rather than to laws made by the lawmaking bodies outlined in our Constitution.

This case-law system is a constitutional nightmare because it continuously modifies Constitutional intent. For lawyers, however, it creates endless business opportunities. That's because case law is technically complicated and requires a lawyer's expertise to guide and move you through the system. The judicial system may begin with enacted laws, but the variations that result from a judge's application of case law all too often change the ultimate meaning.

Lawyer domination

When a lawyer puts on a robe and takes the bench, he or she is called a judge. But in reality, when judges look down from the bench they are lawyers looking upon fellow members of their fraternity. In any other
area of the free-enterprise system, this would be seen as a conflict of interest.

When a lawyer takes an oath as a judge, it merely enhances the ruling class of lawyers and judges. First of all, in Maricopa and Pima counties, judges are not elected but nominated by committees of lawyers, along with concerned citizens.How can they be expected not to be beholden to those who elevated them to the bench?

When they leave the bench, many return to large and successful law firms that leverage their names and relationships.

Business of law

The concept of "time" has been converted into enormous revenue for lawyers. The profession has adopted elaborate systems where clients are billed for a lawyer's time in six-minute increments. The paralegal profession is another brainchild of the fraternity, created as an additional tracking and revenue center. High powered firms have departmentalized their services into separate profit centers for probate and trusts, trial, commercial, and so forth.

The once-honorable profession of law now fully functions as a bottom-line business, driven by greed and the pursuit of power and wealth, even shaping the laws of the United States outside the elected Congress and state legislatures.

Bureaucratic design

Today the skill and gamesmanship of lawyers, not the truth, often determine the outcome of a case. And we lawyers love it. All the tools are there to obscure and confound. The system's process of discovery and the exclusionary rule often work to keep vital information off-limits to jurors and make cases so convoluted and complex that only lawyers and judges understand them.

The net effect has been to increase our need for lawyers, create more work for them, clog the courts and ensure that most cases never go to trial and are, instead, plea-bargained and compromised. All the while
the clock is ticking, and the monster is being fed.

The sullying of American law has resulted in a fountain of money for law professionals while the common people, who are increasingly affected by lawyer-driven changes and an expensive, self-
serving bureaucracy, are left confused and ill-served.

Today, it is estimated that 70 percent of low- to middle-income citizens can no longer afford the cost of justice in America. What would our Founding Fathers think?

This devolution of lawmaking by the judiciary has been subtle, taking place incrementally over decades. But today, it's engrained in our legal system, and few even question it. But the result is clear. Individuals can no longer participate in the legal system.

It has become too complex and too expensive, all the while feeding our dependency on lawyers.

By complicating the law, lawyers have achieved the ultimate job security. Gone are the days when American courts functioned to serve justice simply and swiftly.

It is estimated that 95 million legal actions now pass through the courts annually, and the time and expense for a plaintiff or defendant in our legal system can be absolutely overwhelming.

Surely it's time to question what has happened to our justice system and to wonder if it is possible to return to a system that truly does protect us from wrongs.

John F. Molloy was elected to the Arizona Court of Appeals, where he served as chief justice and authored more than 300 appellate opinions. Molloy wrote the final Miranda decision for the Arizona Supreme Court.

Where is the US headed?

Where have we been? Is the US Constitution still valid?

There were two major speeches - one in the House of Reps. and one in the Senate.
There had previously been extensive debates earlier on civil rights matters and the representation question, such as the repeal of the 3/5 clause in Art. I, Sec. 2 by to the 13th Amendment.

It is made clear that the amendment is only a restriction on the states, that is, on persons acting as state agents, and not on the private actions of civilians.
Rep. Stevens - speech on H.R. 127 (proposed 14th Amendment) May 8, 1866
Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session
P. 2459 col 2 bottom
The first section prohibits the States from
abridging the privileges and immunities of cit-
izens of the United States, or unlawfully de-
priving them of life, liberty, or property, or of
denying to any person within their jurisdiction
the “equal” protection of the laws.
I can hardly believe that any person be
found who will not admit that every on of
these provisions is just. They are all asserted,
in some form or other, in our Declaration or
organic law. But the Constitution limits only
the action of Congress, and is not a limitation
on the States. This amendment supplies that
P. 2459 col 3

defect, and allows Congress to correct the un-
just legislation of the States, so far that the law
which operates upon one man shall operate
equally upon all. Whatever law punishs a
white man for a crime shall punish the black
man precisely in the same way and to the same
degree. Whatever law protects the white man
shall afford “equal” protection to the black
man. Whatever means of redress is afforded
to one shall be afforded to all. Whatever law
allows the white man to testify in court shall
allow the man of color to do the same. These
are great advantages over the present codes.
Now different degrees of punishment are in-
flicted, not on account of the magnitude of the
crime, but according to the color of the skin.
Now color disqualifies a man from testifying in
courts, or being tried in the same way as white
men. I need not enumerate these partial and
oppressive laws. Unless the Constitution should
restrain them those States will all, I fear, keep
up this discrimination, and crush to death the
hated freedmen. Some answer, “Your civil
rights bill secures the same things.” That is
partly true, but a law is repealable by a majority.
The second section I consider the most im-
portant in the article. It fixes the basis of rep-
resentation in Congress. If any State shall
exclude any of her adult male citizens from the
elective franchise, or abridge that right, she
shall forfeit her right to representation in the
same proportion. The effect of this provision
will be either to compel the States to grant
universal suffrage or so to shear them of their
power as to keep them forever in a hopeless
minority in the national Government, both
legislative and executive. If they do not en-
franchise the freedmen, it would give to the
rebel States but thirty-seven Representatives.


Senator Howard - speech on H.R. 127 (proposed 14th Amendment) May 23,1866
Congressional Globe, 39th Congress, 1st Session
P. 2765 col 1 bottom

The first section of the amendment they have
submitted for the consideration of the two
Houses relates to the privileges and immunities
of citizens of the several States, and to the rights
and privileges of all persons, whether citizens
or others, under the laws of the United States.
It declares that -
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall
abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of
the United States; nor shall any State deprive any
person of life, liberty, or property, without due pro-
cess of law; nor deny to any person within its juris-
diction the equal protection of the laws.
It will be observed that this is a general
prohibition upon all the States, as such, from
abridging the privileges and immunities of the
citizens of the United States. This is its first
clause, and I regard it as very important. It
also prohibits each one of the States from
depriving any person of life, liberty or prop-
erty without due process of law, or denying
to any person within the jurisdiction of the
State the equal protection of the laws.
P. 2765 col 2
The first clause of this section relates to the
privileges and immunities of citizens of the
United States as such, and as distinguished
from all other persons not citizens of the Uni-
ted States. It is not, perhaps, very easy to
define with accuracy what is meant by the ex-
pression, “citizen of the United States,” al-
though the expression occurs twice in the Con-
stitution, once in reference to the President of
the United States, in which instance it is de-
clared that none but a citizen of the United
States shall be President, and again in refer-
ence to Senators, who are likewise to be citizens
of the United States. Undoubtedly the expres-
sion is used in both those instances in the same
sense in which it is employed in the amendment
now before us. A citizen of the United States
is held by the courts to be a person who was
born within the United States and
subject to their laws. Before the adoption of
the Constitution of the United States, the citi-
zens of each State were, in a qualified sense
at least, aliens to one another, for the reason
that the several States before that event were
regarded by each other as independent Govern-
ments, each one possessing a sufficiency of sov-
ereign power to enable it to claim the right of
naturalization; and, undoubtedly, each one of
them possessed for itself the right of natural-
izing foreigners, and each one, also, if it had
seen fit so to exercise its sovereign power, might
have declared the citizens of every other State
to be aliens in reference to itself. With a view
to prevent such confusion and disorder, and to
put the citizens of the several States on an
equality with each other as to all fundamental
rights, a clause was introduced in the Consti-
tution declaring that “the citizens of each State
shall be entitled to all privileges and immuni-
ties of citizens in the several States.”
The effect of this clause was to constitute
ipso facto the citizens of each one of the origi-
nal States citizens of the United States. And
how did they antecedently become citizens of
the several States? By birth or by naturaliza-
tion. They became such in virtue of national
law, or rather of natural law which recognizes
persons both within the jurisdiction of every
country as being subjects of citizens of that
country. Such persons were, therefore, citi-
zens of the United States as were born in the
country or were made such by naturalization;
and the Constitution declares that they are
entitled, as citizens, to all the privileges and
immunities of citizens in the several States.
They are, by constitutional right, entitled to
these privileges and immunities, and may as-
sert this right and these privileges and immu-
nities, and ask for their enforcement whenever
they go within the limits of the several States
of the Union.
It would be a curious question to solve what
are the privileges and immunities of the citizens
of each of the States in the several States. I
do not propose to go at any length into that
question at this time. It would be a a somewhat
barren discussion. But it is certain the clause
was inserted in the Constitution for some good
purpose. It has in view some results beneficial
to the citizens of the several States, or it would
not be found there; yet I am not aware that
the Supreme Court have ever undertaken to
define either the nature or extent of te priv-
ileges and immunities thus guarantied. In-
deed, if my recollection serves me, that court,
on a certain occasion not many years since,
when this question seemed to present itself to
them, very modestly declined to go into a
definition of them, leaving questions arising
under the clause to be discussed and adjudi-
cated when they should happen practically to
arise. But we may gather some intimation of
what probably will be the opinion of the judi-
ciary by referring to a case adjudged many
years ago in one of the circuit courts of the
United States by Judge Washington; and I
will trouble the Senate but for a moment by
reading what the very learned and excellent
judge says about these privileges and immuni-
tes of the citizens of each State in the several
P. 2765 col. 3

States. It is the case of Corfield vs. Coryell,
found in 4 Washington’s Circuit Court Reports,
page 880. Judge Washington says:
“The next question is whether this act infringes
that section of the Constitution which declares that
‘the citizens of each shall be entitled to all
privileges and immunities of citizens in the several
“The inquiry is, what are the privileges and immu-
nities of citizens in the several States? We feel no
hesitation in confining these expressions to those
privileges and immunities which are in their nature
fundamental, which belong of right to the citizens
of all free Governments, and which have at all times
been enjoyed by the citizens of the several States
which comprise this Union from the time of their
becoming free, independent and sovereign. What
these fundamental principles are it would, perhaps,
be more tedious than difficult to enumerate. They
may however, be all comprehended under the follow-
general head: protection by the Government, the
enjoyment of life and liberty, with the right to acquire
and possess property of every kind, and to pursue and
obtain happiness and safety, subject nevertheless to
such restraints as the Government may justly prescribe
for the general good of the whole. The right of a citizen
of one State to pass through or to reside in any other
State, for purposes of trade, agriculture, professional
pursuits, or otherwise; to claim the benefit of the
writ of habeas corpus; to institute and maintain
actions of any kind in the courts of the State; to
take, hold and dispose of property, either real or
personal, and an exemption from higher taxes or
impositions than are paid by the other citizens of
the State, may be mentioned as some of the partic-
ular privileges and immunities of citizens which are
clearly embraced by the general description of privi-
leges deemed to be fundamental, to which may be
added the elective franchise, as regulated and estab-
lished by the laws or constitution of the State in
which it is to be exercised. These, and many others
which might be mentioned, are, strictly speaking,
privileges and immunities, and the enjoyment of
them by the citizens of each State in every other
State was manifestly calculated (to use the expres-
sions of the preamble of the corresponding provision
in the old Articles of Confederation) the better to
secure and perpetuate mutual friendship and inter-
course among the people of the different States of
the Union.’ “
Such is the character of the privileges and
immunities spoken of in the second section of
the fourth article of the Constitution. To these
privileges and immunities, whatever they may
be- for they are not and cannot be fully de-
fined in their entire extent and precise nature
-to these should be added the personal rights
guarantied and secured by the first eight amend-
ments of the Constitution; such as the freedom
of speech and of the press; the right of the
people peaceably to assemble and petition
the Government for a redress of grievances, a
right appertaining to each and all the people;
the right to keep and bear arms; the right
to be exempted from the quartering of soldiers
in a house without the consent of the owner;
the right to be exempt for unreasonable
searches and seizures, and from any search or
seizure except by virtue of a warrant issued
upon a formal oath or affidavit; the right of an
accused person to be informed of the nature
of the accusation against him, and his right to
be tried by an impartial jury of the vicinage;
and also the right to be secure against excess-
ive bail and against cruel and unusual punish-
Now, sir, here is a mass of privileges, im-
munities, and rights, some of them secured by
the second section of the fourth article of the
Constitution, which I have recited, some by
the first eight amendments of the Constitution;
and it is a fact well worthy of attention that
the course of decision of our courts and the
present settled doctrine is, that all these im-
munities, privileges, rights, thus guarantied by
the Constitution or recognized by it, are secured
to the citizen solely as a citizen of the United
States and as a party in their courts. They
do not operate in the slightest degree as a re-
traint or prohibition upon State legislation.
States are not affected by them, and its has been
repeatedly held that the restriction contained
in the Constitution against the the taking of pri-
vate property for public use without just com-
pensation is not a restriction upon State legis-
lation, but applies only to the legislation of
Now, sir, there is no power given in the Con-
stitution to enforce and to carry out any of
these guarantees. They are not powers granted
by the Constitution to Congress, and of course
P. 2766 col. 1
do not come within the sweeping clause of the
Constitution authorizing Congress to pass all
laws necessary and proper for carrying out the
foregoing or granted powers, but they stand
simply as a bill of rights in the Constitution,
without power on the part of Congress to give
them full effect; while at the same time the
States are not restrained from violating the
principles embraced in them except by their
own local constitutions, which may be altered
from year to year. The great object of the
first section of this amendment is, therefore,
to restrain the power of the States and com-
pel them at all times to respect these great
fundamental guarantees. How will it be done
under the present amendment? As I have
remarked, they are not powers granted to
Congress, and therefore it is necessary, if they
are to be effectuated and enforced, as they
assuredly ought to be, that additional power
should be given to Congress to that end. This
is done by the fifth section of the this amendment,
which declares that “the Congress shall have
power to enforce by appropriate legislation the
provisions of this article.” Here is a direct
affirmative delegation of power to Congress to
carry out all the principles of all these guar-
antees, a power not found in the Constitution.
The last two clauses of the first section of
the amendment disable a State from depriving
not merely a citizen of the United States, but
any person, whoever he may be, of life, liberty,
or property without due process of law, or from
denying to him the equal protection of the laws
of the State. This abolishes all class legisla-
tion in the States and does away with the in-
justice of subjecting one caste of persons to
a code not applicable to another. It pro-
hibits the hanging of a black man for a crime
for which the white man is not to be hanged.
It protects the black man in his fundamental
rights as a citizen with the same shield which
it throws over the white man. Is it not time,
Mr. President, that we extend to the black
man, I had almost callied it the poor privilege
of the equal protection of the law? Ought not
the time to be now passed when one measure
of justice is to be meted out to a member of
one caste while another and a different meas-
ure is meted out to the member of another
caste, both castes being alike citizens of the
United States, both bound to obey the same
laws, to sustain the burdens of the same Gov-
ernment, and both equally responsible to justice
and to God for the deeds done in the body?
But, sir, the first section of the proposed
amendment does not give to either of these
classes the right of voting. The right of suf-
frage is not, in law, one the privileges or im-
munities thus secured by the Constitution. It
is merely a creature of law. It has always
been regarded in this country as the result of
positive local law, not regarded as one of those
fundamental rights lying as the basis of all
society and without which a people cannot
exist except as slaves, subject to a despotism.
As I have already remarked, section one is
a restriction upon the States, and does not, of
itself, confer any power upon Congress. The
power which Congress has, under this amend-
ment, is derived, not from that section, but
from the fifth section, which gives it authority
to pass laws which are appropriate to the at-
tainment of the great object of the amendment.
I look upon the first section, taken in connec-
tion with the fifth, as very important. It will,
if adopted by the States, forever disable every
one of them from passing laws trenching upon
those fundamental rights and immunities which
pertain to citizens of the United States, and to
all persons which may happen to be within their
jurisdiction. It establishes equality before the
law, and it gives to the humblest, the poorest,
the most despised of the race the same rights
and the same protection before the law as it
gives to the most powerful, the most wealthy,
or the most haughty. That, sir, it republican
government, as I understand it, and the only
one which can claim the praise of a just Gov-
ernment. Without this principle of equal jus-
P. 2766 col. 2
tice to all men and equal protection under the
shield of the law, there is no republican gov-
ernment and none that is really worth main-
The second section of the proposed amend-
ment reads as follows:
Sec. 2. Representatives shall be apportioned among
the several States which may be included within
the Union, according to their respective numbers,
counting the whole number of persons in each State,
excluding Indians not taxed. But whenever, in any State
the elective franchise shall be denied to any
portion of its male citizens not less than twenty-
one years of age, or in any way abridged, except for
participation in rebellion or other crime, the basis
of representation in such State shall be reduced in
the proportion which the number of such male citizens-
That is, citizens as to whom the right of
voting is denied or abridged-
shall bear to the whole number of male citizens
not less than twenty-one years of age.
It is very true, and I am sorry to be obliged
to acknowledge it, that this section of the
amendment does not recognize the authority
of the United States over the question of suf-
frage in the several States at all; nor does
it recognize, much less secure, the right of
suffage to the colored race.
The committee were of opinion that the
States are not yet prepared to sanction so fun-
damental a change as would be the concession
of the right of suffrage to the colored race.
P. 2766 col. 3
*** It was our opinion that three fourths
of the States of this Union could not be in-
duced to vote to grant the right of suffrage,
even in any degree or under any restiction,
to the colored race. ***
The second section leaves the right to regu-
late the elective franchise still with the States,
and does not meddle with that right. Its basis
of representation is numbers, whether the num-
bers be white or black; that is, the whole
population except untaxed Indians and per-
sons excluded by the State laws for rebellion
or other crime.
P. 2767 col. 1
The committee *** thought it wiser to
adopt a general principle applicable to all the
States alike, namely, that where a State ex-
cludes any part of its male citizens from the
elective franchise, it shall lose Representa-
tives in proportion to the numbers so excluded;
and the clause applies not to color or to race
at all, but simply to the fact of the individual
P. 2767 col. 2.
*** No matter what
may be the ground for exclusion, whether a
want of eduction, a what of property, a want
of color, or a want of anything else, it is suffi-
cient that the person is excluded from the cate-
gory of voters, and the State loses representa-
tion in proportion.
[regarding “abridged”]
I suppose it would admit of the following
application: a State in the exercise of its
sovereign power of the question of suffrage
might permit one person to vote for a member
of the State Legislature, but prohibit the same
person from voting for a Representative in
Congress. That would be an abridgment of
the right of suffrage; and that person would
be included in the exclusion, so that the rep-
resentation from the State would be reduced in
proportion to the exclusion of persons whose
rights were thus abridged.
It is not an abridgment
to a caste of class of persons but the abridg-
ment or the denial applies to the persons
individually. ***
P. 2766 col. 3
Mr. Johnson. Females as well as males?
Mr. Howard. Mr. Madison does not say
anything about females.
Mr. Johnson. “Persons.”
Mr. Howard. I believe Mr. Madison was
old enough and wise enough to take it for granted
there was such a thing as the law of nature which
has a certain influence even in political affairs,
and that by that law women and children were
not regarded as the equals of men. Mr. Madi-
son would not have quibbled about the question
of women’s voting or of an infant’s voting.
He lays down a broad democratic principle,
that those who are to be bound by the laws
ought to have a voice in making them; and
everywhere mature manhood is the represent-
ative type of the human race.
Note --- After H.R. 127 passed the House of Reps., the Senate added the citizenship sentence to Sec. 1 and amended Sec. 2 which then passed the House of Reps. and was sent to the States for ratification.

Monday, January 14, 2008

“No US Constitution or Individual Rights” –The Supreme Court

January 13, 2008

U.S. Supreme Court Denies Certiorari
for Landmark Right to Petition Case

Constitutional Crisis Escalating

Coming: Appropriate Next Steps

On January 4, 2008, the Judges of the Supreme Court of the United States, in conference, voted to deny the Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the landmark Right-to-Petition case We The People v. United States. On January 7 the Court issued its Order denying certiorari.

Without comment, the Supreme Court decided not to hear We The People v. United States, a case which, if heard, would have required the Court to declare -- for the first time history -- whether the Government is obligated to respond to proper Petitions by ordinary, private individuals for Redress of Grievances - specifically Grievances alleging unconstitutional behavior by the Government, and whether the individual having so Petitioned, has the Right to act to peacefully hold the Government accountable if the Government refuses to respond.

In denying to hear this first impression case, the Court has ignored its duty to interpret the meaning of the Constitution, and leaves undisturbed the decision of the DC Court of Appeals which, unfortunately, relied on two cases that were not on point -- they involved employment related grievances by state public employees and state legislation governing same, not Grievances by private parties, and not involving alleged violations of the Constitution.

The decision by the Supreme Court has grave consequences for the future of individual Rights, Freedom and Liberty, popular sovereignty, government accountability and the great experiment in (self) government that is America. (continued...)

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Sunday, January 13, 2008

From CTnewsjunkie:

the below [found here]

Testing Judicial Openness

by Christine Stuart | January 11, 2008 10:08 AM
Posted to Courts | Legal

CTNJ file photo

CTNJ file photo

When Vince Valvo, former editor of the Hartford Business Journal, filed a Freedom of Information complaint against the state’s Chief Court Administrator he never expected to win. In fact, he wanted to lose. While that sounds counterintuitive, Valvo’s attorney explained Thursday that the victory was in the way he lost.

Dan Klau of Pepe and Hazard said Thursday in a phone interview that his client needed to lose in order to get the court to reconsider a controversial Supreme Court decision on what documents the Judicial Branch considers open to the public.

In 2006, the Supreme Court voted 4-3 in favor of a Meriden Superior Court clerk who had rejected an attorney’s request for access to the docket sheet with the name, address, birth date, and next court date of a defendant. When the opinion was released Sen. Andrew McDonald, D-Stamford, said it was a “substantial departure from the state’s policy on open government.”

It was so much of a departure that then Acting Chief Supreme Court Justice David Borden, who disagreed with the majority opinion, formed a task force to explore the public’s access to the courts.

“Your mission is to make concrete recommendations to me for the maximum degree of public access to the courts, consistent with the needs of the courts in discharging their core functions of adjudicating and managing cases,” Borden said in his opening remarks to the task force.

Since the task force made its recommendations in Sept. 2006 the courts have been reluctant to abide by the Supreme Court’s 2006 decision until Valvo filed his FOIA request.

Klau said Valvo requested the docket sheets in the 500 to 600 level 2 sealing cases before new Chief Supreme Court Justice Chase Rogers announced her own initiative to begin unsealing a majority of them. “The court decided not to unseal all of them and hasn’t even begun to deal with the cases in which the underlying records were destroyed,” Klau said.

When Valvo made his request it was denied by then Chief Court Administrator William Lavery, who cited the Supreme Court’s 2006 decision on public records. This week the Freedom of Information Commission accepted its hearing officer’s report , which concluded the commission lacks subject matter jurisdiction in Valvo’s case.

Klau said this paves the way for an appeal to New Britain Superior Court. He said he will argue that the trial court has no choice but to uphold the Supreme Court’s opinion in the 2006 case. Klau said if the trial court rules against Valvo, he will have an opportunity to appeal it to a higher court.

“We hope to get this in front of the Supreme Court,” Klau said.

However, the court has discretion over what cases it will hear, and this being a controversial issue that ignited a separation of powers battle between the legislature and the judicial branch last time it was raised, it’s uncertain whether the court would take it up again.

Since the 2006 decision there have been a few changes on the court. Borden, who favored making the records public, has retired and former Chief Justice William Sullivan, who didn’t believe the records should be made public, is now a senior justice. The new faces on the court include Justice Barry R. Schaller and Chief Justice Chase Rogers, who were elevated from the Appellate Court.

Comments at the newsjunkie site so far:

Posted by: Vincent Valvo | January 11, 2008 12:46 PM

Vincent Valvo -- former editor of the Hartford Business Journal -- is currently the publisher of The Commercial Record, at 125 years the oldest business newspaper in Connecticut. And he's still pretty ticked off at the assertion by the courts that the public has no inherent right to see basic docket sheet information. How would you like it if your brother, sister, fiance or friend were suddenly arrested, and you could get no information on their court appearances? This isn't something that should be left to the whim of court clerk. It should be a basic right of every citizen of this state. And thank you to CT Newsjunkie for publicizing the effort to get this back to the Supreme Court.

If the court has truly embraced a new commitment to openness, it will be glad to take this case and show the state that it believes in a responsible and responsive judicial system. Or it can duck the case, and show that for all the rhetoric of the past few years, it's pretty happy to have codified its power to keep secret whatever it wants to.

Vince Valvo

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Dysfunctional, Abusive, Unfair Connecticut Courts:

Probate Judge Sanctioned
Zuckerman Sought Campaign Money From Lawyers Appearing Before Him

By KIM MARTINEAU | Courant Staff Writer
January 12, 2008

MADISON — - A local probate judge who solicited campaign cash from lawyers appearing in his courtroom has agreed to disqualify himself from hearing any contested matters those lawyers may have, the state probate administrator announced Friday.

Judge Phillip Zuckerman agreed to the sanction after two lawyers complained to the probate administrator that they felt pressured to give money or risk unfavorable treatment in court. Some of the fundraising letters, sent by Zuckerman's wife after the 2006 election, contained personal entreaties from the judge.

Probate judges are the only elected judges in Connecticut, and the case in Madison has renewed calls to make the position appointed, to limit the role of politics and the potential for corruption in the courts."Maybe it's time to stop electing judges," said Robert Killian Jr., the probate judge of Hartford. "It's one more nail in the coffin of a system that hasn't kept up with modern times."

State Probate Court Administrator James Lawlor chose to resolve the ethics complaints against Zuckerman himself rather than seek a public reprimand from the Council on Probate Judicial Conduct, a board that operates in near-secrecy and rarely finds anything wrong.

Since the legislature expanded his powers last year, Lawlor has had authority to take cases away from judges, a bargaining chip he used to reach a swift settlement with Zuckerman this week.

The judge has since returned the contributions he received — an amount he estimated at less than $500 — and offered a public apology. "As a novice in running for office I realize that I was not as conversant as I should have been with all the different aspects and nuances of fundraising and the ethical implications," he wrote.

A Democrat who practices law in New London, Zuckerman spent $18,000 to unseat the longtime probate judge, Republican Carol Lougee, who does not hold a law degree. He won by less than 250 votes.

Under the ethics settlement, Zuckerman will disqualify himself from any contested cases in which he signed a personal note asking for cash. More than 100 lawyers across the state received the fundraising letter but not all of them got personal requests from the judge. In the past week Zuckerman has disqualified himself on eight matters, to be heard by the judge in Chester, at a cost of $250 a day.

The probate courts are largely autonomous, paying the judge's salary and other expenses from the fees charged for such matters as handling estates and adoptions. Lawlor says he intends to bill Zuckerman for the cost of the replacement judge, which will eventually come out of his salary. The part-time job, in 2005, paid $70,000. The fees generated by the disqualified cases, though, will still go to Zuckerman's court, possibly canceling out any financial penalty.

At least one study of the probate courts has suggested improving public confidence by limiting the role of money in judicial campaigns. In 2003, a task force of lawyers and probate judges recommended limiting lawyer contributions to $100 and law firm contributions to $1,000.

"It doesn't help a judge at all to have people wondering if campaign fundraising has any influence on the judge's handling of his or her case," said Hartford lawyer Tim Fisher, co-chair of the task force.

Fundraising is a problem even when done by the book, said Killian, who last faced an opponent 19 years ago. He expressed sympathy for Zuckerman, who until recently was a little-known lawyer in Madison.

"I'm blessed — I'm a Democrat in Hartford," he said. "If I have the endorsement of the party I don't have the likelihood of an upset by a Republican candidate."

Contact Kim Martineau at kmartineau@courant.com.

Copyright © 2008, The Hartford Courant

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[click here] for blogger's fair use of copyrighted materials, notice.

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My comment to the Hartford Court piece:
quote from Courant acticle:
"The probate courts are largely autonomous, paying the judge's salary and other expenses from the fees charged for such matters as handling estates and adoptions."

With the state increasing the number of judges even though the Connecticut population is stagnant or going down, means that alternative revenue collection methods are used.

Running as many citizens through courts and putting as many in prison means Connecticut get Federal Dollars. For years juries were shown a VHS tape of how to find defendants guilty, but nothing about reasonable doubt or finding defendants innocent was shown on the tape! Juries are tampered with and judges tell defendants to plead guilty, whether guilty or innocent, or are threatened with jail when no lawyer is present if they aren't rich and connected!

If judges are paid with adoptions, then DCF taking and making false reports so kids can illegally be kidnapped and adopted out is getting to be more the rule than the exception so judges get maximum pay. A typical DCF victim:

Elderly citizens that travel through Connecticut that get sick, can be put in mental hospitals, drugged, and have Connecticut lawyers appointed for them in their "best interest" while the Connecticut courts and lawyers pick over the carcasses of the elderly that have worked, paid taxes, and saved their entire lives. The heirs are denied their inheritance. Check the comments section of this post for what is typical Official Connecticut citizen abuse:

Judicial Branch employees talk about corruption, jury tampering, evidence tampering, and the shanenigans of judges and judicial branch management, here:

At your taxpayer dollar expense the Judicial Branch gave a questionnaire to 500 individuals that frequently use the judicial system, so we are probably talking about lawyers that were selected to take this survey:

The Judicial Branch gave themselves an A, there is quality, everyone has faith in the system, and everyone feels safe and served in the Connecticut court system according to the Judicial Branch:

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I was the only one who filmed this judicial branch scam:

The public comment is hidden from the public and the members of the Public Service and Trust Commission of the Judicial Branch hearing, which is the above link.

If these members aren't given information, just told that the Judicial Branch has an amazing 85% public approval rating, where McDonald's probably wouldn't score as high and people want to go there.

The judicial branch committed fraud, check the above link.

Judicial Branch attorney Melissa Farley has the public comment in her office that was not given to the commission.

If the Courant does a Freedom of Information request asking who was paid and how much for the graphs and survey in the above link, it would prove the scam. Reviewing what was said and the courant having the public comments that were suppressed in Melissa Farley's office would show what the Connecticut judicial branch is trying to get away with behind your back.

Judges shaking down lawyers and making them fear retaliation is small potatoes to what is really going on. The magnitude of the Federal Taxpayer fraud the injury to humanity is staggering.

Judges and judicial branch employees were informed of felonies being committed in this video:

If the judges and other officials did not inform the proper investigative authorities with the information should the entire panel in the above video be arrested and charged for this?: