* * * Chief Justice Ronald Geoege Addresses California * * *
- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California February 27, 2007
The Battle Lines are Drawn: J.A.I.L. versus The Foreign Power
A Power Foreign to Our Constitution
Chief Justice Ronald GeorgeAddresses California
By Ron Branson - National J.A.I.L. Commander-In-Chief
As with the Chief Justices of six states, Chief Justice Ronald George takes aim at what he and they identify as the potential threat posed to this nation's judicial system by the National J.A.I.L. Movement. One thing that cannot be denied is that the J.A.I.L. Movement (Judicial Accountability Initiative Law) has drawn fire from the judiciary like nothing heretofore. Even former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor traveled the country last year blasting us as posing an attack upon the independence of the nation's judiciary.
Last year I was called by a reporter from the Los Angeles Times by the name of Jessica Garrison. Her first words were to ask me if I knew who Ronald George was, to which I responded, "Sure, he is the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of California." She stated, "That's correct. I just talked with him, and he says he knows you." I said, "I'm impressed, but you know that he has nothing good to say about me," to which she agreed. I told her that he stated that I am an extremist out to destroy this wonder judicial system we have in California.
I was asked for an interview, and we met in a restaurant in which during that interview I stated that I think I will give Ronald George a call and ask to meet with him for lunch. She asked me, "Why would you do that?" to which I stated in jest, that since he says that he knows me we should meet together and discuss the prospects of JAIL4Judges in California. As a results of that interview, the Los Angeles Times published a front page article in its B Section entitled, "Activist Wants to See Judges Judged," dated April 24, 2006.
The article, in part, states, "Quite suddenly, Branson - an idiosyncratic populist who call himself the Five-Star National JAIL Commander in Chief and affixes five metal stars to his lapels - found he had captured the attention of judges and lawmakers across the country. They say his plan is a terrible idea and represents nothing less than an attack on the premise of a fair and impartial judiciary that operates independently of pressures from special interests. That's because if judges can be investigated, sued and even jailed for decisions they make, few will be likely to make unpopular decisions, even if that is what the law calls for. "I view efforts such as these as threats to our democratic government," said the chief justice of California's Supreme Court, Ronald M. George, who has begun speaking out against JAIL. Missouri's chief justice has issued similar warnings." [It should be noted that I am a "show-me," born and raised upon the farms of Missouri.]
What can readily be ascertained is how all these judges condemning J.A.I.L., often backed by the media, totally ignore and avoid any discussion whatsoever about paragraph two, which sets the primary focus of the J.A.I.L. Amendment. We are now working on the State of Florida, and I quote from paragraph two of the Florida J.A.I.L. Amendment, "Notwithstanding common law or any other provision to the contrary, 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 Constitutions of Florida or the United States. The foregoing judicial misconduct shall not be construed to mean court decisions made within the authorized capacity of a judge."
The reason all these judges do not wish to get into the particulars of the J.A.I.L. Amendment is because of the difficulty of justifying judges committing violations of the seven specified acts, such as deliberately violating the U.S. and state's Constitutions, or the laws of the state. They have no argument, so they change these words to "judicial decisions we do not like," and then attack their own reinterpretations. This judicial tactic merely illustrates the need for J.A.I.L. because they tend to universally restate the arguments before the courts and rule on their own reinterpretations.
Indeed, one of the lawyers representing the California Courts of Appeals contacted me and chided me for going after judges for simply making mistakes. I asked him to show me where in the J.A.I.L. Amendment he saw anything about going after judges for their "mistakes." He could not show me even though I demanded he show me. I told him that I did not mind him attacking J.A.I.L., but his attack must be upon what is written, and not upon how he wishes to reinterpret it. I also told him that he is doing exactly what I have universally experienced the courts doing in my fourteen cases through to the U.S. Supreme Court. They never stayed on point with the issue, but reinterpreted the issue presented before the court.
Due to its length, I am presenting only excerpts of California Chief Justice Ronald George's State of the Judiciary message to California he gave yesterday in which he takes more pot-shots at JAIL4Judges, and indirectly at me, Ron Branson. I will insert an occasional comment for the benefit of Ronald George.
STATE OF THE JUDICIARY ADDRESS
DELIVERED TO A JOINT SESSION OF THE LEGISLATURE
FEBRUARY 26, 2007
CHIEF JUSTICE RONALD M. GEORGE
Good afternoon. It is a great pleasure to be here to deliver my twelfth annual State of the Judiciary Address to this joint session of the California Legislature....
With me here today are my six colleagues on the California Supreme Court, Associate Justices Joyce Kennard, Marvin Baxter, Kathryn Mickle Werdegar, Ming Chin, Carlos Moreno, and Carol Corrigan. Also in attendance are members of the Judicial Council, which I chair and which is the constitutionally created body charged with statewide administration of the judicial branch; the Administrative Director of the Courts Bill Vickrey, his Chief Deputy Ron Overholt, and several members of their staff; and members of the Bench-Bar Coalition....
Over the past decade, the judicial branch of our state has become stronger and more effective not only because of our own efforts to improve our service to the public, but also because of the great assistance provided by the other two branches of government.
Those of you who have served in prior sessions of this Legislature, and other members who have preceded you, have recognized that an impartial court system, capable of providing fair and accessible justice and adherence to the rule of law, is a cornerstone of our democracy. Each of the three branches although co-equal and independent is interdependent and must rely upon the other two in order to fulfill its role in the balanced system of government that our Founders, national and state, so wisely established for us. We in the judicial branch and, most importantly, the public we all serve have benefited greatly from the reforms we have jointly instituted....
But the gap between expanding caseloads and the number of judges available to handle them has continued to grow, adversely affecting the administration of justice. Courts have been forced to shut down civil courtrooms in some cases countywide because criminal cases facing dismissal have priority under the law and there was an insufficient number of judges to handle all the cases....
[Ronald George, the more injustice citizens experience, the more litigation there shall be. Litigations shall continue to rise until it becomes totally impossible. You will not be able to hire enough judges, or build enough courthouses. This is a result of the natural laws of nature. Back when both you and I were children, courts were simple, there were few judges, and we did not have a back-log of litigation. Further, the public respected the judges we had, and deemed them to be fair and justice, unlike the public perceives the judicial system today. - RB]
The number of self-represented litigants continues to increase, and their needs will, in my opinion, pose the single most challenging issue for the courts in the coming decade. In some counties litigants appear without an attorney in 85 to 90% of family law and landlord/tenant matters. The costs to the judicial system and to the public are high impairing the ability of self-represented litigants to effectively vindicate their rights, undermining the ability of courts to efficiently process heavy caseloads, and eroding the publics confidence in our judicial system....
[No, Ronald George, it is not the case load that is "eroding the public's confidence in our judicial system," rather it is the other way around, to wit, the "eroding ... public's confidence in our judicial system" that is causing the problems you are facing. Yes, people have lost their confidence in the judicial system, and in lawyers, and are either forced, due to economic reasons, to go it alone, or because they just do not trust lawyers. They find that the lawyers cheat them and turn on them or compromise their cases.
In one of my cases the lawyer representing the County of Los Angeles argued before the judge that my case was a prime example of why pro ses should be barred from representing themselves in court. His position is that everyone appearing in court should be forced to appear only by a lawyer. Is he so far afield from the thinking of your fellow colleagues, the California Bar Association? Yes, it is the pro ses that are "giving the judges a hard time," because they do not fear urging the real issue before the court and they do not fear being threatened with disbarment for speaking their mind. And both you and I know that it is the pro ses that universally get railroaded by the judiciary! I know. They call me! If the pro se case loads you refer to run at a rate of 85% to 90%, one can pretty much state that that figure pretty well represents the rate of injustice in California, if not higher.]
According to an article that appeared last month in the Los Angeles Times, thousands of self-represented Californians are awaiting a nasty surprise Many of them are not quite as divorced as they think they are and some are even accidental bigamists.
Moreover, some cases simply are too complex for self-representation, or for particular litigants who are unable to navigate the legal process because of language or educational difficulties....
Each time I attend the Conference of Chief Justices, which I headed a couple years ago, the accomplishments and cordial relationships existing among the three branches in California are the focus of interest and even envy from my peers.
The challenges that lie ahead include not only sufficient resources, but also ensuring that our judicial branch remains strong and impartial. Last fall, I was asked by former Justice Sandra Day OConnor and Justice Stephen Breyer to participate in a conference on the independence of the judiciary that they convened in Washington, D.C. Several other justices of the United States Supreme Court and of state Supreme Courts were in attendance as we discussed the increasing threats to this fundamental principle arising from a variety of sources nationwide.
[Ah, yes, it's that guy, Ron Branson, who is running a "Special Interest" organization, and who is attacking the independence of the judiciary, and who is seeking to pressure all the good judges of this country to forsake the law, and to make popular decisions that personally please him. Did I state it correctly, George?]
In this context, I want to stress the function served by an independent and impartial judiciary. That phrase does not describe judges who are unaccountable or free to decide cases based upon their personal preferences or political or social philosophy. To the contrary, it signifies judges who are bound to render decisions founded upon the law and the facts before them, independent of improper pressures and influences judges whose allegiance is to the law, and not to partisan or special interests. We should expect nothing less of those on the bench.
Yet, increasingly, voices have been heard arguing that judges should follow the preferences of the majority, deciding cases based on popular opinion and not upon the constitutions and laws that govern our state and our nation.
[Yes, yes, George, spit it out. It's that J.A.I.L. Initiative we placed upon the ballot in South Dakota that is sticking in your craw. God forbid that that damnable Initiative should come to California where you and I now live. It's going to screw up the entire kingdom of the judiciary the judges have spent so many years building. Can you imagine the judges being strictly held to the very Constitution they have sworn to uphold and defend? God forbid!]
In South Dakota last fall, an initiative measure placed on the ballot would have abolished immunity of judges from lawsuits, making them personally subject to monetary damages and even criminally liable based upon their judicial decisions even those upheld in the appeals process. It failed overwhelmingly, but only after every legislator and other elected official and every major newspaper urged a no vote and explained the consequences of a subservient bench. Unfortunately, the proponents of this measure are Californians who want to try it out in a few small states before bringing it to their home state....
[What's that George? "... based upon their judicial decisions." How about "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 deliberated violation of the Constitution..." I know, I know, you would rather not talk about that. It's too indicting. You would rather reframe the issue and make it going after judges for their "judicial decisions." I can only surmise that both you and your fellow colleague, Chief Justice Michael Wolf in Missouri, just cannot read, or you are both being dishonest. I'll leave the answer of that question to the discernment of our readers.]
I and many others in our branch look forward to meeting with you over the coming year to discuss the court system, and to working with you to make it even better. It is a continuing privilege for me to lead the enormously talented and dedicated judges and staff who are the judicial branch. Thank you again for inviting me to speak with you today. And please join us now at a reception in the Capitol Rotunda.
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He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to
our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to
their acts of pretended legislation. - Declaration of Independence
"..it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless
minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.." - Samuel Adams
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is
striking at the root." -- Henry David Thoreau <><