* * * South Dakota State Bar Takes J.A.I.L. Seriously * * *
- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California November 14, 2005
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______________________________________________________South Dakota State BarTakes J.A.I.L. Seriously(By Ron Branson - J.A.I.L. CIC, VictoryUSA@...)It is true that there is little that gets by J.A.I.L.'s attention when it comes to important matters concerning the judiciary of this country; and this is true because there are thousands of discerning eyes beholding the judicial landscape. The below was caught by our Washington State JAILer, David Estes.Most of us are familiar with the ridiculous arguments of Tom Barnett, the Director of the S.D. State Bar Association, namely, that J.A.I.L. is about suing judges whose decisions you do not like, and about releasing criminals from prison so that they may serve on the J.A.I.L. Special Grand Jury. These arguments can hardly be taken seriously, and I am sure that Bob Riter, President of the South Dakota State Bar Association could sense that they were not going to get anywhere with these out-and-out lies about J.A.I.L.. So he has elected to post a more sensible and palatable argument on their S.D. Bar Association website. President Bob Riter's reasoning is what we cut our teeth upon, and we are delighted to issue our first rebuttal to his presentation on the S.D. Bar website, which may be found at http://22.214.171.124/officers/prespage.htm.You may rest assured that there will follow many more approaches by many other JAILers in rebutting this S.D. Bar website, but this one is mine. First, Attorney Bob Riter of Pierre, S.D. Mine follows. -Ron Branson----- Original Message -----From: DEstes3584@...Sent: Friday, November 11, 2005 9:45 PMSubject: S.D.State Bar opening shot...
Found this on the South Dakota State Bar web site, (http://126.96.36.199/officers/prespage.htm). Looks like this is what the Bar will be arguing in the upcoming months to stop S.D. J.A.I.L.David EstesVashon, Wa
Judicial independence is the touchstone of our legal system, but it is not given sufficient consideration by the public. Society's well-being is dependent upon an independent judiciary standing ready to resolve disputes and interpret law. Unfortunately, we now face efforts externally, and upon occasion internally, which detract from and perhaps jeopardize that necessary independence.
Much rhetoric has been heard regarding judges and courts. Of course, the attention necessarily given to an impartial judiciary is magnified by promotion of the recent J.A.I.L. initiative in South Dakota. That proposal seeks to create in our state a "super" grand jury which while answerable to few, is authorized to approve criminal or civil proceedings against judges. It would be empowered to rule on the law and the facts. Its effect is to allow those who are disappointed with a judicial result to challenge the Court outside of our existing legal processes. The measure also seeks to eliminate certain judicial immunity regularly recognized as necessary to protect judges in the important work they do. Of course, if an effort like that was successful it would likely destroy the current independent nature of our judiciary.
Whether the measure gets on the ballot or not, unfortunately it is a reflection of the societal pressures which those outside the legal profession are attempting to impose upon our judiciary.
Also, efforts to force judicial candidates to describe how they will rule upon issues likely to be presented to them upon appointment, also frustrate the independence of the process. We should strive for judges with intellectual distinction, who are hardworking and able to bring to the Court common sensibilities as well as a broad variety of life experiences. If a judge is clothed with these attributes and allowed to remain independent, our current system will continue to flourish.
Sometimes we forget, just as does the public, how important it is to have independent judges who can make the difficult decisions affecting one's livelihood and other important issues involved in one's life, including his or her freedom. It is the best system ever designed to peaceably and thoroughly resolve issues. The pay is modest and the time spent carrying out the functions of the job is consuming and challenging; but the judiciary brings to society predictable results, so parties can properly anticipate responses to issues and situations presented to them.
Of course, the decision of a Court can sometimes be in error. That is why appellate courts exist. It is vital that none of us disparage the Courts or their decisions to the public or our clients.
We should respect their efforts, just as the Court respects our client's right to seek judicial review of decisions flowing from a court of general jurisdiction. Lawyers should trumpet the work of our judges to all and periodically thank our jurists for the difficult work they have undertaken.
Efforts to attempt to intimidate judges into making decisions in a particular manner is an affront to our judicial system. All members of our profession should speak as one voice against that effort. It must start with each of us individually spending the time and effort necessary to defend judicial independence. As recognized by Theodore B. Olson, former Solicitor General in the Bush administration in an opinion column in the Wall Street Journal on April 25, 2005:
We expect dignity, wisdom, decency, civility, integrity and restraint from our judges. It is time to exercise those same characteristics in our dealings with, and commentary on, those same judges -- from their appointment and confirmation to their decision-making once they take office.
We must provide leadership to ensure public trust and confidence exists in support of an independent judiciary.
Robert C. Riter, Jr.
PresidentSouth Dakota State BarTaking J.A.I.L. SeriouslyRon Branson's reply to the president of the S.D. State Bar, Bob Riter, of Pierre, the capitol of South Dakota.We hear a great deal today about the term "Judicial Independence." Indeed, Attorney Riter uses this term seven times in his dissertation. This term seems to always come up whenever there arises a question about the conduct of the judiciary no matter who raise the question. For instance, in a default case I had against the City of Los Angeles, the entire record totally disappeared from the court's files, which files called into question the ethics of the judge. I vigorously pressed for its retrieval knowing that the law provided clear specific felony sanctions for such removal. After exhausting all remedies within the court, I went to my state legislator where I was told that the court was independent of the legislature, and that they could not get involved.When one thinks about it, he will realize how reversed the thinking on the word "independence" is. Our Founding Fathers created three independent branches of government, each being an independent check upon the other two, with the People, through their Grand Jury, being the ultimate check."Independence" is not justification for not getting involved, but rather a reason there must be involvement. The Senate checks against the House, and vise versa. The president checks against the legislature by veto, with the courts having an independent power to strike down a law as unconstitutional. The ultimate check and balance, of course, rests with the People through their juries.Whenever there are ethical questions of behavior in government, the Grand Jury may exercise its independence aside from the executive, the legislature or the judiciary. It need not ask the permission of any of the three branches of government to investigate or indict. To require it to do so would interfere with the independence of the Grand Jury; or, as in the case of J.A.I.L., the Special Grand Jury. In fact, in the name of "protecting the independence of the judiciary" Attorney Riter is suggesting the judiciary should be allowed to interfere with the independence of the Special Grand Jury in investigating the judiciary. He views the entire perspective of "independence" in reverse of the very Constitution he has sworn to uphold and defend. It is the People who hold "All political power," not the judiciary. See Art. VI, Sec. 26 of the South Dakota Constitution.The objective of J.A.I.L. is to provide the means by which the People can "throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security." The term "such government" refers to the body politic controlling this country which, after a many decades, shows evidence of the same pattern of abuses and usurpation of power through fraud and deception in repeatedly, knowingly, and intentionally violating the People's inherent rights, causing them to live under absolute despotism. While government is instituted by the People for the purpose of protecting their rights, "such government," as aforesaid, violates those rights in direct contradistinction to the very purpose for which it was established.It is the duty of the People to correct that malfunction of government by holding the judiciary, who sit at the helm of government conduct as the final arbiter thereof, accountable to themselves under the Supreme Law of the Land. In short, J.A.I.L. stands for judicial accountability under law. The Bar Association which is the administrative arm of the legal industry, having members that are officers of the court, is opposing J.A.I.L. In other words, it is opposing what J.A.I.L. stands for, i.e., judicial accountability. So when the Bar spokesman speaks of "judicial independence," he is speaking of judicial independence from accountability. So when you see or hear the word "independence" or "independent" regarding the judiciary, remember that it means independence from accountability, independence from constitutional law, independence from their oath of office.Mr. Riter states: The measure also seeks to eliminate certain judicial immunity regularly recognized as necessary to protect judges in the important work they do.The J.A.I.L. measure seeks to eliminate judicial immunity only in the following specifically stated instances (paragraph 2):--Any deliberate violation of law--Fraud or conspiracy--Intentional violation of due process of law--Deliberate disregard of material facts--Judicial acts without jurisdiction--Blocking of a lawful conclusion of a case--Any deliberate violation of the Constitutions of South Dakota or the United StatesMr. Riter describes the above misconduct as "important work [judges] do." My question to you, Mr. Riter, is "Important to whom?"It certainly is not the People for whom the judiciary is established as the guardian of the People's rights. We know that the "important work that [judges] do" is important only to judicial tyranny.Mr. Riter, why are you protecting the status quo of judicial tyranny? Could it be because you benefit from it?J.A.I.L. will stop judicial independence from the law, because "JUDGES ARE NOT ABOVE THE LAW!"
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