It could shock you to know how many people are on the road and don't have a drivers license, either because it was taken away or they simply never got one. On Wednesday night’s Eye on KELOLAND we showed you people driving away from the Minnehaha County Courthouse after pleading guilty for not having a license.
So what are the penalties and why aren't they being enforced?
As people walked out to their cars just minutes after being in court for not having a drivers license, KELOLAND's Lou Raguse asked why they were breaking the law, again.
We caught them easy enough, so why isn't law enforcement doing the same?
Minnehaha County State’s Attorney Dave Nelson says, “I don't think there's any question but that we can be and probably should be much more aggressive, particularly with repeat offenders.”
Nelson says the number of people who drive with a revoked or suspended license is astounding. He says, “We have people driving on the streets of Sioux Falls, on the streets on South Dakota that aren't eligible to get a drivers license for the next five years or longer because of their history of driving while suspended, or driving while revoked, or driving without proof of insurance.”
Nelson says this class two misdemeanor can send a person to jail for 30 days...or even up to a year. But he says that rarely happens.
“Driving without a license is a very foolish reason to go to jail. Some people do when they repeat enough, but typically that's not what the penalty is,” Nelson says.
Nelson says he's tried to fix the serious problem before.
He says, “We experimented with that several years ago where I had members of the Police Department come over to courtroom 1A and follow these people out into the parking lot and cite them and we were successful in doing that. But again that's a very very labor intensive and expensive and time consuming proposition.”
He says it essentially comes down to money, and it would be too expensive to put everybody who drives without a license in jail.
We contacted judges who see people daily for driving without a license and asked them what they think could be done to keep them from behind the wheel. Two we spoke with on the phone didn't want to comment on camera. And one told us it happens every day. Sheriff Mike Milstead says they just don't have enough resources to make sure those without a license don't drive away from court.
It is interesting that South Dakota is now having problems enforcing their driving licenses laws. During the 2006 election cycle the subject of driving licenses was brought up in the legislature's alleged "Resolution" against South Dakota JAIL4Judges http://legis.state.sd.us/sessions/2006/bills/HCR1004p.htmwherein it is said:
"WHEREAS, the author of Amendment E has publicly stated that with the passage of Amendment E, Judicial Accountability Initiated Law members from across the country will "purposely drive to South Dakota...just for the privilege of getting a traffic ticket so you can demand a jury trial."
So now South Dakota is finding it difficult to enforce their driver's license law against unlicensed drivers. J.A.I.L. raised the question during the election as to how they were going to enforce the law against unlicensed drivers by obeying their Oath's of Office in providing a Jury trial to each and every driving offense as provided in the U.S. Constitution, Article III, Sec. 2, clause 3, "The trial of all crimes, except in cases of impeachment, shall be by jury." Once one determines that driving offenses has nothing to do with impeachment, it becomes incumbent upon all judges to respect the Constitution regarding jury trials, or out they go with the loss of half their retirement. No wonder they feared the passage of J.A.I.L. so much in South Dakota. If it became so in South Dakota, it would have subjected the entire judiciary to the same constitutional standard in all fifty states. J.A.I.L. is the only way we the People are going to turn around this nation once again accountable to the People.
-----Original Message----- From: Montgomery Sibley [mailto:mbsibley@...] Sent: Wednesday, March 05, 2008 11:39 AM To: JAIL4Judges Subject: FW: Open letter to Chief Justice Roberts re judges' adoption on March 11 of rules for self-exemption from discipline
FYI Jail4Judges is putting the federal judiciary in a panic. I will have more thoughts on this for you later.
-----Original Message----- From: dr.richard.cordero.esq@... [mailto:dr.richard.cordero.esq@...] Sent: 03/05/2008 1:20 PM To: mbsibley@... Subject: Open letter to Chief Justice Roberts re judges' adoption on March 11 of rules for self-exemption from discipline
Federal Judges are Ready to Adopt on March 11 Rules Enabling Them to Continue Dismissing Systematically Misconduct Complaints Against Them Thus Self-Exempting from Any Discipline
Dear Mr. Sibley,
The open letter below to Supreme Court Chief Justice Roberts concerns the Revised Rules for processing misconduct and disability complaints against federal judges filed under the Judicial Conduct and Disability Act by anybody. The Revised Rules are pending for adoption next March 11 by the Judicial Conference of the U.S., which is the highest policy-making body of the Federal Judiciary and presided by the Chief Justice.
This open letter is being submitted as an incentive for your media organization to investigate this important matter and as an Op-Ed, modifiable, if requested, as a letter to the editor of your online and print publications.
Indeed, the official statistics on the disposition of such complaints against judges show that during the 10-year period 1997-2006, there were filed 7,462 judicial complaints, but the judges had only 7 investigated by special committees and disciplined only 9 of their peers!
By the judges' own categories, the dismissed complaints dealt with misconduct and disability such as:
* conflict of interests * bribery * corruption * abuse of judicial power * bias * prejudice * incompetence * mental or physical disability preventing the discharge of official duties.
Despite the seriousness of these complaints, the judges systematically and without any investigation dismissed 99.88% of them. Thereby they self-exempted from any discipline for their misconduct and disability and in practice deprived the people of a right conferred upon them by an Act of Congress.
Such abuse prompted Congress to criticize the judges and propose the establishment of an inspector general for the judiciary. To ward off Congressional supervision, the Late Chief Justice Rehnquist set up a committee chaired by Justice Breyer to study the handling of such complaints.
The Breyer Committee held no hearings, published no comments submitted to it, and did not release even the redacted complaints on which it based its knowingly false conclusion that the judges "have properly implemented the Act in respect to the vast majority of the complaints filed".
Next March 11, Chief Justice Roberts and the top judges on the Judicial Conference will meet to adopt the Revised Rules for implementing the Breyer Committee recommendations. Far from stopping the systematic dismissal of complaints, these Rules authorize it as the official policy of the Judiciary, as shown below in the open letter.
Judges who exercise enormous power over people's property, liberty, and even life and self-exempt from any discipline wield absolute power, which corrupts absolutely. Wouldn't your audience want to know more about having their rights decided by judges who have so little respect for the rule of law that they will in all likelihood adopt the Rules in defense of their arrogated "Unequal Position Above Law"?
To show you that if you decide to investigate this matter I can provide you with information and data that can help you hit the ground running, I have prepared the list of Judicial Conference members, addresses, and phone numbers, which can prove very useful to conduct phone interviews to begin with. You can retrieve it through: http://Judicial-Discipline-Reform.org/judicial_complaints/Jud_Confer_contact _info.pdf.
Dr. Richard Cordero, Esq. Dr.Richard.Cordero.Esq@... tel. (718)827-9521 59 Crescent Street Brooklyn, NY 11208 ********************************************************
OPEN LETTER (sample of the letter sent to each member of the Judicial Conference of the U.S.)
February 9, 2008
Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr. Presiding Officer Judicial Conference of the U.S. c/o Supreme Court of the United States Washington, D.C. 20543
Dear Mr. Chief Justice Roberts,
I am writing to you as member of the Judicial Conference, which next March 11 will consider the adoption of the Revised Rules for processing judicial misconduct and disability complaints. These Rules, just as the current ones that they are supposed to replace, are irremediably flawed as part of the inherently biased system of judges judging judges
Indeed, the official statistics on the disposition of such complaints show that during the 10-year period 1997-2006, there were filed 7,462 judicial complaints, but the judges had only 7 investigated by special committees and disciplined only 9 of their peers! This means that the judges systematically dismissed 99.88% of all complaints.
The Late Chief Justice Rehnquist and the Breyer Committee knew about these statistics, yet pretended that the Act had been satisfactorily implemented. Likewise, the Committee on Judicial Conduct and Disability pretends that if only the rules are reworded, judges will handle complaints against themselves as anything other than a dismissible nuisance. However, its Rules only authorize the continuation of such systematic dismissal by:
Rule 2(b) allowing the non-application of any rule by the judges handling complaints, thus rendering the Rules optional rather than mandatory and ensuring their inconsistent and capricious application;
Rule 3 and its Commentary depriving the official Commentaries of any authoritative status as well as the Code of Conduct for U.S. Judges and even mandatory rules on gifts, outside income, and financial disclosure reporting of any guidance value;
Rule 13 Commentary pretending that special committees may be barred from disclosing information about judges' criminal conduct to prosecutors and grand juries, thus providing for cover ups.
They also show how they are procedurally flawed, for the facts establish the intentional circumvention of the requirement of "giving appropriate public notice and opportunity for comment".
Therefore, I respectfully request that you and through you the Conference:
1) take cognizance of my comments, hereby submitted to both;
2) not adopt the Revised Rules;
3) in the interest of justice and the public's trust in the integrity of judicial process, call on Congress to replace the current system of judicial self-discipline inherently flawed through self-interest with an independent citizens' board for judicial accountability and discipline, neither appointed by, nor answerable to, any judges; otherwise,
4) submit the Revised Rules to public scrutiny through appropriate notice and make public all comments thereupon submitted as well as all those already submitted by judges and others in what was supposed to be a process of public comment rather than a veiled opportunity for judges to indicate to its drafting peers and the Conference how to turn the practice of systematically dismissing judicial complaints into the official policy for defeating the Act through self-exemption from all discipline.
Looking forward to hearing from you, I remain,
Dr. Richard Cordero, Esq. Dr.Richard.Cordero.Esq@...
Dear Don Rufty, you have requested to know if the below is an accurate summary of J.A.I.L. I shall endeavor to answer your request within your below paragraphs in color. God bless. - Ron Branson
From: DonRufty@... [mailto:DonRufty@...] Sent: Thursday, March 06, 2008 7:06 AM To: JAIL4Judges Subject: Fwd: Strategizing Re: [AMOJ_MAIN] Attorney David Limbaugh ADMITS some JUDGES...
Is this an accurate summary?
In a message dated 3/5/2008 11:03:21 P.M. Eastern Standard Time, jrogins@... writes:
The disagreements over what needs to be done come from the lack of understanding of the problem. That is why I want to try and arrive at an agreement on the nature of the problem we face. If and when we do it, the identification of the solutions will be made easier.
NATURE OF THE PROBLEM / EXAMPLE 1 For over ten years an organization with which most of you are familiar, JAIL4JUDGES ("J4J"), attempted (not sure still is) to pass a so-called Judicial Accountability Initiative(?) Legislation ("JAIL") as a ballot initiative. JAIL would permit suits by alleged victims of judicial malice against the alleged culprit judges where the claimants have established a prima facie case of judicial malice before the special grand juries, likewise created and empowered by JAIL.
The criteria of J.A.I.L. is not malice, but rather willful violations of the law. See paragraph 2 of the J.A.I.L. Initiative.
After considerable tries, J4J succeeded at putting its initiative on the ballots for the Year 2006 in South Dakota ("SD"), a state of small population, which made the task of signature gathering achievable. Those who followed what happened thereafter could attest that the State Bar, the Attorney General's office, the media, even "Justice" O'Connor brutally attacked JAIL, J4J and its leader, Ron Branson, claiming the organization was a bunch out-of-staters coming to cause havoc in SD. They completely misrepresented the essence of JAIL and claimed disastrous consequences would ensue if JAIL were passed. The media campaign was in large part underwritten by SD banks!!! The SD Attorney General (if I remember correctly) threatened that if JAIL passed, his office would immediately file a court challenge to it on constitutional grounds. At the voting places the South Dakotas received a printed message that blatantly misrepresented the nature of JAIL and employed scare tactics. JAIL was "soundly defeated" in SD at the ballot box.
The signatures gathered in South Dakota were gathered by South Dakotans whom we hired for that purpose at the rate of $2.56 each. Despite this fact, the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that while non-citizens of other states may not sign the ballot they circulate, gathering signatures for a ballot measure is a First Amendment right. Therefore, the argument made by the state of South Dakota is purely mute, as they too are bound by Oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution!
QUESTION: 1) What if anything does this example teach us about the nature of the problem we are facing in trying to bring about judicial accountability and the forces in opposition to us in this regard?
Jacob Roginsky P.S. Based on my understanding of the problem that we face, I had predicted perfectly what happened in SD, namely that JAIL would be attacked and misrepresented by the state government, the lawyer interests, the media, and the corporations, and would be challenged in court if it by a miracle survived the attacks and misrepresentations, which it did not.
What I have learned as a result of the South Dakota experience is that when dealing with the government, they are not playing with a full deck. It is not a contest of "may the best man win," but rather, "our guns are bigger than yours." I was mistaken in presuming that all fifty states provided a voter's guide to all the voters so that they would know exactly what they were voting for. This is the way we do it in California. In South Dakota, everyone must trust the representation made by the Attorney General. This is a pure conflict of interest in that the Attorney General is the official attorney representing all of the judges in the state when judges face a legal confrontation by the people. It is like the attorney for the other side sitting on the bench adjudicating the dispute.
Jonathon Moseley wrote:
Okay, with complete sincerety and agreement, how do we start?
I would imagine that mapping out where the problems are (where the enemy forces are deployed like in battle planning) might help locate their weakest spots.
I think it is obvious to me so far that direct action educating and mobilizing the public has the virtue of not depending on anyone else to assist us and not allowin anyone else to block us.
My concern, again, is that by trying to find "the one and only" root cause of the problem and "the one and only" solution we set ourselves up for debating each other endlessly to decide which is the "ONLY" root cause and action item. I just don't want to see us going around and around endlessly trying to find "only one" real problem, when this may be an endless debate.
The chief problem in this country is the doctrine of judicial immunity "passed" into "law" by the judges themselves. Any other "remedy" that does not bear upon judicial immunity leads to frustration and spinning of wheels. Obviously, any "remedy" that does not curb judicial immunity will face judges deciding the validity of the matter while they are themselves protected by judicial immunity. It is like my request that I be granted a single wish in which I can have whatever I want. My wish will be that I will have unlimited wishes. Absolute power will always assure it retains absolute power forever.
-----Original Message----- From: Jacob Roginsky Sent: Mar 4, 2008 9:21 PM To: AMOJ_MAIN@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [AMOJ_MAIN] Attorney David Limbaugh ADMITS some JUDGES BIASED
If we are to make this an utmost productive discussion, we must be brief, to the point, and direct -- euphemisms and redundancies do not belong in such a scheme.
Jonathan says. "... I think that these points can be made best by giving examples of what we should do instead of what we should not." We need to talk about both, and I started doing that. We need to talk about the things we should not do becausewe need to mobilize those who do such things for doing what we should do, and,in any event, quit distracting those of us who can do what we should be doing.
What we should be doing, in my opinion (as I already said), is first educate ourselves about the problem that we face, then strategize and create a planof action, then act. Until we understand the problem, we are not able to intelligently articulate solutions or understand the relevance of the solutions articulated by others. This conversation is a good beginning,
The Scriptures teach us in II Timothy 3:7, that people are "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." Hosea 4:6 tell us, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee,"
This describes the patriot movement to a "T". Patriots will always be seeking a remedy, but never able to come unto the knowledge of the truth. God forbid they should stumble upon the truth and see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and lest they discover a remedy to the saving of this nation. So long as patriots behold "another" remedy, they shall pursue it, for wheresoever their treasure is, there will their heart be also.
Jonathon Moseley wrote:
On this, I completely agree. We must plan for a strategy that does not depend upon the cooperation of anyone.
I believe that if you hone our skills at dealing with the media (as with legal action) we maximize our chances of getting through.
But Jacob is correct. We cannot win by hoping that someone else will suddenly decide we are right and out of the goodness of their heart come to our rescue.
Plans that expect a journalist or a politician or anyone else to have a "Eureka" / light bulb moment and suddenly decide we are right are not likely to succeed.
I have always said that IF anyone else is going to help you it will be because it suits THEIR goals and interests, not because they suddenly see you as a shining example of goodness and light and are persuaded by your rhetoric.
But I also agree with Jacob that the best plan of all is one that depends only on us. If anyone else helps, great. But if they don't, we are not blocked from further progress.
However, I think that these points can be made best by giving examples of what we should do instead of what we should not.
And I also think that this movement is paralyzed with disputing and trying to find "THE ONE" perfect solution. Since there is merit in a great many possible actions, this (in my opinion) generates endless disputes.
It is one thing to say that Plan J is clearly the best.
But to try to argue that Plans A through I, and K through Z are all "bad" is not sustainable or plausible.
It is far easier to argue that Plan J is the best plan, than it is to plausibly say that all other plans are completely lacking in merit. They may all be inferior to Plan J (for example) but they all may have appeal in their own way.
-----Original Message----- From: Jacob Roginsky Sent: Mar 4, 2008 9:34 PM To: AMOJ_MAIN@yahoogroups.com Subject: Re: [AMOJ_MAIN] Attorney David Limbaugh ADMITS some JUDGES BIASED
The assumption on this list is that there is no point in trying because no one in the media will be interested or will report on these things.
Maybe this is an assumption with some, not all. There are people on this list who just do not get it, who think our problem with getting media coverage is a matter of bad luck, or a matter of our just having learned how to approach the media correctly.
I never claimed that we can't get media coverage -- AMOJ had some media coverage, including from Richmond Times Dispatch and FoxNews when we demonstrated in Richmond 5-6 years ago. My position is merely that we would not receive enough attention to reach the signal-to-noise ratio threshold, so that our message will have no lasting impact. I am using the term "signal-to-noise ratio" here notionally, and to that extent it applies here no less than the corresponding concept in signal processing.
I gather from some of the preceding posts that some folks are of the impression that I do not think we should do anything. Nothing could be further from the truth. My only position in this regard is that we must stop wasting time on efforts whose success depends on the cooperation of the powers that be, the elites, and their media; if such efforts target something of significance to us, we will receive no collaboration from them, because there our interests are adverse to their interests. We need a much bigger vision.
Jonathon Moseley wrote:
The brother of Rush Limbaugh, an attorney, just admitted that some judges are biased and throw cases.
DO YOU THINK IT WOULD DO NO GOOD TO CONTACT HIM AND GIVE HIM MORE EXAMPLES FROM REAL LIFE?
The assumption on this list is that there is no point in trying because no one in the media will be interested or will report on these things.
Here a columnist, brother of Rush Limbaugh, just published this (and off topic where he did not even need to say it in the column):
QUOTE: It reminds me of certain jury trials I've witnessed where the trial judge was noticeably prejudiced against one side and projected his feelings -- in body language, words and attitude -- to the jury. The less-favored litigant had little chance. And it was outrageously improper. UNQUOTE
It is with an earnest conviction that I know that God has raised up J.A.I.L. for such perilous times as this for the purpose of opening a door of deliverance to America against the powers of darkness that we face. While it is true that this battle will not be won by carnal weapons, "Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts," it is incumbent upon me to tell you that our Constitution and By-Laws calls for a semi-annual financial support of National J.A.I.L. during the months of March and September. This provision, as found in our Constitution, provides the following:
Article VII.National J.A.I.L. Support:
J.A.I.L. hereby imposes a National J.A.I.L. semi-annual financial support of ten ($10) dollars on each and every JAILer payable during the months of March and September of each year. Such support shall be made payable to "J.A.I.L." and sent to:
P.O. Box 207, No. Hollywood, Ca. 91603.*
Thomas Paine said in 1777, "Those who expect to reap the blessing of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."Should we expect to achieve Victory in America without supporting it, we seek something that has never been, nor ever shall be. From the Founder's personal viewpoint, J.A.I.L. is a cause certainly worthy of at least 5% of their gain to which God has entrusted them. Notwithstanding this fact, it is hoped that this miniscule amount of ten dollars will inspire all JAILers to donate more than the minimum $10 according as they have been blessed by J.A.I.L.'s outreach. J.A.I.L. is the hope of the future of this nation, and certainly worthy of your financial support!
I am sure I need not remind you that J.A.I.L. has no corporate financial underwriters to pay its bills. It is dependent upon you, the JAILers, for its support. So please get out your wallets and checkbooks to contribute to this very important mission of bringing judicial accountability to this nation.
Further, I ask you to pray about what the LORD would have you donate over and above the $10 called for in our Constitution & By-Laws. I Timothy 5:18, "For the scripture saith, Thou shalt not muzzle the ox that treadeth out the corn. And, The labourer is worthy of his reward." I also cite to remembrance, "[T]he righteous giveth and spareth not." Psalms 21:26. God bless you all.
WASHINGTON — Threats against federal judges and prosecutors are on pace to rise for the fifth consecutive year, according to statistics from the U.S. Marshals Service.
In response, federal officials are expanding their surveillance efforts to include suspects who have threatened state and local authorities and who represent a possible danger to federal court officials.
The U.S. Marshals Service, the agency assigned to protect 2,000 federal judges and more than 5,000 prosecutors across the USA, tracked a 69% increase in "inappropriate communications" with federal officials from fiscal years 2003 to 2007. Those can include outright threats or a pattern of suspicious mailings. The numbers rose each year even though investigators in 2007 began counting multiple threats from the same suspect as one case.
This year is on pace to exceed 2007, logging 503 threats through Feb. 9.
Authorities say they increasingly are seeing suspects begin by lashing out in public venues such as city council chambers and then escalating their activities to target federal judges and prosecutors.
God sees all. J.A.I.L. has passed in God's sight as in Noah's days.
Dear Brian Lyons, it is interesting that you have broached this issue in the manner you have done. Inasmuch as all things are open unto the eyes of Him with whom we have to do, when God sees a nation setting itself up for judgment, He raises up a man to apprise that nation of such pending judgment. Amos 3:7 "Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets."
Noah was such a man to the world that then was, as was Jonah to Nineveh. etc. God has promised, "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it." I Corinthians 10:13. God in His faithfulness and mercy always offers the people a true means of escape before He releases His judgment.
God never teases regarding His offer of escape. It is always a genuine remedy. However, He merely offers a door of escape, not a compulsion, in which the people may chose to avail themselves of such door. God, having provided a warning to those facing judgment, shows Himself to be just, "for then how shall God judge the world?" Romans 3:6.
Just so, God in His faithfulness, offers to this nation through a man of His choosing, a genuine means of escape, if they will receive it. Of such a man this nation does well to give heed, for "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me." John 13:20
Now how do we know that God will send us a "Noah" before His judgment. We know it because God said so. Luke 17:26 "And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and the flood came, and destroyed them all." The point made here is not as to this nation's particular sins, but as to it's specific sin of materialism. "Likewise also as it was in the days of Lot; they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded; but the same day that Lot went out of Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all." Luke 17:28, 29. There is nothing inherently wrong with eating, drinking, marrying, buying, selling, planting, and building. These things we all do, but judgment was brought upon them because of their devotion to "Things," i.e., not putting God first in their lives. "But seek ye fist the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these THINGS shall be added unto you." Matthew 6:33.
So if we be in the last days, and God has prophesied that in the last days it will be comparable to the days of Noah, has God raised up a Noah for this country? I shall leave the answer to that question for your spiritual discernment. God bless you.
Several areas of the court system are in jeopardy this this week as officials try to determine how to make ends meet.
WBKO spoke with Kentucky Supreme Court Justices who are worried about how it will all play out.
"We are very concerned about the judicial branch budget," said Kentucky Supreme Court Justice John D. Minton.
Kentucky Supreme Court Justice John D. Minton is worried about the newest cuts in the Kentucky budget.
The Judicial Branch passed a budget in the House early last week leaving the Court of Justice $55-million short in its funding.
"Just like every other branch or office in government, we were fully expecting some serious belt tightening, but as the budget now stands, the judicial branch is going to take a very serious cut in its budget," explained Minton.
The Court of Justice will receive a one time funding opportunity for $30-million, till leaving them $25-million short.
State Supreme Court Justice Bill Cunningham explains how this will effect the state.
"One of the main things were concerned with is getting the deputy circuit clerks a pay raise. These deputy circuit clerks are maybe the most important people in our system, and that's in jeopardy now. Our drug courts which have been highly successful across the state are in jeopardy," Cunningham stated.
Although in a bind, Justice Cunningham hasn't given up hope that things may turn around.
"We're hoping that maybe we can have some changes made, and the court system won't suffer from these cuts," he said.
Still, in the mist of these possible budget cuts, Justice Minton can't help but question what caused this situation.
"There must have been surely some misunderstanding as to what the needs of the Judicial Branch are." exclaimed Minton.
The lack of funding would cause several problems including state-wide layoffs, the possible elimination of Drug Courts and courthouse construction projects.
"And the first went, and poured out his vial upon the earth; and there fell a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image." Revelation 16:2
Once the mark is fully implemented and in place, which will control all commercialism everywhere, God is going to make these implants to explode internally in the body. This will will cause a very grievous sore upon all who receive them. Further, this event will cause total financial havoc everywhere because everyone's personal account assigned to them will be suspended, i.e., no one will not be able to buy or sell anything.
A new book details the extent to which countries across the globe are increasingly censoring online information they find strategically, politically or culturally threatening.
Access Denied: The Practice and Policy of Global Internet Filtering challenges the long-standing assumption that the internet is an unfettered space where citizens from around the world can freely communicate and mobilise. In fact, the book makes it clear that the scope, scale and sophistication of net censorship are growing.
"There's been a conventional wisdom or myth that the internet was immune from state regulation," says Ronald Deibert, one of the book's editors.
"What we're finding is that states that were taking a hands-off approach to the internet for many years are now finding ways to intervene at key internet choke points, and block access to information."
Mr. Deibert heads The Citizen Lab at the University of Toronto. The Lab, along with Harvard Law School, the University of Cambridge, and Oxford University, has spent the last five years testing internet access in some 40 countries.
We are starting to see something more like the China Wide Web, the Pakistan Wide Web, and the Iran Wide Web
John Palfrey, director of Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society
The book highlights Saudi Arabia, Iran and China as some of the most aggressive nations when it comes to net filtering. They use a variety of technical techniques to limit what their citizens can see online. But they reinforce that filtering with other methods, such as net surveillance.
"Surveillance is a huge deterrent," says The Citizen Lab's Nart Villeneuve. "If you talk to dissident groups in these countries, they'll tell you that they're under surveillance, that they're concerned for their safety, and that it definitely influences their online behavior."
And even as human rights and internet rights groups fight to raise awareness about internet censorship, countries such as China have responded by getting smarter in what they block, and when they block it.
"We call it 'just-in-time' filtering," Mr. Deibert says. "Countries are selectively blocking access to information around key events, such as demonstrations or elections. They are clamping down on the internet during times that it suits their strategic interests to do so."
As an example of this kind of filtering, he points to China's recent blocking of YouTube after videos of Tibetan protestors appeared on the video-sharing site.
Google has been criticised for working with Chinese authorities
Belarus, Cambodia and Burma have all engaged in this kind of selective censorship as well.
And then there is the case of Pakistan, which recently caused the entire YouTube service to go down worldwide for a couple of hours because of a government order to block material.
According to John Palfrey, director of Harvard Law School's Berkman Center for Internet and Society, the Pakistan case points to certain weaknesses inherent in the very architecture of the internet.
"It was designed by a bunch of friends in essence - academics and military people - who were just creating a local network. Now, it has scaled globally.
"But it's still based on some fairly informal protocols. It turns out that when one censor in one country messes around with something, he can bring down access to entire parts of the internet."
Mr Palfrey points out that some countries are considering whether or not to bypass the World Wide Web all together by creating what amounts to their own local area networks. "We are starting to see something more like the China Wide Web, the Pakistan Wide Web, and the Iran Wide Web."
But The Citzen Lab's Ronald Deibert does not think the evidence points to a complete "balkanization" of the net by sovereign states.
"I don't think it's a stretch to say that a person in Iran experiences a much different Internet than a citizen in a country like Canada," he says.
"But it's not a simple equation with territorial boundaries. Maybe the best analogy is with the old Middle Ages, where you had multiple and overlapping layers of authority. I think that's the future of the net."
That future is being complicated by the increased use of mobile phones, PDAs and other devices to access information online. For citizens, these devices mean more ways to access the internet, and therefore more potential ways around government blocking.
But Jonathan Zittrain, chair in Internet Governance and Regulation at Oxford University, says that governments are already starting to realize the potential threats from mobile devices as tools to access and spread information.
"In fact, when it comes to mobile devices," Zittrain says, "you may see common cause among China, the United States and Europe, all of whom would like another lever they can pull that will enhance their control over the net, whether they're looking for terrorists, subversives or political dissidents."
"I'd hate to think that the technological advances, say, in America, turn out to be exactly the advances, wrapped in a bow, the technologies China might use to squash dissidents."
If you have caught the drift of the message of J.A.I.L. it is that either the courts are going to have to go down, or the People will have to go down, there is absolutely no middle ground. The fact is, the present state of the economy is related to an unaccountable judiciary. If you are asking, "How so?" it is a simple deduction that only by the judiciary has our country abandoned our sound money system of silver and gold as established by our Founding Fathers in the Constitution in favor of a fiat paper currency. There is a basic rule at play here, and that all paper "money" invariably returns to its intrinsic value, and that is the price of paper. So the calculation here is, "What is the price of paper?" Once our country established paper as the money of account, the collapse of our economy was sealed as certain as the natural law of gravity, and it was only a matter of passage time. Have we hit the bottom yet? The answer to this question turns on whether we have hit the point where paper "money" is the same value as the paper it is printed on. If the answer is "NO," then we shall certainly sink further until we get there!
It should also be further noted that when the money of account is debauched, crime rises until it becomes uncontrollable. In other words, no amount of hired additional police forces will be able to bring crime under control. As I have always said, "J.A.I.L. is the only answer," unless you believe revolution is the only answer. We are faced with either J.A.I.L. or a revolution. But even if the later be consider the answer, J.A.I.L. will still be essential!
As California struggles with a multibillion-dollar deficit, the lead judge of the nation's largest state court system pleaded his case at the Capitol on Tuesday for funds to pay for new courthouses, improved security and more judges.
California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald George, in his 13th annual State of the Judiciary address, acknowledged the current budget strain and said he was not asking for "sweeping new initiatives." But he stressed the need for resources "essential to the very integrity of the justice system."
"The failure to provide sufficient resources and personnel for the court system risks depriving California of an effective public civil justice system," George said. "I believe we all agree that a functional court system is not a luxury – it is an essential component of state government."
George told the joint session of lawmakers that the judiciary has introduced and supported programs, such as services to help individuals representing themselves in court or the availability of interpreters, without the help of legislative funding.
But the judiciary has reached a point where support is vital to ensure safety and the smooth operation of the courts, which, as George pointed out, often set precedents for the country.
Unlike other addresses in recent years, George's State of the Judiciary arrived as the state is facing a budget shortfall of at least $8 billion. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed across-the-board cuts of 10 percent to most state agencies and is looking to cut up to $245 million from the judicial branch.
That means that no new judges will arrive this year to any bench in California, including the six that were scheduled to arrive in Sacramento County, which handles one of the largest caseloads in the state.
"We were desperate before, and this is simply going to make the desperation put over for another year," Sacramento Presiding Court Judge James Mize said before the session. "The courts that need the most will be suffering the most by this delay."
In his address, George said California ranks at the bottom of comparable states in the number of judges on the bench in proportion to the state's population.
The Central Valley and the Inland Empire are particularly affected, he said, pointing out that Riverside – for the second year in a row – had to close down its civil courtrooms and use those judges to handle criminal cases.
Mize said Sacramento County has resorted to similar practices, creating up to a yearlong backlog now in the civil courts.
Courthouse security was another prominent theme of George's speech, coupled with his renewed call for new courthouse construction and renovations of current buildings.
A proposed bond measure that had been discussed last year for placement on the November ballot has taken a new form in Senate Bill 1407, sponsored by Senate President Pro Tem Don Perata.
The pending bill seeks $5 billion in revenue bonds to support upgrades and construction.
Police denounce area Web site that rates officers' performance
By Rachel Uranga, Staff Writer
Article Launched: 03/25/2008 11:15:57 PM PDT
CULVER CITY - Armed with a laptop and the names of tens of thousands of police officers across the country, a Southland entrepreneur is raising the ire of law enforcement with an online, five-star rating system similar to those used for teachers.
Less than a month old, RateMyCop.com has gotten 100,000 hits a day, with users leaving comments - good and bad - about their interactions with cops, founder Gino Sesto said.
He runs the site out of his two-bedroom home and said he thinks it's a fair way to hold law enforcement accountable.
"If you are doing a good job, what do you care?" he said. "I would shut it down tomorrow if they had a way to digitize complaints and put them online. We can get the voting records of our senators, we can get a copy of the 1040 for George Bush. This has the ID of officers and the name. So what is the problem?"
But police organizations across the country have denounced the site, arguing that it endangers officers' safety and is ripe for misuse.
"Law enforcement should never be trivialized, and this appears to do just that," said Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department spokesman Steve Whitmore.
"The concern is for the safety of law enforcement personnel. If that can be compromised in any way, this shouldn't be done."
The site appears to be perfectly legal. Even the Los Angeles Police Department's union, which two weeks ago sent a note to its 9,600 sworn members in response to concerns about the names of officers being posted, admits that ratemycop.com has the right to obtain the information.
So far, Sesto has posted more than 500 agencies on the site, from Los Angeles to Miami to Dallas. But he doesn't pretend to be a champion of free speech or a cop-hater. Instead, he just wanted to build a site that would attract tons of people - and maybe make a few bucks.
In addition to running the site, Sesto, 37, is a flight instructor on weekends and works full time in advertising. RateMyCop.com was merely a side venture to keep him busy. The idea came to him over dinner with a friend when they were swapping ticket stories.
"I thought, `Wow, why not have it so people can give feedback on police officers?' Everyone has the conversation."
So he and his girlfriend began sending out request letters to 1,000 agencies, asking for officer names. He posted them on a searchable site where users provide ratings based on fairness, satisfaction and authority.
Some posts are malicious, like this one about a North Carolina highway patrolman:
"... bald redneck chewing tobacco. making a quota on the 28th day of the month, he says i wasn't wearing my seat belt. SO WHAT!! we are so fortunate in Salisbury NC that there is no real crime."
But others praise officers like Sgt. Wayne Guillary of the LAPD's Northwest Division: "Proud to be a citizen of Los Angeles with a police force like officer Guillary."
Guillary had been tasked with crowd control at a Scientology protest when somebody caught him on video giving instructions and posted it on YouTube.com.
The 20-second video - in which he tells protesters it's their right to be out there and encourages them to stay on the sidewalk - prompted more than 25,000 hits to his name on RateMyCop.com.
"I was a little surprised because that is just me every day," Guillary said. "But people are always going to be able to look at you and access you. We live in a technological society."
His motto is to always be professional. That way there is nothing to worry about.
"People see you doing a good thing, it's positive," he said, noting he has no objection to RateMyCop.com. "And it brings a positive note to the agency."
But others believe it could ultimately put law enforcement in danger, making it easier for some to find out information about families.
"The California Police Chiefs Association is totally opposed to the Web site RateMyCop.com," Jerry Dyer, president of the association, said in a statement, adding that he is working on legislation to block it.
"The CPCA's first and biggest concern is the safety of our officers: publishing the names of officers and their agency could allow anyone to access personal information, via the Internet, about that officer and/or their family, without their knowledge, placing the officer or their family in grave danger. Secondly, officers who are rated face unfair maligning without any opportunity to defend themselves."
When RateMyTeacher.com was launched in August 2001, it immediately caused controversy among teachers who thought it was unfair.
Since then, more than 11million users worldwide have rated about 1.4million teachers at nearly 54,000 schools, according to the Web site.
A similar site launched in France called note2be.com was banned this month by the country's court system after the educators union filed a grievance, saying it was "an incitement to public disorder."
Thomas Griffith, a USC law professor who specializes in police issues, said while other sites that rate teachers and restaurants are fine, one for police officers is different.
Unlike restaurants and college professors, people can't choose their officers. And because there are separate complaint issues, it provides no accountability.
"A mechanism with unconfirmed reports that can be over-praising or condemning is not the best way to ensure accountability," he said.
Sesto said he hasn't been filtering comments before they go online but plans to. And he has pulled some comments.
But as it is now, to leave a comment, users have to sign in to the site, leaving their name and e-mail address.
He estimates that at least half of the site's users are officers and that a few might even be posting nasty comments about their colleagues. But at least one officer inquired about getting business cards from the site that he can hand out while giving tickets.
"Really," Sesto said, "I don't know why people are so taken aback."
WHAT THEY'RE SAYING
Following are comments on individual LAPD officers sent to RateMyCop.com. The Daily News has withheld their names.
"(Officer) was extremely professional and it was his calm demeanor that defused a potentially dangerous situation."
"I liked him from the instant that he drove up to my home after a car crashed through the fence and into my yard about 15 years ago. Even my mom met him. Her only comment was: `If I was only forty years younger.' She was 81 at the time."
"I was traveling down the road with my student driving and he did not make a full stop... This officer was so nice and explained the reason for full stops and answered questions from my student. He did not give us a ticket and he was so awesome!"
"(Officer) needs more training. I train the young deputies at the Men's Central Jail and I want to tell you, he wouldn't last with the Sheriff's Department."
"This so called `gang' officer routinely harasses the young citizens of this fine city for no good reason."
"(Officer) is a sick man who has a habit of putting false info in his written reports ... He has also singled out African American officers for retribution and humiliation. (Officer) is a real cancer to the LAPD!"
A Medical ID Business, Much Criticized, Plans a Stock Offering
Published: February 5, 2007
Applied Digital Solutions has made headlines in recent years, and appalled privacy advocates, with its technology to implant radio chip into humans.
Applied Digital Solutions
A reader, when placed within inches of an arm, responds to the VeriChip.
Now Applied Digital, of Delray Beach, Fla., is about to test Wall Street’s interest with an initial public offering as soon as Thursday in the nascent business, the VeriChip Corporation. But some analysts are finding the effort to raise about $30 million from public investors nearly as disconcerting as the privacy advocates find the technology.
“People ask if there is a bubble in the I.P.O. market, and I say no,” said Francis Gaskins, president of IPODesktop.com in the Marina del Rey section of Los Angeles, which tracks companies selling shares to the public for the first time. “This is one of the first I’ve seen recently that doesn’t make money and doesn’t have a clear path to break even.”
VeriChip is primarily marketing the chip as the most secure and reliable way to link people with their medical records because it cannot be lost and can identify patients even when they are not conscious or lucid.
The company, which has not yet reported fourth-quarter data, lost $3.45 million on sales of $20.34 million in the first nine months of 2006. The revenue came primarily from businesses that make external radio tags for keeping track of babies in hospitals and elderly patients in nursing homes — businesses with plenty of competition.
By contrast, the implanted chips have gained almost no traction in the marketplace since the Food and Drug Administration approved their sale in 2004.
Applied Digital plans to issue at least 4.3 million shares of VeriChip for $6.50 to $8.50 a share, leaving it with 47.4 percent to 53.6 percent of the stock, depending on whether the three underwriters exercise their rights to buy additional shares, according to its registration statement. VeriChip would net $27 million if the shares sold at $7.50, the filing said.
Its technology requires the injection of a rice-grain size capsule into a user’s upper right arm. The chip inside contains a coded identifying number that is linked to whatever the user authorizes — whether his or her name, address, emergency contacts and important medical records. The chip can be energized and then scanned by a hand-held reader that has to be positioned within inches of the arm to work reliably.
For the most part, the company has been giving hospitals and doctors the gear needed to read the chips and link the encoded numbers in them to patient information. In documents filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, VeriChip said that total revenue from the device and the services tied to it was less than $100,000.
VeriChip said that more than 1,200 doctors had registered to take part in VeriMed, as the company calls the medical application of its implant, as of the end of 2006, and that close to 400 medical facilities had been equipped with scanners and supporting gear. It said that only 222 patients have had the device implanted.
The company acknowledges that it relies mostly on patients to provide the information linked to their identification numbers and that health care workers may not be fully confident about its reliability until doctors or members of their staffs supervise the data entry, one of many essential steps that may not occur. No insurers reimburse doctors for participating.
Scott R. Silverman, the chairman of Applied Digital and, since December, chairman and chief executive of VeriChip, has no shortage of vision of how the chips may eventually be embraced. He has referred to them as the “natural successor to the dog tag” for the armed forces and recently proposed that all immigrants and guest workers have the implants. But VeriChip also says that it intends to build the market with voluntary programs like VeriMed, a gesture to privacy concerns that has done little to mollify critics.
Marc Rotenberg, executive director of the Electronic Privacy Information Center, said: “This technology sends the Orwell meter into the red zone. There’s almost no scenario under which the benefit can’t be obtained from an anklet or a bracelet. The only reason to implant it is so that it can’t be removed voluntarily, which makes it a human rights issue.”
Applied Digital may be running out of time to overcome the critics and doubters. It has been keeping the VeriChip business alive with a steady stream of loans and a favorable supply contract with the Digital Angel Corporation, a publicly traded subsidiary that sells similar implantable devices for identifying and tracking pets and livestock. How long Applied Digital’s creditors and long-suffering shareholders would support this largess is unclear.
In its filing, VeriChip said that $7 million would go toward repaying money lent by Applied Digital and that $8 million to $10 million would be invested in developing VeriChip over the next two years.
I have personally known Phil and Mary Long for several years antecedent to the foundation of the Judicial Accountability Initiative Law Organization in 1995. Having fought many battles in the courts here in California, Phil has been a great supporter of J.A.I.L.'s policies and of me, its founder. No one knows better than the Long family of the evils of our judicial system. They are independent thinking people, including educating their children independent of our failing public school system. Phil has been the target of much government harassment and has spent time in jail many times for his courageous stand.
Because of his latest court battle, a number of churches have expressed concern regarding his latest case wherein California Judge Walter Croskey ruled that no one has a constitutional right to educate their children at home despite the clear command of God in the Scripture to the contrary, "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates. Deuteronomy 6:6 thru 9.
For those of you who wish to congratulate the Longs, you may reach them by writing marylong8@....
A CALIFORNIA court ruling that home-schooling is unconstitutional is one of the latest palace coups coming out of the nation’s judiciary.
A Southern California couple, Phillip and Mary Long, were home-schooling their children through a program at a Christian school. Such schools and home-schooling organizations provide curricula for parents to follow, and most avail themselves of these aids.
The family came to the attention of Los Angeles County social workers when one of the children claimed the father was physically abusive. An attorney representing the two youngest children asked the Juvenile Dependency Court to order that they be enrolled in public or private school to protect their well-being.
Justice H. Walter Croskey ruled that parents who educate their children at home without state teacher certification could be criminally liable under California law because parents “do not have a constitutional right to home-school their children.” According to the decision, “The home-schooling the children were receiving was lousy, meager and bad.”
In another setting, a judge could have ruled that kids in some public schools receive education that is “lousy, meager and bad.” In many cases, that’s precisely why parents choose to home-school their kids.
Besides, this was an individual case of child protection - hardly a test case on home-schooling. But this overzealous California judge decided to expand his reach.
Home-schooled students are often high performers on standardized tests. Colleges recruit them because of their high SAT scores. A number of kids who compete in the National Spelling Bee and other similar venues do exceptionally well.
This isn’t the first time home-schooling has come under assault. In 1994 the federal government attempted to require certification of home-schooling parents until hundreds of thousands of calls inundated switchboards on Capitol Hill in protest.
The Longs’ case brought delight to the California Teachers Association. Home-schooling - like charter and private schools - cut into the teachers union’s monopoly.
The California Court of Appeals has agreed to reconsider the case. We won’t hold our breath for a favorable outcome for the Golden State’s home-schooling parents yet.
But, in this land of individual choice, we believe that parents who home-school their kids - or send them to charter or private schools - ought to prevail. It’s worth the fight.
An Orwellian plan that has state and federal governments staking claim to the ownership of every newborn's DNA in perpetuity is advancing under the radar of most privacy rights activists, but would turn the United States' citizenry into a huge pool of subjects for involuntary scientific experimentation, according to one organization alarmed over the issue.
"We now are considered guinea pigs, as opposed to human beings with rights," Twila Brase, president of the the Citizens' Council on Health Care, a Minnesota-based organization familiar with the progress in that state.
She warned ultimately, such DNA databases could spark the next wave of demands for eugenics, the concept of improving the human race through the control of various inherited traits. Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood, advocated for eugenics to cull those she considered unfit from the population.
In 1921, she said eugenics is "the most adequate and thorough avenue to the solution of racial, political and social problems," and she later lamented "the ever increasing, unceasingly spawning class of human beings who never should have been born at all."
Lawmakers in Minnesota recently endorsed a proposal that would exempt stockpiles of DNA information already being collected from every newborn there from any sort of consent requirements, meaning researchers could utilize the DNA of more than 780,000 Minnesota children for any sort of research project whatsover, Brase said.
"The Senate just voted to strip citizens of parental rights, privacy rights, patient rights and DNA property rights. They voted to make every citizen a research subject of the state government, starting at birth," she said. "They voted to let the government create genetic profiles of every citizen without their consent."
The result will be that every newborn's DNA will be collected at birth, "warehoused in a state genomic biobank, and given away to genetic researchers without parent consent – or in adulthood, without the individual's consent. Already, the health department reports that 42, 210 children have been subjected to genetic research without their consent," Brase told WND.
She said although her organization works with Minnesota issues, similar laws or rules and regulations already are in use pretty much all across the nation.
The National Conference of State Legislatures, in fact, lists for all 50 states as well as the District of Columbia the various statutes or regulatory provisions under which newborns' DNA is being collected.
Such programs are offered as "screening" requirements to detect treatable illnesses. They vary as to exactly what tests are done but the Health Resources and Services Administration has requested a report that would "include a recommendation for a uniform panel of conditions."
Further, Sen. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., is on record proposing a plan that would turn the program into a consolidated nationwide effort.
"Fortunately," he said at the time, "some newborn screening occurs in every state but fewer than half of the states, including Connecticut, actually tests for all disorders that are detectable. … This legislation will provide resources for states to expand their newborn screening programs…"
His plan specifically would provide millions of dollars for educating and training health care professionals in "relevant technologies," and set up standards for updating tests and maintaining the quality of test results.
So what's the big deal about looking into DNA to hunt for various disease possibilities?
Nothing, said Brase, if that's where the hunt would end.
However, she said, "researchers already are looking for genes related to violence, crime and different behaviors."
"This isn't just about diabetes, asthma and cancer," she said. "It's also about behavioral issues."
"In England they decided they should have doctors looking for problem children, and have those children reported, and their DNA taken in case they would become criminals," she said.
In fact, published reports in the United Kingdom note that senior police forensics experts believe genetic samples should be studied because it may be possible to identify potential criminals as young as age five.
"If we have a primary means of identifying people before they offend, then in the long-term the benefits of targeting younger people are extremely large," Gary Pugh, director of forensics at Scotland Yard, was quoted saying. "You could argue the younger the better. Criminologists say some people will grow out of crime; others won't. We have to find who are possibly going to be the biggest threat to society."
The United Kingdom database already has 4.5 million genetic samples and reportedly is the largest in Europe, but activists want to expand it. Pugh said that it is not possible right now to demand everyone provide a DNA sample, but only because of the costs and logistics.
One published report cited the Institute for Public Policy Research, which is suggesting children from 5-12 in the United Kingdom be targeted with cognitive behavioral therapy and Pugh has suggested adding the children in primary schools, even if they have not offended, to the database.
There, Chris Davis of the National Primary Headteachers' Association warned the move could be seen "as a step towards a police state."
But Pugh said the UK's annual cost of $26 billion from violent crime makes it well worth the effort.
Brase said such efforts to study traits and gene factors and classify people would be just the beginning. What could happen through subsequent programs to address such conditions, she wondered.
"Not all research is great," she said. "There is research that is highly objectionable into the genetic propensities of an individual. Not all research should be hailed as wonderful initiatives."
It can identify some tendencies for potential problems, and that is one of its downfalls, she said.
"It lends itself to be the beginning of discrimination and prejudice," she said. "People can look at data about you and make assessments ultimately of who you are."
Further, the invasion of privacy is huge. DNA is the most intimate identifier that exists, she said.
"This, however, says our DNA is not ours but the government's," she said. "It says our values, our ethics, belief systems have to be [subjected] to the interests of the government."
Right now various states obtain DNA under different plans, and keep the information for varying time periods. In Minnesota, the legislature is working on legal authorization for the state government to take it without consent, keep it forever, and use it for whatever purposes the state desires – all without obtaining consent or even letting people know.
A mandatory sample of a newborn's DNA also pulls back the veil on information about the parents as well, Brase told WND.
"It's like they're collecting information on the whole family," she said.
The Heartland Regional Genetics and Newborn Screening is one of the organizations that advocates for more screening and research.
It proclaims in its vision statement a desire to see newborns screened for 200 conditions. It also forecasts "every student … with an individual program for education based on confidential interpretation of their family medical history, their brain imaging, their genetic predictors of best learning methods…"
Further, every individual should share information about "personal and family health histories" as well as "gene tests for recessive conditions and drug metabolism" with the "other parent of their future children."
Still further, it seeks "ecogenetic research that could improve health, lessen disability, and lower costs for sickness."
"They want to test every child for 200 conditions, take the child's history and a brain image, and genetics, and come up with a plan for that child," Brase said. "They want to learn their weaknesses and defects.
"Nobody including and especially the government should be allowed to create such extensive profiles," she said.
The next step is obvious: The government, with information about potential health weaknesses, could say to couples, "We don't want your expensive children," she said.
"I think people have forgotten about eugenics, the fact of the matter is that the eugenicists have not gone away. Newborn genetic testing is the entry into the 21st Century version of eugenics," she said.
"This is in every state, but nobody is talking about it. Parents have no idea this is happening," she said.
The above question has been mulled over time and time again by intelligent men without a resolution. The fact is there is no irrefutable answer because of the corrupt nature of mankind. If elected, judges must look to donors for support, which are often law firms to whom the judges owe a political debt. If appointed, judges must serve a politically correct agenda. In either case, justice towards the populace is threatened.
The position of JAIL4Judges is that the only answer that will curb judicial immunity of judges, whether elected or appointed, is J.A.I.L. in which judges thereunder shall be held accountable to the laws and to the Constitution they have sworn to uphold through an independent Grand Jury of plain citizens.
Much has been tried in an effort to make judges accountable to legal standards starting with impeachment. But what has happened thereunder is stated by Thomas Jefferson, "...the germ of dissolution of our federal government is in the Constitution of the federal judiciary; an irresponsible body (for impeachment is scarcely a scarecrow), working like gravity by night and by day, gaining a little today and a little tomorrow, and advancing its noiseless step like a thief over the field of jurisdiction, until all shall be usurped from the states, and the government of all be consolidated into one."
In 1960 our state legislators, acknowledging that judges judging judges does not work, invented independent state judicial commissions supposedly to bring judges into account. However, there is not one "independent" judicial commission in this country that is curbing judicial unaccountability, nor one that even pretends to deal with the doctrine of judicial immunity. The fact is, that before there were independent judicial commissions, judges could be called to account before Grand Juries, but after the creation of these independent judicial commissions, the duty of oversight of judges was taken by legislation from the Grand Juries and committed to these independent commission where nothing is being accomplished.
Lately, there has arisen an effort to establish an Office of Independent Inspector General for judges. While such a title of being "independent" sounds interesting, one can guess where this will eventually lead. It shall fair no better than all the "independent" judicial commissions currently in operation throughout this country in all fifty states, nor than a self-controlled "independent" judiciary.
Below, we are posed with the unanswerable question, "Judicial Selection: Does Any Method Work?" The honest conclusion is, "It really does not matter!" The bottom line is whether elected or appointed, there cannot be any solution beyond that of JAIL4Judges.
From Dirk Olin at Judicial Reports, word leaks out of a conference held yesterday at Fordham Law School of judicial reformers trying to figure out how best to select state court judges. The conference, entitled "Enhancing Judicial Independence, Accountability, and Selection for the State Court Judiciary: A Program for Reform,: wasn't your usual group of do-gooders or self-serving sitting judges arguing to protect their seats.
The room was packed with the brightest of legal luminaries — from Sandra Day O'Connor and Stephen Breyer to the Chief Justice of Ghana. Academic and bar heavyweights were all around. A forum of self-congratulatory blather? Hardly. The real subject was nothing short of saving Western Civilization.
Heavy hitters indeed. If only Dirk had given a heads-up before this symposium, as this sounds like the sort of thing I would have like to attend. Note that I did not receive an engraved invitation.
Former Supreme Sandra Day O'Conner opened with a recap of the current judicial atmosphere:
O’Connor was not absolving the bench of the need for accountability, noting that the spread and debasement of judicial elections are at least as responsible for systemic woes as any particular ideology. “We’ve put cash in the courtroom, and it’s just wrong,” she said. “No other nation in the world has it.”
The retired justice led off the proceedings by reminiscing about her early days in Arizona, when she saw placards calling for the impeachment of then-Chief Justice Earl Warren. But recent years, she lamented, have seen far more virulent attacks — judges threatened with violence during the Terry Schiavo life support case in Florida, members of Congress advocating legislated circumscription of judicial authorities, a highly political proposal to slash the terms of sitting judges in Colorado, and, most notoriously, the recently failed “Jail4Judges” campaign in South Dakota to have citizen grand juries sit in judgment on members of the bench and actually imprison some based on individual rulings.
Americans are nothing if not imaginative in finding ways to get what they want. And what they want, apparently, is a judiciary whose decisions comport with the common man's common sense view of common wisdom. Justice O'Conner's point was that these attack on judicial independence impair the ability of judges to do their job without fear of public denigration or retaliation, often for lack of understanding of the law.
At the same time, independence is under assault internally, by the need for money to mount judicial campaigns and its insidious implications for the integrity of the judiciary.
One particularly tawdry manifestation of the downward electoral spiral that O’Connor recounted involved her recent conversation with “top-notch trial lawyers in Texas.” The group told her that their first action upon hearing of their assignment to a judge was to research their opposing counsels’ campaign donations to the jurist — so they could match them.
“It’s like nothing I’ve seen in my very long life,” she said. “Judicial independence is a bedrock principle, and we’re losing it.”
Justice Breyer then noted that the flip side of the equation, appointment of judges rather than election, offers no panacea either.
Breyer similarly bemoaned the decline of respect for judges within the commonweal, though he stressed that non-elective systems could be just as corrupted. “That might be worse because everyone appoints his cousin.”
He recounted a trip to Russia soon after the ascent of Boris Yeltsin where he heard about “telephone justice” — the practice of officeholders with judicial appointment powers “calling judges and telling them how to vote.” But America has at least the “appearance” of the same problem, he added, “because half the country thinks judges decide cases any way they want.”
The lawprofs then took over with proposals to cure the disease.
[Widener School of Law Professor Michael] Dimino called for a compromise — the imposition of “lengthy, nonrenewable term limits” for state judges, which he said would balance their need for “decisional independence” against fears that they’d devolve into the equivalent of “pollsters.”
Dimino suggested that we do things backwards in New York, where trial level judges should be appointed (rather than elected, as they now are) and Court of Appeals judges should be elected (rather than appointed, as they now are), since the rulings of the latter create the precedent that are "more akin to those of a governing body."
This proposal was shot down hard by James Sample, Counsel to the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, who argued that Dimino's changes were a little too drastic to be a realistic possibility.
So he called for incremental reforms that would improve both electoral regimes and appointive systems.
Sample pitched public finance for campaigns, arguing that First Amendment concerns should be balanced against due process considerations for litigants who might well fear that they were being denied access to a fair and impartial venue. He also called for much stricter rules promoting recusals, to counter a spreading perception of “pay-to-play” justice.
“The rule of law needs a tourniquet,” he concluded, “and it needs it now.”
While Sample's proposal is slightly more pragmatic than Dimino's (though only slightly), it touches on only one of the negative influences on judicial selection, the "cash and carry" judiciary. While true that putting judges through the electoral process necessarily creates the need to beg for money for campaigns, thus giving rise to the appearance, if not reality, that judges will show their appreciation for campaign contributions in the exercise of their authority, it's not the only problem.
Sample overlooks the more fundamental problem that electing judges puts enormous control into the hands of a few party leaders, who (by definition) are unmitigated whores. The political process of becoming a party nominee reflects the worst of all worlds, internal favoritism by paying off political debts or favors with a judicial nomination without regard to merit, or even basic competence. Licking envelopes for a party boss is not a primary qualification for being a judge. It is, however, for being a judicial nominee.
So while the surface mechanics of judicial selection, the stuff we can all see and know about because it happens before our faces, might be changed to give the appearance of a less graft-ridden system, the ugly underbelly goes on unabated and untouched. Is it better to elect unqualified political hacks to the bench with public or private money?
And the second problem is the nature of popular election of judges itself. There is not now, nor has there ever been, any method devised that would enable the public to have the slightest clue who would be the best candidate for a judgeship. Put aside the speech limitations on judicial campaigning, an inherently silly endeavor designed to protect the appearance of integrity at the expense of actual integrity, and ask what Aunt Sadie knows about an individual's qualifications to be a judge?
A while back, the Feerick Commission tried to come up with ways to restore the appearance of integrity to the judicial election process. The solutions offered were worthless, and even then undercut by the political implications of giving the public any hope of basing their vote on any meaningful criteria.
I feel badly for the judges and potential judges who have to go through this process. It's not their fault that the process sucks, and it's not like they have an alternative, dignified and meaningful. Just because they do what is necessary to run for office doesn't make them unqualified, or bad people. It just doesn't do the opposite either.
So at the end of the day, we're left with the same problem. And no solutions. Perhaps this has a little something to do with the bad attitude toward the law?
Unfortunately many people are ignorant of the ultimate goal of "government" regarding the Social Security Number. It is generally viewed by people as an innocent retirement program wherein the government will take care of you until you are lowered into your grave. However, reality is much more dastardly that most could ever imagine.
Back in 1936 when Social Security Numbers were first issued it faced attack by those accusing it as being the Mark of the Beast pursuant to Revelation Chapter 13. However, the government went to bat seeking damage control by assuring everyone that the Social Security Number would always remain voluntary and would never be used for identification. To affirm this position, they even printed on every Social Security Card the words, "Not To Be Used As Identification."
However, we now know that this was a lie in development, for they thereafter removed the words from the Social Security Cards, "Not To Be Used As Identification," and have now turned to requiring the number as identification for everything, including turning on utility services, driver's licenses, getting a license to get married, working, getting a credit card, and traveling on an airplane, to name a few. Believe it or not, I have even seen the Social Security Number mandatorily and insanely required to exercise the "privilege" of defecating while being held in incarceration because of religious views in which a formal complaint resulted with a finding that such denial is the policy, practice and custom of government.
The ignorance of people is truly amazing. Hosea 4:6 describes our current status of this nation, "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee."
It used to be that everyone was entirely open with their Social Security Number. If a man taking tickets at a theater entrance asked for a Social Security Number, people would get out their wallet and read off their number. Since the entire economy of this nation has become based upon a Social Security Number, people are now encouraged to keep their Social Security Numbers private and share it only with those authorized to acquire it. The problem now has become, "Who is authorized to your Social Security Number?" Is is a private security guard? the dog catcher? a store clerk? Everyone who looks like or asserts a right to know your Social Security Number?
We are now constantly told to guard or identity because there are many identity thieves out their willing to steal the use your identity. Why has identity become so valuable? It is because government made it valuable. Before identification was required for everything, few valued the need for identification. Now that it is required, everyone values it, including clandestine thieves who will do anything to steal it.
Now comes the mind-blower. What would you say if I said that evil governments are appreciative of identity thieves? You gasp and say."Why?" I will tell you why. The ultimate goal is to make it impossible for thieves to steal your identification. You say, "What?" Have you ever heard of the Hegelian Dialectic? THESIS, ANTITHESIS, and SYNTHESIS? It is the art of creating a problem, then creating a remedy for the problem created, and bring about a result that would not other wise be acceptable. If we aren't faced with a huge identity theft problem, no one is going to be interested in a remedy. Government must "innocently" create a vast problem of identity theft everywhere to get everyone to cry out for the government's remedy. They already know what the remedy is. It is a micro chip implant in ever man, woman, and child. "And he cuseth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their forehead." But the conspirators of this world cannot accomplish its purpose without getting everyone to cry out for its remedy.
Above we described the "innocence" of the early Social Security Card. Now let's consider what is being planned for everyone as described below.
RTR Libertyville, IL - Under the guise of protecting seniors and our national security, Congressman Mark Kirk of Illinois 10th District and Peter Roskam of the 6th District are setting the wheels in motion for another crack at a national ID card.The “Social Security Identity Theft Prevention Act” (H.R. 5405) more appropriately titled the “Social Security Surveillance Act” was likely spurred by high opposition to the failing Real ID Act.This act would be an adequate run around to implement Real ID yet in another form.They claim their reasons for introducing this act is to curb the high rate of identity theft in Northern Illinois.
The new Social Security Surveillance (SSS) card will retain the standard features of the Social Security card such as the name and account number of the card holder, but will now include beefed up security measures also commonly used by law enforcement to track criminals, and hackers to falsify and clone sim cards.
The surveillance features of the card include: a digital image displayed of the card holder on the surface of the card and an "encrypted, machine-readable electronic record which shall include records of biometric identifiers unique to the individual to whom the card is issued, including a copy of any digitized facial image printed on the face of the card."
Manufacturing of the card will be out-sourced to the Department of Homeland Security and utilize the facilities that create the B1/B2 Visa and the Permanent Resident Card.
At a recent Libertyville, Illinois Town Hall Meeting on Saturday March 1st, 2008, Congressman Kirk explained to a packed room of concerned residents that participation is optional.Gary Franchi, managing editor of Republic Magazine, a political publication that advocates constitutional rights and limited government, asked Kirk during the Q and A session when the "optional" card would become mandatory.Kirk responded that the bill had not left the house yet.Not quite the answer found when reading the text H.R. 5405.
The bill clearly states the new surveillance cards are to be issued to social security account holders upon reaching the age of 16.
Massive new biometric databases of every American will be created to assist in tracking and authenticating the new SSS card.The US Government has a tarnished record of managing databases. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs lost a laptop and external hard drive to thieves jeopardizing the identities of 26.5 million veterans. The Metropolitan State College in Denver, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and Los Angeles' Department of Social Services have each fallen victim to their databases being plundered. Foreign intelligence hackers, high tech terrorists, and identity thieves would have a one-stop-shop of every American in a Social Security database no longer just rich in numbers, but now biometric data.
When asked by Franchi about private firms controlling and tracking the databases Kirk pushed the responsibility of management to the Social Security Administration.However, as with Real ID, private companies like Viisage were contracted with to maintain the Real ID infrastructure.This will likely be the case with the Social Security Surveillance Card unless the bill is stopped.The bill is set to take effect two years from enactment, yet it is currently in the house, and has yet to be voted on.
A proponent, of the new SSS card, asked Kirk, “Can you share what information’s on there that’s freaking everybody out about a national ID card, what’s being stored on there that the Government doesn’t already know?”
He responded, “Just about everything the government already knows.”
Standard operating procedure is in effect here.Using fear tactics on uninformed senior citizens, and the usual excuse of national security in a post 9/11 world, another member of the DC boys club is attempting to slip a national ID card into the hands of a terrified populous.This is another attempt to ratchet down the American people into a coded world of control where being asked for “your papers” is as common as the next tasing video.However, Kirk and Roskam have failed to consider the ever increasing masses of freedom loving Americans who are dusting off their constitutions and putting the shackles back on our public servants.
Full text of H.R. 5405 can be viewed here: VIEW BILL
The Supreme Court has been asked to rule where responsibility lies in instances of wrongful convictions.
By David G. Savage, Los Angeles Times Staff Writer April 13, 2008
WASHINGTON -- Prosecutors have long been shielded from lawsuits brought by people who were wrongly convicted. Even if a defendant is later shown to be entirely innocent, the prosecutor who brought the charges cannot be held liable for the mistake.
The Supreme Court has ruled that "absolute immunity" is needed so that prosecutors -- and judges -- can do their jobs without fear of legal retaliation.
But a California case that the high court is considering taking could open a back door for such lawsuits. Prosecutors in Los Angeles are urging the court to block a suit from a man who was wrongly convicted of murder because, they say, it will allow "a potential flood" of similar claims across the nation.
Last year, the U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals set off alarms among prosecutors in the West when it ruled that supervising prosecutors could be sued for alleged management failures that led to a wrongful conviction. Its ruling cleared the way for Thomas L. Goldstein to sue former Los Angeles Dist. Atty. John K. Van de Kamp.
The suit does not allege that Van de Kamp, the county's chief prosecutor from 1975 to 1983, played a direct role in Goldstein's wrongful conviction for a shotgun murder in Long Beach in 1979. Indeed, Van de Kamp said he was unaware of the details of this case until decades later when the conviction was reversed.
Rather, the suit alleges that Van de Kamp and his top deputy, Curt Livesay, failed to set up a system to monitor the use of testimony from jail informants.
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office, the nation's largest prosecution office, once made regular use of jail informants, but at the time it had no system for sharing information among prosecutors countywide about which informants were reliable and what they had been promised.
Goldstein was ordered released after 24 years in prison after the sole eyewitness recanted and doubts emerged about a supposed confession by Goldstein to an informant. Years after his conviction, Goldstein learned that his jailhouse accuser -- a three-time felon -- had lied in court when he denied having received promises of special treatment from another county prosecutor in exchange for his testimony.
"This suit is 29 years in the making, and it's about accountability," said Goldstein. "[It] will put every prosecutor's office on notice that they need a system for sharing information. And by doing so, it will result in fewer wrongful convictions."
In 1982, Van de Kamp was elected California attorney general. He served two terms. He ran unsuccessfully for governor in 1990 and has been a lawyer in private practice in Los Angeles since.
"I had never been sued in all my years in public office. But if this were the law, defense lawyers and civil counsel would be suing all the time. You can always allege a 'failure to train' or a management failure," Van de Kamp said.
Though Van de Kamp is personally named in the suit, legal experts said Los Angeles County would pay any judgment if Goldstein won. Public officials sued in the course of duties are indemnified by their agencies.
"John is not paying a dime," said Laurie Levenson, a professor at Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
Regardless, the immunity rule should be preserved as an important judicial safeguard, Levenson said. "We don't want [prosecutors] looking over their shoulders. In order to be independent and to make tough calls, they can't be worrying about whether they will be sued."
Prosecutors are not immune from all sanctions. The state bar can discipline them for violating the code of conduct. And outside the courtroom, they open themselves to lawsuits if, for example, they make inflammatory statements to the press.
In December, Los Angeles County Dist. Atty. Steve Cooley, the California District Attorneys Assn. and the National District Attorneys Assn. joined lawyers for Van de Kamp in petitioning the Supreme Court to review the 9th Circuit's ruling. They said the appellate ruling was a dramatic shift in the law. Complaints against prosecutors could easily become management-related suits against supervisors, they argued.
W. Scott Thorpe of the California D.A. group said the ruling created a perverse situation in which absolute immunity would shield a trial prosecutor who committed an "intentional violation of civil rights" yet a supervisor could be held personally liable for "unintentional violations" related to policies.
The justices may announce as soon as Monday whether they will hear Van de Kamp vs. Goldstein. If the court takes up the case, it will be argued in the fall.
If the appeal petition is rejected, leaving the 9th Circuit's decision in place, lawyers for Goldstein plan to question Van de Kamp and Livesay, also named in the suit, under oath. The lawyers want to determine what steps, if any, were taken in the 1970s to protect defendants from false testimony from jailhouse informants.
In 1972, the Supreme Court overturned a man's conviction in a forgery case because an unwitting prosecutor had told the jury that a business partner had not been promised anything in exchange for his testimony. In fact, an assistant prosecutor had promised the business partner that he would escape prosecution if he testified for the government. In its ruling, the high court said "the prosecution's office is an entity," and it had a duty to disclose the full truth about its dealings with informants.
Lawyers for Goldstein say that ruling in Giglio vs. United States put prosecutors on notice of their responsibilities.
"An informant has a huge incentive to make up a story, to say they heard the defendant confess. That's what was going on here," said David McLane, a lawyer in Pasadena. "It seemed like every murder case in Los Angeles in the 1970s had testimony from a jailhouse informant."
"As to whether the district attorney had knowledge of what happened, that's not the issue in this case," he added.
Van de Kamp sees a note of irony in the situation. He is the chair of the California Commission on the Fair Administration of Justice, a group set up to prevent wrongful convictions. It has pressed for a law that would require corroboration before testimony from a jailhouse informant could be used in a criminal trial.
The Legislature approved such a bill last year, but it in October Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed it. He called the measure "unnecessary" because this "perceived problem . . . arises in very few criminal cases."
As someone who teaches and loves the law, judicial elections make me cringe. I know that complicated issues will be misrepresented and that campaign ads will be saturated with nonsense. There are times when I wonder whether we would be better off appointing, rather than electing, judges.
But then I think of Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) at Senate confirmation hearings. Whenever someone is nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court (or, increasingly, for lower federal courts), misrepresentation and nonsense are on the hoof. Elections aren't perfect, but the proposed "solutions" are no better.
Our recent election for the state Supreme Court was nasty. Two men who, the last time I saw them, seemed to be reasonable lawyers with deep philosophical differences, were portrayed as corrupt bobble heads and sepia-toned champions of sexual predators. In this, I am afraid, judicial elections don't differ much from every other election in the overwrought, angry politics of our day.
There is a serious academic debate about the compatibility of electoral politics and the judicial function. In brief, the argument is that judges are charged to apply the law without regard to whether the outcome is popular. Indeed, some legal principles - for example, the constitutional rights of criminal defendants and of freedom of speech - are intentionally countermajoritarian. They cannot be denied because those who claim them are unpopular.
To what extent are judges influenced by fear of the electoral consequences of an unpopular decision? In a study focusing on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, my Marquette University colleague, Jason Czarnezki, found that, for the most part, justices are not more likely to rule against criminal defendants as they near re-election or after a closely contested race. But the data did suggest that justices who are initially appointed to vacancies are less likely to vote in favor of criminal defendants after facing the voters and that justices who are generally more favorably disposed to the claims of defendants are less likely to rule in favor of criminal defendants as they near re-election. The results of studies in other states have been mixed.
The possibility is troubling. Unlike legislators, judges aren't supposed to consider popular opinion when rendering their decisions. Although the impact of an approaching election may be limited, any departure from impartiality is cause for concern.
Some scholars argue that appointed judges are more likely to adopt expansive notions of the role of the judiciary. Judges who need not answer to the voters may be more likely to adopt approaches to the law that expand the discretion and authority of the judges to pursue their own policy goals.
The poster case for this approach is, of course, the U.S. Supreme Court's decision in Roe vs. Wade. Perhaps almost all abortions ought to be legal. But more than one legal academic has driven herself to the brink of insanity trying to find a constitutional mandate for that view that doesn't leave judges free to create whatever rights they want.
Appointment may serve impartiality, but at the expense of accountability. This lack of accountability - if it contributes to an "imperial" judiciary - is just as problematic as electoral threats to impartiality, threatening to impinge upon the prerogatives of the executive and legislative branches.
And it attracts political attention. When judges believe that they can read the law in light of their political predilections, it is only natural to expect that people will come to care passionately about the ideologies of judges.
This is, in large part, responsible for the way in which battles over the confirmation of judges have turned into little Armageddons. Appointment doesn't drive out politics; it just moves it from the campaign trail to the hearing room and, of course, the back room.
Although appointment for life may eliminate political concerns once a judge assumes the bench (at least if the judge doesn't aspire to higher office), that impartiality comes at the price of a lack of accountability. Nor is greater impartiality ensured. More than one commentator has remarked upon the tendency of appointed judges to migrate toward approaches favored by what Justice Antonin Scalia called the "law profession culture."
If appointment turns out to present its own problems, a common fallback position of those disturbed by the tone of judicial elections is to embrace severe restrictions on campaign finance (generally a combination of public financing with severe limitations on third party spending) or a construction of the Judicial Code that severely restricts what candidates for judicial office may say.
There are constitutional problems with these approaches. The U.S. Supreme Court has held that the First Amendment protects both robust debate in judicial elections and the right of groups concerned about issues to be heard at the time of an election.
In any event, these approaches amount to a desire that judicial candidates shut up about philosophical differences for fear that they will not discuss them responsibly or that the public will not be able to understand them. The result, as with most campaign finance "reform," is incumbent protection.
I, too, am tired of being told that I should call Michael Gableman or Louis Butler and tell them that their mothers regret the day that they were born. But I hope (and actually suspect) that, through all the drama, voters did get some sense of the legitimate difference between the candidates.
A Florida lawyer armed with evidence of widespread
criminal activity in the judiciary is finally bringing
attention to the issue after making the accusations on
national TV. The implications of the law could bring
the state government to a standstill. Experts say the
federal government may even need to step in.
Sentinel Staff Writer
MIAMI -- Chief Judge Joseph Farina of Florida’s 11th Judicial Circuithas commissioned a criminal investigation of Judge Dava J. Tunisfor allegedly having a forged loyalty oath filed on her behalf. Additionally,her oaths were not notarized as required by law, a crimethat could carry severe penalties.
According to attorneys and legal researchers, the violation is actuallya statewide problem.“There may be other judges in the state as well who have notcomplied with this crucial law, so this may be a scandal that engulfsFlorida’s bench,” Attorney Jack Thompson said. “This thumbing oftheir noses by judges at the law and the Constitution is what we areincreasingly seeing from judges at all levels, state and federal.”
The case against Tunis was brought to light by Thompson aftera scuffle with the video game industryresulted in disciplinary proceedings against him under the judge in question - this is despite Thompson’s good standing with the Florida Bar for over 30 years. The law requires all public officers to swear notarized loyalty oaths to both the State and FederalConstitutions, so Thompson maintains thatTunis is not eligible to collect a paycheck oruse the title “judge,” let alone make rulings.
The Christian attorney is well known forhis campaigns to stop the peddling of objectionablemusic or video games to children.He says that because of his successes, the“big money” of his wealthy opponents is beingused to try and stop him from practicinglaw. The Florida Supreme Court assignedTunis as the referee in Thompson’s disbarmentproceedings, so he sought to have her
disqualified because of her alleged prejudiceagainst him.
He said his investigation led to an expertwitness who will testify that Tunis allowedsomeone to forge her signature on the loyaltyoath required by Florida Statute 876.05and United States Code Title 4 sections 101and 102. He is seeking what is called a “judgmentof ouster” in accordance with Floridalaw if Tunis cannot prove her right to holdoffice.
Additionally, Thompson claims to havediscovered that Tunis did not even have a
valid oath on file at the beginning of her currentterm. The governor made the appoint,but he failed to require her to swear the oathsprior to allowing her to start performing dutiesor collecting pay.According to Florida legal researcher BobHurt who has studied the issue and evenwritten a book that helped draw attention tothe problem, someone in the State Departmentordered the notarization requirementremoved during Jeb Bush’s first term as governor.
That omission rendered the formsnull and void because the U.S. and Florida
Constitutions require the oath, and the lawrequires that it be properly notarized.
In the summer of 2006, Hurt unearthedwhat he calls a massive scam involving theloyalty oaths. Without the signature and sealof a notary, a public officer cannot legallyprove that they actually swore the oath, so itis not recognized as valid, he said. Withoutbeing legally bound to the law which protectsthe rights of the people, Florida’s judgeswere allegedly running rampant.
“It could have been signed by a spouse orfriend for all anyone knows,”Hurt explained. “So thepeople of Florida, throughthe legislature, require theproper, notarized oath,” hesaid. According to Hurt, themissing ‘jurat’ means noneof the elected officials whoswore the oath between 2000 and summer2007 can prove it, and therefore did not evenqualify for office.
The only notarized loyalty oaths on file forthe judges in Alachua County and the entire8th Judicial Circuit were all filed in late 2007or early 2008 as well. No documents stretchingback to 2000 were immediately available,supporting the allegations being made by agrowing body of Florida activists, researchers
and attorneys.Thompson might even be entitled to specialcompensation for blowing the whistleon Tunis, Hurt said. By accepting compensationwhileallegedly not being legally qualifiedfor office, Tunis owes all that moneyback to Florida’s Chief Financial Officer.
Thompson has already asked Florida AttorneyGeneral Bill McCollum to file an
action against Dava Tunis under the FalseClaims Act. McCollum will probably refuseto do it, Hurt expects, so Thompson mayeventually file it himself. The False Claimsact entitles him to a 15% whistle blower reward.“Jack lucked out by obtaining the evidencethat her oath is a forgery,” said Hurt.“This puts Dava Tunis in a unique categoryof people with invalid oaths.”
Thompson, Hurt and many other attorneysand legal researchers in the state have
suggested that the violation may involvemore than just judges.“None of the officials elected or appointedsince 2000 have a valid candidate oath. That
includes the Governor, Attorney General, SupremeCourt justices, legislators, State Attorneys,County Commissioners, Sheriffs, TaxCollectors – in short, everyone,” Hurt said.
He claims that every elected and appointedofficial without a valid candidate oath, publicofficer’s oath, and public employee’s oathon file for the current term is guilty of violatingthree criminal Florida statutes under thechapter on Treason and criminal anarchy:
1. 876.10 and 837.012 – 1st degree misdemeanor- False swearing and perjury outsidean official proceeding (for swearing they hadqualified when they had not)2. 839.18 – 2nd degree misdemeanor– Taking office before qualified
3. 843.0855 – 3rd degree felony –obstruction of justice by impersonating a publicofficer.
Thompson actually faces an even biggerhurdle that came to light during Hurt’s
research. As a result, he has encouragedThompson to take matters to federal courtand officially challenge Florida’s form of government.Hurt believes the government of Floridadoes not constitute a republic as guaranteedto the people by Article IV Section 4 of theU.S. Constitution for two reasons:
1. The failure of Florida’s elected and appointedofficers to have valid loyalty oaths onfile serves as a fundamental destruction ofthe Florida Republic because Florida has noduly constituted government – every electedand appointed officer is an imposter as definedby law; and
2. The action of the Florida SupremeCourt to make the Florida Bar part of
the Judicial Branch of government violatesthe separation of powers.“In 1949 the Florida Supreme Court absorbedand integrated the Florida Bar withthe court, making the Bar and all its membersalso members of the Florida judiciary,”
Hurt explained. Article II Section 3 of theFlorida Constitution prohibits members ofone branch of government from working inany other branch. “It makes exceptions of theAttorney General and State Attorneys, but itshouldn’t,” Hurt continued. The implicationsof this have been called “earth-shattering” by
Hurt is hoping the US Department ofJustice will “come down hard on the governmentof Florida for tolerating a judicialoligarchy and using it to abuse the peopleand minimize the other branches of government,”he said. Thompson might functionperfectly in bringing the issue to the DOJand U.S. Supreme Court.
“Jack has the motivation, the professionalneed, and the raw lawyering skills to pushthis issue all the way to the top,” he said. “Hewon’t do it now because he first has to obliteratethe efforts to disbar him. If and after heprevails, maybe he’ll accept the challenge.”Another Florida attorney who spokewith The Liberty Sentinel said he considersThompson somewhat eccentric, but that heraises very important points on this issue.
More troubling to others is that the failureto comply with the legal requirements
for oaths of office has come during a timewhen our constitutional form of governmenthas come under attack.“Of the first ten amendments that compose
The Bill of Rights, I can think of onlyone that hasn’t been explicitly or implicitly
violated – that being The Third Amendment,which prohibits the quartering of soldiersin private homes,” said Miami Attorney andconstitutional law expert Elaine McKillop.
The U.S. Supreme Court and the AttorneyGeneral of Florida have ruled that the loyaltyoath is constitutional, and that it must becomplied with strictly. Ignorance of the lawis also not considered an excuse for violatingit, so experts say penalties could be stiff.
Hurt runs an online group about legal issuesat groups.google.com/group/Lawmen
* * *
Comment by Ron Branson
This article touches upon a currently dormant enforcement factor written within the Judicial Accountability Initiative Law, and that is regarding Judicial Oaths of Office. Many so-called "judges" just do not have a legitimate Oath of Office on file. In such cases, the "judge" is not a judge under any stretch of imagination. Once J.A.I.L. takes effect, persons whose lives have been ruined by an imaginary "judge" may go back and reopen their cases that have been "closed," and challenge the jurisdiction of the "court" under J.A.I.L. This means for example that all properties taken under false pretenses may be recovered, etc.
A CITIZEN who watched a cop illegally park, then walk into a Chinese restaurant to wait for his food, has issued the officer a series of citizen-initiated parking violations.
Eric Bryant says he was sitting in the SanSai Japanese Grill on NW 21st and Hoyt on March 7 when he witnessed Officer Chad Stensgaard pull up and park his patrol car illegally, next to a "No Parking" sign.
Stensgaard walked into the restaurant wearing his police uniform, but did not make any arrests or citations. Instead, he turned his attention to the basketball game on television, according to Bryant. When Bryant asked Stensgaard about his vehicle, Stensgaard allegedly acknowledged being in a no-parking zone but asked Bryant, "If someone broke into your house, would you rather have the police be able to park in front of your house or have to park three blocks away and walk there?"
Bryant returned to his seat, and says shortly afterward he watched a restaurant employee hand the officer a plastic bag before he left. Unfortunately for Officer Stensgaard, Bryant had recently passed the Oregon bar exam, and decided to pursue the matter further.
"If he had acknowledged and corrected his error, we could have avoided this whole thing," says Bryant. "But instead, he kept watching basketball and told me he wasn't doing anything wrong."
Now, using ORS 153.058, Bryant—as a private citizen—has initiated violation proceedings against Officer Stensgaard. Bryant alleges Stensgaard was in violation of state statutes on illegal parking, illegal stopping, obeying parking restrictions on state highways, and illegal operation of an emergency vehicle or ambulance—the violations carry fines totaling $540.
Officer Stensgaard has received a Multnomah County summons to appear in traffic court on May 23. Meanwhile Bryant denies he is just stirring up trouble.
"Citizens should be concerned that he used his status as an officer of the law as justification for breaking the law," he says.
Stensgaard declined comment through the cops' office of public information.
Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor encouraged her staff to enjoy whitewater rafting, Mexican take-out brunch and tours of the Smithsonian. Justice Stephen Breyer loves to read French manuscripts and cultivated his distaste for footnotes during his clerkship to Arthur Goldberg. Such details were plentiful as Professor John Feerick introduced Justice O'Connor and her former colleague Justice Breyer to a well-heeled audience of lawyers and law students at Fordham Law School yesterday morning.
The two justices, and co-hosts of the day's symposium, sat together at a small table for their introductory panel, "Judicial Independence and Impartiality." Sandra Day O'Connor, dressed in a violet suit with gold buttons, her blonde hair now a shock of snowy white, frowned as she tried to twist the top off her water bottle, then leaned over towards Breyer and held it out to him. He wordlessly took it, unscrewed the top, and handed it back.
Sally Rider, Director of the William Rehnquist Center at the University of Arizona, kicked things off with a series of questions. Why, she asked O'Connor, did she decide to convene this conference on judicial independence in the first place?
O'Connor said she remembered seeing "Impeach Earl Warren" signs in New Mexico and Arizona when she was growing up, and said that in her final years on the Supreme Court, attacks on judges increased, including proposals for mass impeachments of judges involved in the Terri Schiavo case, or proposals to cut judicial terms short, or a particularly disconcerting movement towards "Jail4Judges," a campaign to allow citizen panels to review rulings from the bench, with the ability to even imprison—as the name tantalizingly implies—those who made bad decisions. These developments were "very depressing," she said, and so she decided to use her retirement to call attention to these attacks on judges.
"An independent judiciary is an essential bedrock principle, and we're losing it." The reason was in part the fact that civics and government are not a requirement for high school graduation. "One third of Americans can't name the three branches of government, but two thirds can name a judge on American Idol!"
Money has been pouring in to state judicial elections in recent years, including races for State Supreme Court justices. A 2004 campaign for a seat on the Illinois Supreme Court brought in a record-setting $9.3 million in political contributions, including hundreds of thousands of dollars from State Farm, a company with a case pending before the court. And just recently, Wisconsin voters were subjected to over 11,000 televised campaign ads in the weeks before their state's Supreme Court race, over ninety percent of which were purchased by special interest groups (racking up a bill of well over 3.6 million dollars). Said O'Connor, "We put cash in the courtrooms, and it's just wrong." She then pointed to the room of lawyers and students. "You should take this seriously." (A later panel backed up O'Connor's concerns. New York Times legal correspondent Adam Liptak, Brennan Center attorney James Sample and Professor Michael Dimino discussed evidence that judges tend to rule in favor of their campaign contributors.)
She went on. "No other nation in the world elects judges." She pointed to Georgina Woods, the chief justice of Ghana, sitting in the front row, as if to illustrate her point.
"Why are we tolerating this? What are we going to do about it?" Then, seeming to remember that the initial question posed to her several minutes before was "why did you convene this conference," she added, "That's why," and sat back in her chair. The audience laughed and applauded.
Breyer took the floor next. Keeping state courts impartial is a major issue, but try talking about it with people "and they're asleep after five minutes." He recounted a trip to Russia he had made when serving as an appellate judge for the First Circuit after he was appointed by Carter. Meeting with Russian judges from across the country, he was surprised to hear their accounts of "telephone justice," when the party boss calls and tells judges which way to vote. "They asked me, ‘do you have telephone justice in the United States,' and I had to explain to them that no, the President wouldn't call you. He'd be crazy to do that."
More and more people today think that judges make decisions based on politics rather than the law, he added. O'Connor began to interrupt, then changed her mind. "No, no," she said, waving her hand at him, "you tell them."
He continued. "It's extraordinary that three hundred million people have agreed to settle disputes using the law, not sticks and stones on the street, like they do in some places."
Sally Rider asked what people who are concerned about judicial independence can do. "It takes concerned citizens" said O'Connor. And it takes activism from the business community, because "legislators will listen to them more than the average housewife." Breyer said this was a difficult message to get across to people. "That's why the people I like talking to the most are 9th and 10th graders, because they want to know about this stuff."
He encouraged the audience to get involved any way they could—writing to newspapers, or volunteering at schools to talk about the law. "Our method of resolving disputes in this country, what a treasure it is."
"That's a good place to stop," O'Connor nodded. "I totally agree."
New York Times
The Selling of the Judiciary: Campaign Cash ‘in the Courtroom’
“We put cash in the courtrooms, and it’s just wrong,” Sandra Day O’Connor, the former Supreme Court justice, declared at the start of a conference in New York last week on a growing threat to judicial independence and integrity: the escalating millions that special interests are pouring into state judicial elections in an effort to buy favorable rulings.
The substance of her remarks was no surprise. Since retiring in 2006, Justice O’Connor has devoted herself to spreading the word about assaults on judicial independence and the bedrock principle of impartial justice — including from big-money state judicial campaigns. Still, it was startling to hear a former member of the nation’s highest court speak about the problem in such stark terms. No question, her alarm is well-founded.
Thirty-nine states elect at least some of their judges. On top of the inappropriate judicial involvement in partisan politics, recent years have seen the dawn of a grubby new era of multimillion-dollar campaigns for important state judgeships. They include 15- and 30-second attack ads, a staple of competitive races for top executive and legislative posts. These slugfests are largely underwritten by well-heeled interest groups — including insurance companies, tobacco firms, the building and health care industries, unions and trial lawyers — that have seized upon judicial contests as a promising avenue for influence-peddling.
The implications for the nation’s justice system are enormous. About 95 percent of cases are handled by state courts rather than appointed federal judges, notes Justice Stephen Breyer, who appeared at the Fordham Law School conference with his former colleague. Experts expect that 2008 will be another banner year for raucous and expensive judicial races.
The perception that money is corrupting the courts would be damaging enough. But often, it seems, special interests are finding that buying up judges likely to side with them in big-dollar cases is a good investment — the real-life grist for John Grisham’s new fictional legal thriller, “The Appeal.”
Events this month in Wisconsin and West Virginia only deepen these concerns. On April 1, the first and only African-American member of the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Louis Butler, lost his seat after a nasty, racially charged campaign in which his opponent, Michael Gableman, was aided by a barrage of TV advertising, paid for by the state’s largest business lobby.
In West Virginia, meanwhile, the State Supreme Court’s handling of a case involving a large coal company, Massey Energy, took on a decidedly farcical flavor. For the second time, the appellate court threw out a $50 million verdict against Massey.
The court decided to rehear the case after photographs publicly surfaced of its chief justice, Elliott Maynard, vacationing in Monte Carlo with Massey’s chief executive, Don Blankenship, in 2006, while the matter was pending in the Supreme Court. The chief justice disqualified himself from the rehearing. So did another justice, Larry Starcher, because he had publicly criticized Blankenship and his company. The 3-to-2 outcome in favor of Massey was unchanged from the first round, which might not have been noteworthy except that the deciding vote was cast once again by Justice Brent Benjamin, who declined to recuse himself despite owing his election to the court to more than $3 million spent by Mr. Blankenship.
In response to such travesties, judicial reformers have stepped up their call for public financing and strict fund-raising rules for state judicial contests or a switch to a nonelective merit selection system.
But with states in no rush to make these changes, a new report from the Brennan Center for Justice smartly focuses on an effective if less sweeping antidote that would be more achievable in the short-term: persuading jurisdictions to strengthen their recusal rules.
Surely special interests would be less inclined to invest so heavily in judicial elections if they knew the recipients of their largess likely would be barred from sitting on their cases.
Ron Branson, author of JAIL4Judges, states:
Justice O'Connor comments what is sticking in her craw, "O'Connor said she remembered seeing ... a particularly disconcerting movement towards "Jail4Judges," a campaign to allow citizen panels to review rulings from the bench, with the ability to even imprison—as the name tantalizingly implies—those who made bad decisions."
Justice O'Connor's "finding" is indicative of what is wrong with the judges in this nation. They are incapable of squaring with truth and dealing with the facts before them. The JAIL4Judges Special Grand Jury (Judicial Accountability Initiative Law) is not at all about "citizen panels to review rulings from the bench," but rather, as the Initiative states in paragraph 2, "Exclusions of Immunity," to wit, "...no immunities shielding a judge from frivolous and harassing actions shall be construed to extend to any deliberate violation of law, fraud or conspiracy, intentional violation of due process of law, deliberate disregard of material allegations, judicial acts without jurisdiction, blocking of a lawful conclusion of a case, or any deliberate violation of the State Constitution or of the United States."
Since when is punishing a judge for deliberately violating the law and deliberately violating the Constitution an attack upon the "rulings from the bench?" Further, how is it that criminally indicting judges and establishing trials for violating statutory law tantamount to imprisoning judges for making "bad decisions?"
What O'Connor is advocating is that judges should be free to mock the laws, hold contempt for the Constitution, and should never be held accountable. In other words, continue to enjoy the protections of judicial immunity. This is what is sticking in Justice O'Connor's craw, for which she has chosen to now travel this country coast to coast to condemn JAIL4Judges,which seeks to pass Judicial Accountability into law in America.
RIVERSIDE, Calif.—More felony cases are being dropped in Riverside County because there aren't enough judges to hear them.
Supervising Superior Court Judge Helios Hernandez this week dismissed two more felony cases—one of them an assault case, the second for burglary. Prosecutors immediately refiled the cases.
Seventeen cases have been tossed by the calendar-clogged court in the past 16 months. Riverside County courts have a backlog of more than 1,000 criminal trials.
The county has 56 judges and 20 commissioners, but the state Judicial Council says nearly double that number are needed. The county was scheduled to get another 14 judges over the next two years, but the positions have been stalled because of a tight state budget.
From: Paul C. Clark [mailto:clark@...] Sent: Wednesday, May 07, 2008 8:52 AM To: JAIL4Judges Subject: Re: Dealing with Judicial Misconduct
I have my own plan. .... I believe the only possible way to restore the constituion will prove to be a bloody revolt. As our constitution permits us to do, we can remove the tyrannical government when it becomes so dispotic that it no longer serves the people as it is supposed to do. The fact is that all of these groups varied issues would be resolved if the constitution was restored to its original power to limit government and restore the equality of every citizen.
Our constitution does not permit an elite class of people, those not subject to all laws equally, therefore immunity for judges or government officials can not exist, they are responsible for their actions, the same as anyother citizen. We also need to realize the value of citizenship is the rights that only citizens can claim. It is our constitution and our bill of rights and until you are a citizen you are not entitled to enjoy those rights. When you are a citizen you can demand those rights and they must be recognized, That is the guarantee of the constitution and the reason it exists. Either we restore the constitution or we let our nation be destroyed.
This corrupt government will not go quietly or without a fight. It no longer listens to our complaints. Therefore it no longer functions as a servant of the people and does not rule by consent. It is currently positioning itself to become master and this can not be allowed. If we can not rise up as a nation and throw off this government we will all fall together in to slavery. The time to act is NOW.
Dear Paul Clark. It is undoubtedly true that America will descend into an outright bloody revolution if the people of this country stand-by waiting for it. However, the cause of JAIL4Judges is to restore our Constitution to its original state by passing a State Constitutional Amendment which will give force and effect to every Constitution in this country, both state and federal. Of course, this is going to take non-violent participation of enough people to pass it into law. It will take approximately $400,000 to pick a state and make it happen. So I ask, can the people of this country carry on the alternative of a national revolution for less than $400,000? I hardly think anyone believes that can be accomplished.
And this only presupposes the money issue, and does not consider the lives of our sons, daughters and fathers, and the ruination of most everything in this country, etc. "And for the support of this declaration with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, or fortunes and our sacred honor."
What you are suggesting is sitting back and letting nature take its course, and when it gets bad enough, somebody may decide to do something. I always ask such people who advocate revolution who they plan to take out first, and will they be firing the first shot. I always receive the same response, which is non-response, or the Little Red Hen response, "Not me said the pig, not me said the cow, not me said the dog."
If revolution is your answer, then I challenge you to start by appearing in the newspaper headlines this coming week. The only danger facing the people placing J.A.I.L. into effect is tripping and skinning their knee on the way to the poll to vote. I do not consider contributing financially to the passage of J.A.I.L. as a grave "danger facing the people."
Please read the emails below. Your response will be greatly appreciated.
Marie (Shahidah) Musawwir
Jail4Judges has established a plan already for the purpose of prosecuting and convicting judges who violate their Constitutional Oaths. Perhaps this may be a plan that we all can promote.
I haven't read it entirely yet due to being tied up with a court matter. I think we should all read it to see if this is something we can all support and promote collectively.
The plan of jail4judges may not have all of the answers, but may contribute to some of the changes that are needed. We need a plan of action that we all can unify behind and promote.
Let's continue our correspondence with each other and make suggestions until we can come up with something that we can all agree upon. Jail4judges may be considered a long term plan. We need short term, intermediate and long term solutions for judicial reform.
Dr. San Jani has come up with some plans immediate plans for combating judicial misconduct in his state and nationwide. He has sent our emails. Everyone on our list should have received them.
We should not rely on others (apathy among our government officials) to do what we can do for ourselves.
Marie (Shahidah) Musawwir
I, Ron Branson, am often faced with the above short-term / long-term question. Some one the other day asked me what can be done in an certain instant situation. I knew that if I said, "Passage of JAIL4Judges" I was going to get, "No, we need something now, not years from now." So I answered the question that the remedy today is the same remedy I proposed 13 years ago when I wrote J.A.I.L. for the short-term matters back then. My response averted the certain come-back that would have otherwise come had I answered differently.
For thirteen years people have been looking for a short-term remedy to the judicial problem. The questions presented are always still the same as it was 13 years ago, and they are still looking for a "short-term" solution. This dilemma is cited perfectly in the Bible, "Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth." II Timothy 3:17. Those who cannot discover the knowledge of truth in thirteen years will never find the truth in one-hundred and thirty years because they do not recognize the truth when it stares them in the face.
The fact is, there shall never be any short-term remedy other than JAIL4Judges. Of a truth I say unto you, God has called me to this purpose and committed this cause into my hands. Those who will not listen are doomed to their own devices. They shall continue to descend into their own economic abyss.
"[Attorney] Montgomery [representing JAILJudges] is very frustrated, and says he can use whatever exposure we can give him and Nancy, because the courts do not seem to be responding." Sherree's email address is sherreelowe@....
If any of you with legal minds can offer any legal input regarding the below "decision" of the Federal District Court, please feel free to do so. Montgomery may be reached at mbsibley@.... JAIL4Judges also requests that it be cc'ed at VictoryUSA@.... Thank you.
- Ron Branson
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF FLORIDA
CASE NO. 08-20533-CIV-ALTONAGA/Brown
FLORIDA J.A.I.L. 4 JUDGES, etc.,
THE FLORIDA BAR, et al.,
THIS CAUSE came before the Court upon three motions: (1) Plaintiff, Florida J.A.I.L. 4
Judges’ (“J.A.I.L. 4 Judges[’]”) Motion for Temporary Injunction and Expedited Limited Discovery
[D.E. 3], filed on February 29, 2008; (2) Defendant, The Florida Bar’s Motion to Dismiss [D.E. 13],
filed on April 9, 2008; and (3) Defendants, The Florida Supreme Court, Chief Justice R. Fred Lewis,
Justice Charles T. Wells, Justice Harry Lee Anstead, Justice Barbara J. Pariente, Justice Peggy A.
Quince, Justice Raoul G. Cantero, and Justice Kenneth B. Bell’s (collectively the “Florida Supreme
Court Defendants[’]”) Motion to Dismiss for Lack of Venue [D.E. 5], filed on filed on March 26,
2008. The Court has carefully considered the parties’ written submissions, pertinent portions of the
record, and applicable law.
J.A.I.L. 4 Judges is a political action committee “dedicated to re-instating the accountability
of the Florida judiciary.” (Compl. [D.E. 1] at ¶ 3). The organization is currently advocating the
amendment of Article V of the Florida Constitution with “provisions known as ‘The Judicial
Accountability Law.’” (Id. at ¶ 7). The proposed amendments are aimed at creating new procedures
to investigate complaints against judges through “special grand juries,” who “would have the power
Case 1:08-cv-20533-CMA Document 25 Entered on FLSD Docket 05/07/2008 Page 1 of 11
Case No. 08-20533-CIV-ALTONAGA/Brown
to discipline judges by levying fines, removing [judges] from the bench, and where appropriate,
subjecting [judges] to criminal proceedings before special trial juries.” (
Id. at ¶ 8).
The Florida Bar (“the Bar”) is the entity governing the legal profession in Florida. The Bar
was created by the Florida Supreme Court pursuant to the Court’s constitutionally granted power “to
regulate the admission of persons to the practice of law and the discipline of persons admitted.” Fla.
Const. Art. V, § 15. The stated purposes of The Florida Bar are “to inculcate in its members the
principles of duty and service to the public, to improve the administration of justice, and to advance
the science of jurisprudence.”
Rules Regulating The Florida Bar, 494 So. 2d 977, 979 (Fla. 1986).
The Bar publishes
The Florida Bar News and The Florida Bar Journal, which it regularly distributes
to its members. (
See Compl. at ¶ 9).
Plaintiff alleges the Bar’s Judicial Independence Committee (the “Committee”) “has been
working with and/or directing local and voluntary bar associations in Florida in an effort to oppose
Plaintiff’s . . . Initiative to amend the Florida Constitution” and further alleges the Committee held
a meeting in Miami on February 15, 2007 for the purpose of “covertly oppos[ing] Plaintiff’s political
Id. at ¶¶ 13, 16). J.A.I.L. 4 Judges also alleges the Bar’s activities in opposition to
J.A.I.L. 4 Judges’ agenda have been reported in the Bar’s publications. In a July 15, 2006 article in
Florida Bar News, former Florida Supreme Court Justice Major Harding was quoted stating the
Judicial Accountability Law “is an effort to undermine the very foundation of our country and places
at risk freedoms and liberties we have been so blessed to have.” (
See Compl. Exh. A). Another
Florida Bar News
article published the same day entitled “Independence panel concerned by threats,”
discusses J.A.I.L. 4 Judges’ proposal, reports that the Judicial Independence Committee did not vote
to take action on J.A.I.L. 4 Judges, and quotes the chairman of the Committee stating, “[l]et’s keep
Case 1:08-cv-20533-CMA Document 25 Entered on FLSD Docket 05/07/2008 Page 2 of 11
Case No. 08-20533-CIV-ALTONAGA/Brown
our eyes open on this and be as informed as we can be.” (
See Compl. Exh. B). On January 15, 2007,
an article appeared in the
Florida Bar News in which the executive director of the State Bar of South
Dakota advised Florida lawyers to be “ready to lead a campaign to defeat” J.A.I.L. 4 Judges’
proposed amendment to the Florida Constitution. (
See Compl. Exh. C).
On February 21, 2007, J.A.I.L. 4 Judges filed a petition in the Florida Supreme Court seeking
to enjoin The Florida Bar from engaging in political activities related to the Judicial Accountability
See Compl. at ¶ 14). J.A.I.L. 4 Judges moved for disqualification of the Justices of the Florida
Supreme Court. (
See id.). The Court dismissed the petition for lack of jurisdiction. (See id.).
On February 27, 2008, J.A.I.L. 4 Judges filed its five-count Complaint alleging violations of
Florida law and the Florida and United States Constitutions. The undersigned concludes Plaintiff has
failed to state a claim against The Florida Bar and dismisses the claims as to the Bar pled in the
Second, Third, and Fifth Claims of the Complaint. The undersigned further finds the Southern
District of Florida is an improper venue for the remaining claims against the Florida Supreme Court
II. LEGAL STANDARD
A motion to dismiss a complaint for failure to state a claim requires that a court accept the
facts pleaded as true and construe them in the light most favorable to the plaintiff.
See Quality Foods
de Centro America, S.A. v. Latin American Agribusiness Dev. Corp., S.A.
, 711 F.2d 989, 994-95
(11th Cir. 1983). “Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 8(a)(2) requires only ‘a short and plain statement
of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief,’ in order to ‘give the defendant fair notice
of what the . . . claim is and the grounds upon which it rests . . . .’”
Bell Atlantic Corp. v. Twombly,
127 S. Ct. 1955, 1964 (2007) (quoting
Conley v. Gibson, 355 U.S. 41, 47 (1957)). Nevertheless,
Case 1:08-cv-20533-CMA Document 25 Entered on FLSD Docket 05/07/2008 Page 3 of 11
Case No. 08-20533-CIV-ALTONAGA/Brown
“[w]hile a complaint attacked by a Rule 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss does not need detailed factual
allegations . . . a plaintiff’s obligation to provide the ‘grounds’ of his ‘entitle[ment] to relief”’ requires
more than labels and conclusions, and a formulaic recitation of the elements of a cause of action will
not do . . . .”
Id. at 1964-65 (citations omitted). “[A] complaint’s ‘[f]actual allegations must be
enough to raise a right to relief above the speculative level.’”
Davis v. Coca-Cola Bottling Co.
, 516 F.3d 955, 974 (11th Cir. 2008) (quoting Twombly, 127 S. Ct. at 1965). “When the
allegations contained in a complaint are wholly conclusory . . . and fail to set forth facts which, if
proved, would warrant the relief sought, it is proper to dismiss for failure to state a claim.”
"She said the judiciary faces attack, such as in South Dakota, where voters considered a "Jail4Judges" measure in which an unsuccessful litigant could file a complaint and judges could be fined or jailed because of their rulings."
Teach about judiciary, O'Connor urges
Retired justice says public is becoming cynical about courts
Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor urged more than 700 members of the legal and business community Wednesday afternoon to help educate the public about the need for an accountable and independent judiciary.
Speaking at the Midwest Airlines Center at the 150th anniversary luncheon of the Milwaukee Bar Association, the first woman to sit on the Supreme Court decried the "avalanche of advertising money" spent by special interest lobbies in states (such as Wisconsin) where judges are elected. "Often these ads misrepresent the facts and scare voters by talking about criminal, not civil, cases, and everything is subordinated to a sound bite," she said.
"They're what french fries are to nutrition - fattening, but not helpful," she said. "It's important that the judiciary be completely independent. Unfortunately, three-fourths of Americans are not familiar with this concept."
As a result, the public has become more cynical about the courts and is less likely to believe in a judiciary that's fair and impartial, she said. "Accountability and independence are two sides of the same coin, and judges have to avoid pressures and uphold the law."
She said the judiciary faces attack, such as in South Dakota, where voters considered a "Jail4Judges" measure in which an unsuccessful litigant could file a complaint and judges could be fined or jailed because of their rulings. The measure failed, she said.
A recent survey showed that two-thirds of Americans could name at least one judge on the Fox television show "American Idol," while less than one-tenth could identify the chief justice of the Supreme Court, she said.
To try to build a better understanding of the court system, she said, she's working with Arizona State University and Georgetown University on an interactive program that would show how courts work, who judges are, what they do and why they matter. Students would get to play the role of a judge and be given cases to consider based on the law and Constitution to build understanding and knowledge of the courts and their important roles, she said.
O'Connor lives in Arizona but said she spends July 4 holidays in Wisconsin, fishing near Cable.
She was appointed to the Supreme Court in 1981 by President Reagan and served on the court for 24 years before retiring in 2006.
She was often a decisive swing vote on major legal issues such as abortion and the death penalty.
You might ascertain to which group you are intending to subscribe and post. If after you have information as to which group you may post, and you have problems, please get back to me. God bless you.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] On Behalf Of Michelle Sent: Friday, May 09, 2008 12:56 AM To: email@example.com Subject: Post
I have been asking for posts to the group but not getting them. On my BLOG mkesling63.wordpress.com I posted the latest district court answer on my not being able to sue a state because states are immune from damages. Also the State Bars. I need comments and research on this case. Please post my BLOG and ask for case research to help me get this filed in the Supreme Courts.
I am having a hard time being my own legal team and having the threats coming weekly to Nevada is going to put me back in shelter so I am doing my best but can use all the help I can get.
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This past week a tear-out article dated February 23, 2008 (article below) was mailed to JAIL4Judges from an unknown source. Once I opened the envelope, I knew it had to be from someone who was familiar with the earlier history of J.A.I.L. Back in September, 2004, a man named Victory DePonceau came out of nowhere claiming that he was the Founder of JAIL4Judges, and collecting money from people with legal problems supposedly for the purpose of representing them or doing legal work for them. The hitch came when people started writing to me stating that they had paid money to this man, and that he was not performing on the agreed understanding they had with him.
Of course, I had no knowledge of him, or of his having any part to do with JAIL4Judges, and stated that JAIL4Judges has a fixed policy of not representing anyone in their legal problems and cases. I further stated that I was the founder of JAIL4Judges going back to its inception in 1995.
Since this Victor DePonceau was indicting JAIL4Judges by claiming to represent the people he had collected fees from in the name of J.A.I.L., I had to contact the authorities in New York and set the record straight. This man, Victor DePonceau, was arrested and convicted on criminal charges, with the media publishing a September 23, 2004 article in the Livingston County News entitled, 'Jail (4) Judges' founder jailed, complete with a photograph of the supposed "Founder" in handcuffs wearing a jump suit, being led from jail into court by Police Sergeant David Provo.
Since DePonceau is of African decent, and I of Caucasian decent, it was easy to see the obvious distinction that we could not be the same person. I wrote the Livingston County News with the following;
* * *
Dear Reporter Liz Morrill & Livingston County News:
I have received a copy of a publication written by you, Liz Morrill, entitled 'Jail(4)Judges' founder jailed, dated September 23, 2004, Livingston County News, New York. Your article is misleading. I, Ron Branson, founded this organization in April of 1995, and I have placed J.A.I.L. under copyright protection in the Library of Congress and registered myself as the owner.
I do not know the man in your picture claiming to be Victor DePonceau other than what is being reported to me via emails, and your newspaper. Therein you report that this man has been arrested on various charges involving fraud, sex, and practicing law, in which people are writing to me about this.
For the record, I have never communicated with this man you show as Victor DePonceau, which would of necessity have to be, since I, as the National J.A.I.L. Commander-In-Chief, appoint all our state leaders to their positions. I am informing you that there are no state founders, neither in the State of New York, nor in any of our other fifty state JAIL4Judges Chapters, nor in any of our three foreign countries in which we operate.
JAIL4Judges national website is www.jail4judges.org, which contains our National J.A.I.L. Constitution & By-Laws, and our Mission Statement. A reading of these documents will reveal that we do not practice law or act as an advocate for any organizations or persons as you report this man has done. We are strictly about bringing judicial accountability to our state and federal Constitutions, and to the laws which have been made in pursuance thereof. We only seek the creation of Special Grand Juries in every state, which Grand Juries are specifically designed for bringing about such judicial accountability.
Since your newspaper is stating that the founder of JAIL4Judges has been jailed, and I am the founder of JAIL4Judges, and have not been jailed, your article is impugning my character, and people are writing to me on this.
Please print a correction or retraction article to your readership that this previous article was in error, and that the founder, Ron Branson, who lives in Los Angeles California, was not, and is not jailed. I am providing you with a photo of myself, since you show the photo of Victor DePonceau as the founder. Please send me a personal copy of your published retraction/correction to:
Thinking that this was the end of that event, now comes a fresh story in the mail about Victor DePonceau on extremely much more serious charges, the article of which I present below dated February 28, 2008.
Democrat and Chronicle
Sat. February 28, 2008
'Dangerous guy' sentenced
Rochester man plotted to kill two witnesses to Webster arson.
Meaghan M. McDermott, STAFF WRITER
A Rochester man convicted of conspiring to kill two witnesses in an elaborate plot to help a jailhouse friend escape an arson charge will spend 15 to 30 years in prison.
Victor DePonceau, 47, of 636 Merchants Road was convicted by a jury on Feb. 8 of two counts of second-degree conspiracy to kill and two counts of fifth-degree conspiracy to commit perjury.
He was sentenced Friday by Acting state Supreme Court Justice Stephen R. Sirkin to consecutive terms of 10 to 20 years in prison for each of the second-degree counts and one year in prison for each of the fifth-degree counts, said District Attorney Paul Irving.
DePonceau was a conspirator in a plot to help Frank J. Povoski Jr. of Penfield beat charges that he set fire to four police cars in Webster and robbed a store in Victor, Ontario County.
While being held in County jail after his arrest for the police car fires in January 2005, Povoski hatched a plot to escape from jail by having his girlfriend smuggle a handcuff key to him so he could flee while being transported to a town court. When Povoski pleaded guilty to the arson charge in July 2006, he admitted to enlisting DePonceau to kidnap or kill two witnesses to the arson.
Irving said the District Attorney's Office mounted an investigation into DePonceau in April of 2005, and during that time used wiretaps and confidential informants to gather information about the efforts to kill the two witnesses.
"He is a very dangerous guy," said Irving. "We have surveillance of him standing outside one of the intended targets' houses one day looking for him. He was pretty intent on carrying this out. ... The tapes are chilling."
Irving said DePonceau will likely serve 15 to 30 years in prison.
Additional federal weapons charges are pending against DePonceau, as are charges that he passed himself off as a lawyer to gullible people who needed legal assistance.
He represented himself during his conspiracy trial.
WASHINGTON: Members of the U.S.Congress have as much as $196 million (â‚¬126.2 million) collectively invested in companies doing business with the Defense Department, earning millions since the start of the Iraq war, according to a new study by a nonpartisan research group.
The review of lawmakers' 2006 financial disclosure statements, by the Washington-based Center for Responsive Politics, suggests that members' holdings could pose a conflict of interest as they decide the fate of Iraq war spending. Several members who earned the most from defense contractors have plum committee or leadership assignments, including Democratic Sen. John Kerry, independent Sen. Joseph Lieberman and House Republican Whip Roy Blunt.
The study found that more Republicans than Democrats hold stock in defense companies, but that the Democrats who are invested had significantly more money at stake. In 2006, for example, Democrats held at least $3.7 million (â‚¬2.3 million) in military-related investments, compared to Republican investments of $577,500 (â‚¬372,000).
Overall, 151 members hold investments worth $78.7 million (â‚¬50.6 million) to $195.5 million (â‚¬125.9 million) in companies that receive defense contracts that are worth at least $5 million (â‚¬3.2 million). These investments earned them anywhere between $15.8 million (â‚¬10.1 million) and $62 million (â‚¬39.9 million) between 2004 and 2006, the center concludes.
It is unclear how many members still hold these investments and exactly how much money has been made. Disclosure reports for 2007 are not due until this May. Also, members are required to report only a general range of their holdings.
Here is an opportunity for a California JAILer to serve on the California Judicial Nominee Commission. The California Government Code requires the establishment of a Judicial Nominees Evaluation Commission which must have a certain number of just plain citizens.
The job calls for evaluating all judicial candidates who are under consideration for a judicial appointment by the governor. In order for a citizen to qualify, they must be "those who are not lawyers or who are not admitted to practice in California."
This position is a one year term serving on this Commission. This would be a wonderful opportunity for one of us principled people to serve on this Commission. God bless.
Applications Available for the 2009 Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation
The State Bar seeks active members of the State Bar, former members of the judiciary, and members of the public who are interested in volunteering to serve on the 2009 Commission on Judicial Nominees Evaluation (JNE Commission).
The JNE Commission, established pursuant to Government Code Section 12011.5, evaluates all candidates who are under consideration for a judicial appointment by the governor. It is composed of attorneys and public members (i.e., those who are not lawyers or who are not admitted to practice in California) who represent a broad cross-section of California's diverse legal profession and general population. Appointed by the State Bar's Board of Governors, the volunteer commission cannot nominate or appoint judges; it does, however, thoroughly investigate candidates for judicial appointment while maintaining a code of strict confidentiality. Commissioners serve terms of approximately one-year and may serve up to three consecutive terms.
The application form and information on the commission are available from the State Bar's web site at www.calbar.ca.gov (select links to Attorney Resources/ Committees and Commissions/ Other Entity Appointments) or from the State Bar's Appointments Office: 415/538-2318; fax 415/538- 2255.
The application deadline is June 2, 2008. The Board of Governors will make the appointments at its July meeting. The 2009 terms commence February 1, 2009.
Link to JNE information at State Bar Web site: http://calbar.ca.gov/state/calbar/calbar_generic.jsp? cid=10124&id=1056
When the judiciary comes under attack, it is important to convince the business community that they have the strongest interest in a stable court system.
That was the lesson that Thomas Barnett, executive director of the State Bar of South Dakota, conveyed to the Wisconsin State Bar at its annual convention on May 9.
Although the judiciary has been under threat in this country at least since the case of Marbury v. Madison, the worst it has gotten in Wisconsin is scurrilous demands for judges and justices to recuse themselves, even in cases in which they have no interest.
But two years ago in South Dakota things went further. Much further.
A group calling itself “J.A.I.L.” led by California minister and frustrated pro se litigant Ron Branson, came up with a proposal called “JAIL4JUDGES,” that would strip judges of judicial immunity, and even subject them to criminal sanctions.
Branson, the “commander-in-chief” of the group (all dues-paying members have paramilitary ranks), chose South Dakota as the forum for the initiative, because it takes few signatures to get a constitutional amendment on the ballot, and requires only a mere majority to pass.
J.A.I.L., which stands for Judicial Accountability Initiative Law, would have created “Special Grand Juries” consisting of 23 citizens who are not officers of the government or members of the bar, to be drawn by lottery to hear complaints against judges.
The special grand juries would have had the power to strip judges of judicial immunity, and to investigate, indict, and even initiate criminal prosecution of “wayward judges.”
Judges amassing three adverse immunity decisions or criminal convictions would have been kicked off the bench, with their retirement benefits cut by at least half. Support for the Special Grand Juries would have come from a deduction of 2.9 percent of all state judges’ pay.
The proposal was ultimately defeated at the polls by a margin of 89 percent to 11 percent, even though early polls showed voters in favor of the proposal by margins of 3 to 1.
To raise funds to fight the initiative, Barnett went to the business community, which was at first indifferent.
When asked by a corporation why it should care about an initiative in a state where it does only 0.1 percent of its litigation, Barnett stated he would respond, “because if it passes, you’ll be doing 99 percent of your litigation there.”
By emphasizing that the amendment, if passed, would allow juries to disregard the provisions of the Uniform Commercial Code, Barnett was able to enlist the business community to help defeat the measure.
Besides individual businesses, Barnett formed an alliance with tort reform groups, the state’s chamber of commerce, and “anyone with a lobbyist” to defeat the measure.
“I figured that anyone with a lobbyist has an interest in an independent, impartial judiciary,” Barnett stated.
Key to defeating the measure was using laypersons as spokespersons against the measure.
Focus groups that Barnett assembled indicated that judges were the worst messengers for the group, with lawyers being second worst.
Instead of making the case against the measure himself, Barnett toured the state with a layperson to deliver the message. Barnett was just there to answer technical questions that the layperson could not.
Although J.A.I.L. had intended to move on to other states in 2008 after South Dakota, and eventually enact similar measures in all 50 states, according to Barnett, the group has no initiatives on the November ballot in any state.
Attempts to reach Branson using a contact number listed on the J.A.I.L. Web site were unsuccessful.
1 Comments on This Article
I learned how intensely corrupt the judicial system has become by fourteen trips to the U.S. Supreme Court seeking redress of grievances. In April, 1995 I determined to create an alternative means for the People of this country to obtain a remedy by by-passing the courts and the establishment. I knew full well that the establishment had to muster all its support it could to defeat the People's Initiative which would provide the People Judicial Accountability. J.A.I.L. is the only available remedy for the People to regain their freedom to this country.
Att. Barnett anonymously polled to find the most ridiculous presentation he could find to tell People what J.A.I.L. was about. His conclusion, he found, was to say that 86% of the People opposed releasing felons out of prison so they could go after the Jurors who convicted them and placed them in there. So that is what he used. His goal was to keep the People's mind off the fact that this was about judges and Judicial Accountability in keeping the judges faithful to their Oaths of Office to uphold and defend the Constitution, and the laws made in pursuance thereof. (See the Initiative on www.jail4judges.org, and take particular note of paragraph 2, which they wish to avoid at all costs.)
I shall be happy to take the calls of anyone interested at (818) 310-8999 regarding Judicial Accountability. As stated in the above article, we are a nationwide organization, and have thousands of followers seeking justice throughout this country.
Ron Branson, CIC
P.O. Box 207
North Hollywood, CA. 91603
Comment ByRon Branson - J.A.I.L. Commander-In-Chief Saturday, May 17, 2008 at 6:08 PM