Changing the very nature of the judicial system
- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California April 12, 2001For a beautiful navy blue T-shirt with "J.A.I.L." on the back and www.jail4judges.org large and visible over the pocket, imprinted in a bright yellow-gold lettering, send your check payable to J.A.I.L. for $11.95 plus $4 S&H. (Discounts on volume quantities.) Wear them to your next courthouse function and watch the reaction.Changing The Very NatureOf The Judicial SystemInfuriated by court decisions on their laws, legislators begin
stripping the Bar of its power.© St. Petersburg Times, published April 18, 2001
By LUCY MORGAN
TALLAHASSEE -- Florida Bar lobbyist Steve Metz compared his life Tuesday to the Siege of Stalingrad, as he tried to stop a bill that would force the Bar to get legislative approval of its annual budget.
"If you haven't seen the movie, Enemy at the Gate, you've no idea what it's like to represent the Bar," Metz told members of the House Fiscal Responsibility Council.
That was downstairs.
Upstairs, the Senate Judiciary Committee was stripping away most of the Bar's influence in selecting judges.
It was that kind of day in a Legislature bubbling with anger toward the courts and the Bar that has helped select judges. Metz, a lobbyist for 26 years, says he's never faced so much sniper fire. Bar president Herman Russomanno vehemently opposed the Judicial Nominating Commission bill that won approval in the Senate committee, 8-2. ....
Sen. Skip Campbell, D-Fort Lauderdale, offered the compromise
amendment that has been worked out by legislators caught between the fury of the state Bar and the anger of House Speaker Tom Feeney and other legislators, angered by court decisions overturning laws passed by the Legislature.
Senate President John McKay has indicated he'll take the compromise version of the bill but says he is not interested in taking up many of the other court-bashing bills moving in the House. Feeney strongly supports efforts to change the very nature of the judicial system. ....Feeney said he believes lawyers are treated differently from other professions who are subject to legislative review and licensing by a state agency. By being allowed to regulate themselves, the lawyers have
"an almost incestuous relationship with the Bar," Feeney said.
"The germ of destruction of our nation is in the power of the judiciary, an irresponsible body - 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 render powerless the checks of one branch over the other and will become as venal and oppressive as the government from which we separated." Thomas Jefferson, 1821
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