Friday, January 27, 2012

[Victims of Court Corruption] J.A.I.L. Is Faulty For A Variety Of Reasons - Zena Crenshaw

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Re: We Have Met the Enemy, and He is Us
Date: Thu, 26 Jan 2012 15:21:45 -0600
From: Zena Crenshaw <>
To: Ron Branson <>

J.A.I.L. is faulty for a variety of reasons.  But more ill-advised is any call to dramatically restructure America's legal system, based on the idea that most judges are morally and/or ethically barren, if not outright criminals.  Such a proposition is simply beyond proof on an empirical basis.  The requisite assessment would be unwieldy and has not been made despite rampant internet claims suggesting otherwise.  Moreover, many reputable people would vehemently dispute a characterization of judges as overall rotten.
What is clear in many aspects and becoming more apparent is that America is failing to deliver a fair and impartial administration of justice.  Because a relatively few people wrestle "justice" from the system nonetheless, most Americans are content to ignore related crisis or try extracting relief from our legal system without seeking broader reforms.  Problem is, the system is geared or inclined to deny certain relief.  I'm referencing the kind of cases that, generally, mainstream "reform" groups won't touch.  So the national grassroots, legal/judicial reform community emerged and we all know our obstacles.  Given those problems (that marginalize and have come close to ending our effectiveness), I'm resigned to try helping crystallize the reasons why America's legal system is substantially failing of its purpose.  
It's only logical that to diagnose the fundamental ailments of America's legal system, we need input from competent legal professionals (current and former), law professors, political scientists, historians, a broad range of litigants, and judges.  Obviously a proper cure begins with an accurate diagnosis.  Of course I am not an anarchist, nor am I particularly threatened by the propensities of lawyers.  Hence government structure and lawyers have what I consider to be a helpful place in legal reform strategies I endorse.  
The attached report foreshadows, in varying detail, pretty much everything needed to shore up judicial independence and accountability in America.  It begins an essential dialogue -- a development that signals great progress for grassroots legal reformers.  Hopefully more of our community will join the discussion; not to spew dogmatism, but to teach and learn.

It is Time for Us to Stop Trying to Patch Up [The] Discredited [U.S. Constitution]

Jacob wrote:
I disagree with Jon that J.A.I.L. is too complicated, but I agree with him that it is too confrontational.  J.A.I.L. singles out the judges as a class, and the acronym J.A.I.L. insinuates widespread abuses in that class.   While today there are indeed more crooks among the judges than possibly any other group of white collar professionals, with the exception of the prosecutors and lawmakers, our long-term goal is a judiciary that is both relatively honest and competent, and thus deserving respect.   Most honest and competent legal professionals would not wish to join a disrespected suspected class.

However, if the legislation had a more dignified name and applied to all suits of significant magnitude, whereby a citizen's committee decided whether a suit is without merits on its face and thus may be dismissed, I would wholeheartedly embrace it for the post Second American Revolution society. 

The latter caviat is about my conviction that freedom and justice have no future in the remaining life of the system of government launched by the Framers.  Contrary to what many believe and/or claim, including Ron Paul, the Framers did not create the Constitution to control government, but to establish a government, whose control all experience has proven to be impossible, just as the wisest of the Founders, the anti-Federalists predicted.  It is time for us to stop trying to patch up this discredited document, let alone look to it for answers and inspiration, and instead turn our attention to the Declaration of independence as a recipe for revival.

Jacob Roginsky

Ron Branson's Response:

Hello Jacob. First off, I wish to thank you for coming to the defense of J.A.I.L. on the subject of it not being too complicated.

But, I wish to address your position that it is too controversial. Perhaps, the basis for our differences in viewpoint goes to the subject of what our duties are as patriots.

J.A.I.L. does not seek to propose any new laws other than that of providing for judicial accountability to the very document that all judges must raise their right hand in defense of, and that is, to the Constitution of the United States. You position also is that "freedom and justice have no future in the remaining life of the system of government launched by the Framers," and therefore, I assume you desire that we should throw the U.S. Constitution overboard. 

Therefore, we come from completely different positions as our objective as Americans. Your position is that all Americans should "stop trying to patch us this discredited document," and that we should instead, turn our attention to the Declaration of Independence.

While we both revere the Declaration of Independence, I do not see that we must therefore repudiate the Constitution.

You further state, "J.A.I.L. insinuates widespread abuses in that [judicial] class." Yes, it is true that I do see more widespread abuses within the judicial system, and I do believe that it is for that reason we do have great abuses among prosecutors and legislators because the judges cover for their abuses. In other words, I believe that if we did have accountable judges, it would follow that we would also have accountable legislators and prosecutors.

I agree with you that "honest and competent legal professionals would not wish to join a disrespected [judicial] class," but I believe it is for that very reason we must also have honest and competent judges.

Thank you for your honest input on what you believe is wrong with J.A.I.L (Judicial Accountability Initiative Law).

Ron Branson

On 1/21/2012 9:39 PM, Ron Branson wrote:

Dear Jon Roland, I would like to reason with you on your comments about J.A.I.L. being too complicated and too confrontational. We are at war with an out-of-control government. It was President George Washington who stated, “Government is not reason, it is not eloquence, it is force; like fire, a troublesome servant and a fearful master. Never for a moment should it be left to irresponsible action.” Can we mutually accept this premises as spoken by George Washington that Government is not reason? If so, I wish to offer this quote of Washington in response to your statement that the J.A.I.L. proposal is too confrontational. Shall we seek to go half way with these judges in order to minimize conflict with them? I was once told by an attorney who served as the top leader in an organization we all know, who shall remain here nameless, "You, Ron, are making the judges mad. We want to be their friends!" It was for that reason that his organization did not want even the endorsement of J.A.I.L., because he was afraid that the judges would interpret that his organization was in league with Ron Branson.

In that respect, I agree that J.A.I.L. is confrontational with judges. We are seeking righteousness, truth, and justice, not friendship with the judges to get them on our side. We know that such an effort otherwise would ultimately mean that in order to be their friends, we must adopt judicial independence instead of seeking judicial accountability. "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" Amos 3:3. We all know the answer to this question. Absolutely not!  "[W]hat fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?" II Corinthians 6:14. It is not wise to play in the same sandbox with underhanded tyrants who would sooner slit your throat than to play within the rules.

As you your other issue that the J.A.I.L. proposal is too complicated. Let's get down to particulars; who, what, when, were, how, and why! Shall we throw the baby out because raising a baby is complicated, and presents many hardships . Shall we supply feather pillows to all our case hardened patriot soldiers, lest they find that winning on truth is too complicated. What section or phrase do you find too complicated that needs be extracted from the J.A.I.L proposal to make it palatable?

As for the Special Grand Jury, you offer the following, "The traditional grand jury from colonial times was designed to do what is proposed. We need to return the grand jury to that standard." This is well said, Jon. But details? How do we go about doing that? I have conversed with those who have made statements as yours. I have asked them this same question as I am asking you. Give me the details on how we accomplish this. There answer was, "I don't know." So I said to them, "I like my proposal on how to accomplish this within J.A.I.L. than your proposal of no idea!"

Jon, as you know, Ron Branson is not your enemy. We are on the same side and part of the same team. I am just reasoning with you that we must not just hunker down in the foxhole and fantasize victory. We draw up a definite plan and seek to carry it out. I have drawn up my particular plans for victory. Now we patriots need to see your particular alternative to J.A.I.L. We are in a serious war here, we are not children playing doctor and nurse. Particulars, particulars, particulars, Jon. He who criticizes another's plan bears the burden of showing a better alternative!

Your friend,

Ron Branson

Jon Roland wrote:
That is the kind of exaggerated claim that feeds patriot mythmongering. There is nothing that will "win every time", and no one should promise otherwise. At best we might slightly improve the odds, but it is more important to reform the law than to win cases, and it may be necessary to sacrifice some rather than allow the other side to get another bad precedent. It is very difficult to just hold the line. Most cases will either make things better or make them worse, and before proceeding one needs to be very sure the odds are favorable. That mostly comes down to getting the right judge, and that is not always easy to call, especially as they are so rare.

The old saying is that "a good lawyer knows the law, but a great lawyer knows the judge". That is not just about having the judge as a crony. It is more about being able to manipulate the judge psychologically. Just as emotion sways juries more than evidence or argument, so it also sways judges, and the outcome of cases is often more about that than otherwise. Watch the ways successful lawyers stroke the egos of judges.

As for the J.A.I.L. proposal, it has been too complicated and confrontational. The traditional grand jury from colonial times was designed to do what is proposed. We need to return the grand jury to that standard. Select it at random. Open it to citizen complaints. Let it remove immunity by issuing an indictment. And let it appoint private prosecutors by delivering the indictment to them. It would also help to instruct them to keep the professional prosecutors out of the room, and to appoint enough of them so they aren't overloaded with too many cases to have time to deal with deliberately.

On 01/19/2012 01:43 PM, Hoyt Law Office wrote:
But, we can still win on procedure. Want to know how to construct a winning argument every time?

-- Jon  ---------------------------------------------------------- Constitution Society      2900 W Anderson Ln C-200-322  Austin, TX 78757 512/299-5001 ----------------------------------------------------------

[Victims of Court Corruption] California Judges Resume War Over Money And Power - SacBee

Dan Walters: California judges resume war over money and power

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2012 - 12:00 am | Page 3A

As the Legislature reconvened this month, California's judges resumed their civil war over money and power.

It pits Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and the State Judicial Council, along with one faction of trial and appellate judges, against a rebellious faction, organized as the Alliance of California Judges, over how to allocate pain as the courts adjust to reduced financing.

An early political test for the combatants is Assembly Bill 1208, a rebel-sponsored bill that faces a deadline this week for approval by the Assembly.

The measure, which would strengthen the authority of local judges vis-à-vis the Judicial Council and the Administrative Office of the Courts, has been stalled for months as both sides ramped up their lobbying.

For a profession that places high value on decorum and what's called "judicial demeanor," the public and private politicking has gotten downright nasty at times, with the contending factions exchanging accusations of bad conduct.

Cantil-Sakauye has remained publicly aloof from the fray, leaving the day-to-day maneuvering to her supporters, but there's little doubt that she is – continuing the no-change position that predecessor Ronald George held – helping organize opposition to the bill, which is being carried by the Assembly's Democratic floor leader, Charles Calderon.

Her faction has been peddling the concept that were AB 1208 to become law, it would threaten the independence of the judiciary. But the rebels contend that the state court bureaucracy that she heads has been wasting money on a bloated staff, an unworkable computer system and a grandiose courthouse construction program while trial courts are being forced to reduce staff and services.

The rebel alliance has produced a 20-page white paper that lays out in detail what it regards as misappropriation of operational funds for the courts that leaves them unable to cope with criminal and civil business.

The Judicial Council voted unanimously to formally oppose AB 1208 last month just as the politically influential Service Employees International Union, which represents many court employees, declared its support for the legislation.

The conflict has not only divided the state's judiciary, with some local courts voting to support the bill while others oppose it, but has created strange bedfellows.

The SEIU finds itself, for instance, on the same side as the Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association and other conservative groups. Democratic legislators are also divided, while Republicans tend to support the rebels.

It's uncertain what Gov. Jerry Brown would do if AB 1208 reaches his desk. The current budget slashes $350 million from courts, but his proposed 2012-13 budget would spare them from further cuts.

© Copyright The Sacramento Bee. All rights reserved.

[Victims of Court Corruption] The South Dakota Amendment E Piece Slate Magazine Refused to Publish by Gary L. Zerman

Slate refuses 'equal time'

The South Dakota Amendment E
Piece Slate Magazine Refused to Publish

By: Gary L. Zerman*

This is South Dakota Judicial Accountability’s (sponsors of “Amendment E” on the 2006 ballot) reply to Bert Brandenburg’s (Executive Director, Justice At Stake -JAS), two Slate pieces Rushmore to Judgment,” March 14, and Bench-Clearing Brawl,” July 28, 2006.

In Rushmore, Brandenburg wrote that our initiative is “… one of the most radical threats to justice this side of the Spanish Inquisition.” Apparently Brandenburg missed the fact that inquisitions are done by those in power – to the People. Not the other way around.

In Bench-Clearing Brawl, he wrote that the 2006 election will have “…a cluster of state ballots initiatives designed to hobble the courts… that point toward a political intimidation racket benefiting special interests that want courts to deliver results, not justice.” Imagine that?  We’re a grass roots citizens’ group, yet he and his group JAS are the guys out of DC - and he calls us “special interests.” Any doubt who’s the real political intimidation racket, look at Justice at Stake Org. and No on E Amendment. See who they really are. Readers you decide if our initiative or Brandenburg - is the threat to justice.

If we’re so wrong in South Dakota, why does his Brawl piece point up that citizens in Colorado, Montana, Oregon, and Illinois are also putting forth measures to make the judiciary accountable? Actually he put it: “… court-bashers have been busily framing their anger in accountability terms that resonate with American values.” Resonate with American values? You bet.  He didn’t tell you that resonation is also being felt in DC where Rep. Sensenbrenner and Sen. Grassley want an inspector general to ride herd over the federal judiciary and finally there is clamor for impeaching USDC (Cal.) Judge Manuel Real. 

About impeachment, Brandenburg wrote “And judges every where can be impeached for misconduct.” Really? Name the last judge impeached? Federal or state. At SDJA we say, “Impeachment’s like Haley’s Comet, it comes around once every 76 years.”  Moreover, over 99% of the misconduct complaints against federal judges, year-in-year-out are dismissed without discipline imposed. As Justice Kozinski (9th Cir.) to his credit wrote, in his dissent against the dismissal (the 3rd and final time) of the complaint against Judge Real:"... It does not inspire confidence in the federal judiciary when we treat our own so much better than everybody else."Bingo!

They claim it’s all about judicial independence. For a total debunking of their claim that immunity is required for independence, see Justice Douglas’ lone dissent in Pierson v. Ray, 386 US 547, 558 (1967). And what about the judges’ misconduct documented in all the recent articles about “Judicial Junkets” and “Juice vs. Justice”?  No, the People won’t be fooled anymore. It’s about judicial accountability. Now!

Brandenburg’s hysterical hyperbole continued in Rushmore, writing our initiative would “… wipe out a basic doctrine called judicial immunity that dates back to the 13th century, protecting judges from personal liability from doing their jobs on the cases before them. A special grand jury – essentially a fourth branch of government – would be created to indict judges…” He didn’t tell you the doctrine actually is absolute judicial immunity (AJI), and it covers corrupt and malicious judicial acts, even - eugenics. See Stump v. Sparkman, 435 US 349 (1978), a 5/3 decision, giving Judge Stump immunity, after he illegally ordered a 15-year-old girl sterilized; she never appeared in court, nor had counsel or any representation, was lied to and told she was having an appendectomy, and had no appeal – the sterilization irreversible. Nor did he tell you the three (3) dissenting justices were repulsed by Judge Stump’s behavior; so were the federal appellate justices, who voted 3/0 against immunity for Stump. The total vote in the case (district, appellate and Supreme Court) was 6/6. Thus the doctrine of absolute immunity is not so absolute – even among judges.

The 13th century was the only authority Brandenburg could muster in his pieces for judicial immunity. (That era gave us the divine right of kings, the Black Plague, beheading, drawing & quartering, serfdom and most thought the earth was flat.) That’s the best he can do? He omitted, like most of our critics, and the media, to provide you our core arguments:

1) there is no authority in our Constitution giving immunity to judges (nor do any USSC cases on AJI ever cite any);

2) judges giving judges AJI violates the doctrine of separation of powers - the so-called checks & balances (nor do any USSC cases mention this);

3) AJI turns the sovereignty of We the People on its head, placing the judiciary over, above and beyond the People, making the servant the master; and,

4) why has our USSC condoned eugenics? Stump v. Sparkman.

NOTE: Neither Chief Justice Roberts, nor Justice Alito, were asked any of these questions at their recent Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearings.
Checks & balances? Phooey.

Like in Rushmore, Brandenburg wrote in Bench-Clearing Brawl, the “… initiative would amend the state constitution to create a fourth branch of government: a special grand jury to sue judges and others for their decisions.” Here he demonstrates his fundamental misunderstanding of our Constitution. And that is dangerous. First, he ignores that the Constitution was designed to limit the power of government - not the People. All power resides in the People. Government gets its just powers from the consent of the governed. We never gave judges immunity. Second, he ignores that We the People are sovereign. Our Constitution starts: “We The People.” -- NOT we the government, nor we the judiciary. We are not a “branch” of government. We are the tree, the trunk, the roots. We are the masters - government is our servant, mere branches. Actually, with their dereliction to true checks & balances, they could be termed “The Three Little Twigs.”

Example: Remember Kelo v. City of New London? That’s the 5/4 eminent domain case, where the Kelo 5 wiped out the “public use” clause of the 5thAmendment. Where was President Bush? Silent. Where was Congress? Hardly a whimper. To their credit, great dissents were written by Justices O’Connor and Thomas. O’Connor later told an audience of ASU law students that Kelo was “pretty scary” and “fuzzy jurisprudence.” Is Justice O’Connor a court basher too? 

A further example:Illegal immigration. Plyler v. Doe, 457 US 202 (1982), another 5/4 decision, that opened the floodgates, and left the People - to pay the “check.”   

Finally, Brandenburg concludes Brawl: “The courts that protect our rights need their own permanent campaign to counter the war rooms arrayed against them.” But aren’t we always told that the judiciary is non-political, above the fray, independent? So instead of holding miscreant judges accountable, Brandenburg and cronies want the judiciary to go on a permanent campaign. He’s admitted what we knew all along: the judiciary’s mostly just a bunch of politicos, junkets, juice and all, just like the other two twigs.

All we ask is a most basic covenant of life, something we all owe and ask of each other: individual accountability.

The People vehemently disagree with you Mr. Brandenburg. Readers check out the blogs at Slate's Jurisprudence Discussion. Honestly, Mr. Brandenburg does not work for us. Mr. Brandenburg please write some more pieces. And Slate please publish them.

*Gary L. Zerman is an attorney licensed in California and Arizona. He is counsel and a media representative for South Dakota Judicial Accountability Committee – SDJA – a grass roots citizens group, the sponsors of Amendment E.

Gary Zerman Email

Referenced materials

1)       Call for a federal inspector general over federal judiciary.  4/25/06 Associated Press, 2 Lawmakers Call for Judiciary Watchdog, by Laurie Kellman; 4/27/06 U.S. Newswire, Sennsenbrenner, Grassley Introduce Legislation Establishing an Inspector General for the Judicial Branch; 5/22/06 Los Angeles Daily Journal,Criticism Mounts That Judiciary Lacks Self Discipline – Congressman Wants An Inspector General To Ensure Unethical Judges Are Punished, by Lawrence Hurley.

2)       Judge Manuel Real.  1/18/04 LA Times, Judge [Real] May Face Sanctions, by Henry Weinstein; 10/3/05 Metropolitan News-Enterprise, Ninth Circuit Panel Tosses Misconduct Case Against Manuel Real, by Kenneth Ofgand; 12/6/05 Contra Costa Times (LA Times), DuPont Racketeering Suits Reinstated, by Myron Levin; 5/7/06 LA Times, Complaint Against Judge Has Broader Ramifications, by Henry Weinstein; 7/28/06 LA Times Editorial, Judicial Undersight.

3)       6/2/06 Los Angeles Daily Journal, Chief Judge to Set Up Panel for 7-Year-Old Misconduct Case, by Amelia Hansen.

4)       1/18/06 San Jose Mercury News-Associated Press, House Chairman Seek Probe, Possible Impeachment of LA Judge, by Erica Werner; 1/19/06 Los angels Daily Journal, Congressman’s Gambit Puts Judge on Path to Impeachment, by Lawrence Hurley; 7/18/06 LA Times, Impeachment Inquiry of Judge Sought, by Henry Weinstein.

5)       Impeachment of federal judges.   See U.S. v. Hastings, 681 F.2d 706 (1982), at 709, footnote 7, stating “Nine federal judges have been impeached and brought to trial before the Senate.”  That would be only nine judges over 193 years, at that time.

6)       99% of complaints against federal judges–dismissed w/o discipline8/7/02 Las Vegas review Journal – Associated Press, Self-policing Federal Judges Rarely Impose Penalties, by Anne Gearan, which reported that “Of 766 ethical complaints last year [2001], only one resulted in a penalty…  [P] In the single case last year in which the judge was punished, the penalty was a private censure and no details, not even the judge’s name were released.”  1/766 is .0013!; 8/7/02 Los Angeles Daily Journal (same AP article, extended version), Federal Judges Seldom Discipline Colleagues; 1/18/04 LA Times, Judge [Real] May Face Sanctions, by Henry Weinstein, which reported “…More than 99% of the complaints filed against federal judges around the country are dismissed out of hand.  The 9th Circuit Judicial Council has reprimanded only two jurists in the last decade, while rejecting hundreds of complaints, according to official records.”  

7)       Justice Alex Kozinski, 9th Circuit Court of Appeals - dissent.  10/1/05 The Recorder, 9th Circuit’s Kozinski Blasts L.A. Judge, Majority in Discipline Case, by Justine Scheck; 10/1/06 LA Times, L.A. Judge Avoids Sanctions by Panel – A Judicial Council does not Punish the Federal Jurist, Who Improperly Took Over a Bankruptcy Case – Two Judges File blistering Dissents, by Henry Weinstein10/3/05.

8)       For Justice Kozinski’s dissent, see In re:  Complaint of Judicial Misconduct, No. 03-89037, Order, filed September 27, 2005, (9th Cir. Judicial Council).

9)       Judicial Junkets.   12/20/04 Press, Senate Seek Legislation on Ethics for Judicial Trips, by Jim Abrams; 1/12/06 Human Event, Justice by Junket,by Ken Connor; 1/20/06 NY Times, Tripping Up on Trips:  Judges Love Junkets as Much as Tom Delay Does, by Dorothy Samuels-Editorial Observer; 1/27/06 LA Times Editorial, Justice and Junkets; 1/28/06 Rocky Mountain News, Scalia ‘Junket’ Defended, by Karen Abbott; 1/30/06, Political Spotlight Shine on Judicial Ethics; 4/18/06 Washington Post, Ethics Lapses by Federal Judges Persist, Review Finds, by Joe Stephens; 4/28/06, CRC Report Says Increased Amount of ‘Junket for Judges,’ by Tony Mauro; 5/1/06,Watchdog Group Singles Out ‘Junketing Judges’, Tony Mauro; 5/3/06 USA Today,How to influence Judges; 5/08/06 Houston Chronical, Area Judge Ranked 4th in free Trips, by Harvey Rice

10)    Juice v. Justice.  3-Part Series by LA Times, titled JUICE V. JUSTICE by staff writers Michael Goodman and William C. Rempel..  Part I, 6/8/06 In Las Vegas, Thy’re Playing With a Stacked Judicial Deck – Some Judges Routinely Rule in Cases Involving Friends, Former Clients and Business Associates – and if Favor of Lawyers Who Fill their Campaign Coffers; Part II, 6/906 For a Vegas Judge and His Friends, One Good Turn Led to Another – James Mahan Got His Jobs on the State and Federal Benches Through connections of Old Pal George Swarts – Things Turned Out Well for Swarts Too; and, Part III, 6/10/06 How Some Judges Stay Under the Radar – some Senior Judges Are Exempt From Some Rules of Accountability – The Career of 3 Jurists Reflect The Ethical Questions That Can Result.

Follow up articles re above Las Vegas series by LA Times:  6/14/06 Series on Las Vegas Judges renews Calls for Reform; 6/18/06 John L. Smith:  Unflattering Series on Judges Unlikely to Alter system, but Could Change Players;  6/23/06 Three Las Vegas Judges Face High Court Review – In Response to Times Investigation, Nevada’s Justices want the Senior Jurists to Answer Conflict-Of-Interest and Favoritism Allegations; 6/25/06 Inquiry Sought Into Vegas Jurist – The 9th Circuit Might Already be Planning to Act on Complaints About Judge James C. Mahan.

11)    Justice O’Connor.  Her comments referenced in this piece re the Kelo v. City of New London, No. 04-108, decided June 28, 2005, are found in 9/20/05 The Arizona Republic –, O’Connor Notes ‘Scary’ Court Decision, by Joe Kamman.