A Stand Before Its Time
- J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California May 26, 2002
A Stand Before Its TimeI was visiting today with a dear friend and a long-time supporter of J.A.I.L. dating back to its inception, Kay Garcia. While I was there to pick up a couple of photos of her modeling our JAIL4Judges T-shirts for the camera and our website, she went to her file cabinet and drew out one of her archive files containing her activates back in the 1970s.She showed me several letters she had received from the judges in Los Angeles after she sent out a letter to 134 judges, and to certain state legislators and to the public. I selected only two and had her copy them for me so I could write this J.A.I.L. News Journal.The first response is a friendly one from then Senator John L. Harmer approving of her activities. The second response is a "not-so-friendly" one from a judge, which is fairly representative of her other responses from the judges. What shocked me was that the judges of Los Angeles even bothered at all to respond to her call for "Judge Watching." I guess those were the days when judges did not feel so secure with the public watching their activities and spreading their perceptions around.Soon, you will be seeing Kay with her usual cheerful and beautiful smile, wearing her JAIL4Judges T-Shirt prominently displayed on our National www.jail4judges.org website. (Kay is always the life of the party.)I am going to ask our webmasters to be sure to post an asterisk with Kay's picture referring to her below early experience with the judges of Los Angeles, which was long before I had even thought about a general judicial problem. -Ron Branson-~ ~ ~ ~ ~JOHN L. HARMERCALIFORNIA LEGISLATURESenateApril 22, 1970Mrs. Kay Koury, ChairmanRepublican Women's Club2942 Honolulu AvenueLa Crascenta, California 91214Dear Kay:I wanted to formally thank you for sharing with me your copies of the letters you have received from various judges in response to you intention to render, as a public service, a program of keeping track of judges and the degree to which their decisions conform to the written law. I noticed that several of the letters you received were written in terms of a haughty attitude and expressed contempt for the program you have undertaken. I wish to commend you with all sincerity for what you are doing; to assure you that it has my fullest respect and cooperation, and that I am certain the peoples of our community will benefit by virtue of what you are doing.It was a pleasure to see you in Sacramento, and I wish you every success in all that you are doing.With best wishesYours truly,John L. HarmerThe Superior CourtLos Angeles, CaliforniaChambers ofJerry Pacht, Judge31 March, 1970My dear ladies:Your recent letter regarding "Judge Watching" I am sure was well intentioned. However, it would seem to be an attempt to intimidate judges even if you did not intend it so.If we are to have equal justice for all & a courageous judiciary, our judges must not be glancing back over their shoulders to see if the voters approve of their decisions. They should & must obey the law & the Constitution even though their decisions may be unpopular.....Very Sincerely,Jerry PachtAhhhhh, so now we see that Judge Jerry Pacht thinks that the voters of Los Angeles want their judges to disobey the law and to violate their oaths of office to uphold and defend the Constitution. Those nasty, nasty voters. How dare they sit in the courtrooms to watch the judges in an attempt to "intimidate" them into disobeying the law.Our hats are off to Kay Garcia for taking a stand before its time. If you would like to write Kay, send it to me and I will forward it to her. -RB
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