Skip to comments.JUDGE EDITH H. JONES Tells Harvard Law School: "American Legal System Is Corrupt Beyond Recognition"
Posted on 07/07/2005 12:18:17 PM PDT by Liz
Judge Edith H. Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit talks to members of Harvard Law School's Fed-eralist Society. Jones said that the question of what is mor-ally right is routinely sacrificed to what is politically expedient.
The American legal system has been corrupted almost beyond recognition, Judge Edith Jones of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, told the Federalist Society of Harvard Law School on February 28.
She said that the question of what is morally right is routinely sacrificed to what is politically expedient. The change has come because legal philosophy has descended to nihilism. "The integrity of law, its religious roots, its transcendent quality are disappearing. I saw the movie 'Chicago' with Richard Gere the other day. That's the way the public thinks about lawyers," she told the students.
"The first 100 years of American lawyers were trained on Blackstone, who wrote that: 'The law of nature . dictated by God himself . is binding . in all counties and at all times; no human laws are of any validity if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all force and all their authority . from this original.' The Framers created a government of limited power with this understanding of the rule of law - that it was dependent on transcendent religious obligation," said Jones.
She said that the business about all of the Founding Fathers being deists is "just wrong," or "way overblown." She says they believed in "faith and reason," and this did not lead to intolerance. "This is not a prescription for intolerance or narrow sectarianism," she continued, "for unalienable rights were given by God to all our fellow citizens. Having lost sight of the moral and religious foundations of the rule of law, we are vulnerable to the destruction of our freedom, our equality before the law and our self-respect. It is my fervent hope that this new century will experience a revival of the original understanding of the rule of law and its roots.
"The answer is a recovery of moral principle, the sine qua non of an orderly society. Post 9/11, many events have been clarified. It is hard to remain a moral relativist when your own people are being killed."
According to the judge, the first contemporary threat to the rule of law comes from within the legal system itself.
Alexis de Tocqueville, author of Democracy in America and one of the first writers to observe the United States from the outside looking-in, "described lawyers as a natural aristocracy in America," Jones told the students. "The intellectual basis of their profession and the study of law based on venerable precedents bred in them habits of order and a taste for formalities and predictability." As Tocqueville saw it, "These qualities enabled attorneys to stand apart from the passions of the majority.
Lawyers were respected by the citizens and able to guide them and moderate the public's whims. Lawyers were essential to tempering the potential tyranny of the majority. "Some lawyers may still perceive our profession in this flattering light, but to judge from polls and the tenor of lawyer jokes, I doubt the public shares Tocqueville's view anymore, and it is hard for us to do so.
"The legal aristocracy have shed their professional independence for the temptations and materialism associated with becoming businessmen. Because law has become a self-avowed business, pressure mounts to give clients the advice they want to hear, to pander to the clients' goal through deft manipulation of the law. While the business mentality produces certain benefits, like occasional competition to charge clients lower fees, other adverse effects include advertising and shameless self-promotion. The legal system has also been wounded by lawyers who themselves no longer respect the rule of law,"
The judge quoted Kenneth Starr as saying, "It is decidedly unchristian to win at any cost," and added that most lawyers agree with him. However, "An increasingly visible and vocal number apparently believe that the strategic use of anger and incivility will achieve their aims. Others seem uninhibited about making misstatements to the court or their opponents or destroying or falsifying evidence," she claimed. "When lawyers cannot be trusted to observe the fair processes essential to maintaining the rule of law, how can we expect the public to respect the process?"
Lawsuits Do Not Bring 'Social Justice'
Another pernicious development within the legal system is the misuse of lawsuits, according to her. "We see lawsuits wielded as weapons of revenge," she says. "Lawsuits are brought that ultimately line the pockets of lawyers rather than their clients. . The lawsuit is not the best way to achieve social justice, and to think it is, is a seriously flawed hypothesis. There are better ways to achieve social goals than by going into court."
Jones said that employment litigation is a particularly fertile field for this kind of abuse. "Seldom are employment discrimination suits in our court supported by direct evidence of race or sex-based animosity. Instead, the courts are asked to revisit petty interoffice disputes and to infer invidious motives from trivial comments or work-performance criticism. Recrimination, second-guessing and suspicion plague the workplace when tenuous discrimination suits are filed . creating an atmosphere in which many corporate defendants are forced into costly settlements because they simply cannot afford to vindicate their positions. "While the historical purpose of the common law was to compensate for individual injuries, this new litigation instead purports to achieve redistributive social justice.
Scratch the surface of the attorneys' self-serving press releases, however, and one finds how enormously profitable social redistribution is for those lawyers who call themselves 'agents of change.'"Jones wonders, "What social goal is achieved by transferring millions of dollars to the lawyers, while their clients obtain coupons or token rebates."
The judge quoted George Washington who asked in his Farewell Address, "Where is the security for property, for reputation, for life, if the sense of religious obligation desert the oaths in courts of justice?" Similarly, asked Jones, how can a system founded on law survive if the administrators of the law daily display their contempt for it?
"Lawyers' private morality has definite public consequences," she said. "Their misbehavior feeds on itself, encouraging disrespect and debasement of the rule of law as the public become encouraged to press their own advantage in a system they perceive as manipulatable." The second threat to the rule of law comes from government, which is encumbered with agencies that have made the law so complicated that it is difficult to decipher and often contradicts itself.
"Agencies have an inherent tendency to expand their mandate," says Jones. "At the same time, their decision-making often becomes parochial and short-sighted. They may be captured by the entities that are ostensibly being regulated, or they may pursue agency self-interest at the expense of the public welfare. Citizens left at the mercy of selective and unpredictable agency action have little recourse."
Jones recommends three books by Philip Howard: The Death of Common Sense, The Collapse of the Common Good and The Lost Art of Drawing the Line, which further delineate this problem. The third and most comprehensive threat to the rule of law arises from contemporary legal philosophy.
"Throughout my professional life, American legal education has been ruled by theories like positivism, the residue of legal realism, critical legal studies, post-modernism and other philosophical fashions," said Jones. "Each of these theories has a lot to say about the 'is' of law, but none of them addresses the 'ought,' the moral foundation or direction of law." Jones quoted Roger C. Cramton, a law professor at Cornell University, who wrote in the 1970s that "the ordinary religion of the law school classroom" is "a moral relativism tending toward nihilism, a pragmatism tending toward an amoral instrumentalism, a realism tending toward cynicism, an individualism tending toward atomism, and a faith in reason and democratic processes tending toward mere credulity and idolatry."
No 'Great Awakening' In Law School Classrooms
The judge said ruefully, "There has been no Great Awakening in the law school classroom since those words were written." She maintained that now it is even worse because faith and democratic processes are breaking down."The problem with legal philosophy today is that it reflects all too well the broader post-Enlightenment problem of philosophy," Jones said. She quoted Ernest Fortin, who wrote in Crisis magazine: "The whole of modern thought . has been a series of heroic attempts to reconstruct a world of human meaning and value on the basis of our purely mechanistic understanding of the universe."
Jones said that all of these threats to the rule of law have a common thread running through them, and she quoted Professor Harold Berman to identify it: "The traditional Western beliefs in the structural integrity of law, its ongoingness, its religious roots, its transcendent qualities, are disappearing not only from the minds of law teachers and law students but also from the consciousness of the vast majority of citizens, the people as a whole; and more than that, they are disappearing from the law itself. The law itself is becoming more fragmented, more subjective, geared more to expediency and less to morality. . The historical soil of the Western legal tradition is being washed away . and the tradition itself is threatened with collapse."
Judge Jones concluded with another thought from George Washington: "Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports. In vain would that man claim the tribute of patriotism who should labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness - these firmest props of the duties of men and citizens."
Upon taking questions from students, Judge Jones recommended Michael Novak's book, On Two Wings: Humble Faith and Common Sense. "Natural law is not a prescriptive way to solve problems," Jones said. "It is a way to look at life starting with the Ten Commandments."
Natural law provides "a framework for government that permits human freedom," Jones said. "If you take that away, what are you left with? Bodily senses? The will of the majority? The communist view? What is it - 'from each according to his ability, to each according to his need?' I don't even remember it, thank the Lord," she said to the amusement of the students. "I am an unabashed patriot - I think the United States is the healthiest society in the world at this point in time," Jones said, although she did concede that there were other ways to accommodate the rule of law, such as constitutional monarchy.
"Our legal system is way out of kilter," she said. "The tort litigating system is wreaking havoc. Look at any trials that have been conducted on TV. These lawyers are willing to say anything."
Potential Nominee to Supreme Court
Judge Edith Jones has been mentioned as a potential nominee to the Supreme Court in the Bush administration, but does not relish the idea. "Have you looked at what people have to go through who are nominated for federal appointments? They have to answer questions like, 'Did you pay your nanny taxes?' 'Is your yard man illegal?' "In those circumstances, who is going to go out to be a federal judge?"
Judge Edith H. Jones has a B.A. from Cornell University and a J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law. She was appointed to the Fifth Circuit by President Ronald Reagan in 1985. Her office is in the U.S. Courthouse in Houston.
The Federalist Society was founded in 1982 when a group of law students from Harvard, Stanford, the University of Chicago and Yale organized a symposium on federalism at Yale Law School. These students were unhappy with the academic climate on their campuses for some of the reasons outlined by Judge Jones. The Federalist Society was created to be a forum for a wider range of legal viewpoints than they were hearing in the course of their studies.
From the four schools mentioned above, the Society has grown to include over 150 law school chapters. The Harvard chapter, with over 250 members, is one of the nation's largest and most active. They seek to contribute to civilized dialogue at the Law School by providing a libertarian and conservative voice on campus and by sponsoring speeches and debates on a wide range of legal and policy issues.
The Federalist Society consists of libertarians and conservatives interested in the current state of the legal profession. It is founded on three principles: 1) the state exists to preserve freedom, 2) the separation of governmental powers is central to our Constitution and 3) it is emphatically the province and duty of the judiciary to state what the law is, not what it should be.
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Not knowing anything about the case, there are a couple of points. First, this may have been an appointed public defender. Second, the error may not have mattered. The Court will have reviewed the testimony and the appellant will have to have argued that something in the transcript was improper and that an error at trial occurred because of it which would not have occurred if the lawyer had not been asleep at the swich. Third, those who see this as an outrargeous possibility miss the fact that a lot of judges allow a lot of irrelevant testimony to drag on and on and the only defense is to sleep through it.
Good God where is Larry Sommers. This outfit needs to be banned and these students expelled for inciting to riot.
Thank you for the link, and having read it I would disagree. I think Jones will prove the much more able jurist because I think she is much more grounded in the real world.
In fact, I find Brown a bit disturbing. Someone who tries to analyze our current predicaments by drawing a straight line from Procul Harem through the New Deal will end up falling off the tracks.
Perhaps the resulting ascendencey of liberilism and 50 year dominance of Democrats is the result of the New Deal, but the bury your head in the sand attitude of the Republicans in response to the credit collapse and the depression is more the cause of that then any measures to restore economic activity to a moribund economy.
One can just as well blame it all on credit cycles. Now a good conservative would argue that over-expansion of credit is a very very bad thing, but that is not the fault of having a public sector and big government. In fact, one of the reasons for the creation of central banks is that private banks were just as capable of expanding credit and creating subsequent collapses as is the public sector. The most recent financial system shocks have been the result of the expansion of credit through derivatives, which is almost entirely a private phenomenon.
I am, in fact, very concerned about conservatives who believe that large unaccountable private institutions are somehow less of a threat to individual liberties than are public institutions, this after Enron.
Well, you're correct that the Great Depression is significant in a number of important ways. I also think our public schools and society has created a number of myths about the great depression.
But as many modern economists are now suggesting, and contrary to popular belief, Roosevelt's higher government spending on his many new programs combined with higher taxes and shrinking of state power actually prolonged and deepened the Great Depression. A good illustration of FDR's role in this can be found in Jim Powell's book, "FDR's Folly" (1). Today we are stuck with many growth retarding programs like Medicaid, Social Security, and countless others that have far outlived their useful (hurtful) purpose. These programs have and continue to drain trillions from our GDP and have fostered corruption by the powers given to the many created regulatory agencies.
But, in their eagerness to blame Roosevelt, Conservatives today often forget that Republican President Herbert Hoover is credited with triggering the Great Depression by drastically reducing the money supply, ostensibly in order to prevent it. He also responded disastrously by passing the Revenue Act of 1932 which increased the top income tax rate from 25% to 63% with the aim being to restore business confidence by reducing the deficit. The results of this tax increase was an even greater deficit, plummeting tax revenues and a greater Depression (5). If President Hoover had more gradually and reasonably tightened the money supply and cut taxes when the depression first hit, the outcome might have been far different.
So, I love that JRB attacks Roosevelt for what he is, the worst president ever in the history of the United Sates. But you're point about private and public similarities in overrextending credit etc.. is well taken and valid. But, if they are both the same, then why not just keep it private?
"I am, in fact, very concerned about conservatives who believe that large unaccountable private institutions are somehow less of a threat to individual liberties than are public institutions, this after Enron."
I think this is a criminal case, executives stealing from employees (by nulifiying their promised pensions/health benefits etc..) and should be prosecuted as such.
I often hear this argument, that private companies can become just as tyrannical as government. I believe this to be false. Private companies cannot make law. Private companies cannot throw you in jail if you do not comply with their laws. Government does this all the time, in order to, in effect, legally steal from us, or enabling private companies to do so. (some examples):
So, I believe Government will always be a greater threat than any private institution.
Janice Rogers Brown believes this, which is why I support her for the SCOTUS. Some more quotes by JRB:
That New Deal Programs and the liberals that begate them have long outlive their usefulness is a long valid criticism. The criticism that the new deal sustained the depression is a bit hard to defend. Everytime programs were cut back or not renewed unemployment went up and economic growth slowed again - which is why Roosevelt was able to continue to expand these programs despite prolonged criticism from the Republicans, from the Supreme Court and from members of his own party, including his own treasury secretary. Now you might make the argument that you cannot measure the situation by looking at small fluctuations and that the only possible program for success was for the government to stay out of it altogether.
The Republicans had plenty of time and opportunity to attempt to demonstrate that thesis and failed. Now maybe you could argue that they should have been given 20 years. That is a generation though and no one has the tolerance to stand high unemployment for a generation to prove a point. It is political suicide. It was for the Repubicans at the time.
Roosevelt won 4 terms and he is dead. Stop fighting that battle. The vital issue for the Republicans should be a positive program to do the best for the citizenry of the US now given the world situation as it is today.
Well, the great depression was something different because it had already lasted may years before Roosevelt took office. It had already proven itself impervious to the normal efforts to expand credit which assumes that there is someone wanting to expand his business and will do so upon the supply of credit on acceptable terms. When no one is credit worthy and no one can put together a sound business plan for expansion because he has no potential customers, then you have a structural problem which requires a different kind of solution than the one the interest rate technocrats can provide.
Well, I don't. They both bear watching.
So, I believe Government will always be a greater threat than any private institution.
Well, I don't. They both bear watching.
I think you will find history supports me. Recall the British East India company, a private company that actually governed, created the laws for parts of india and did quite well. This isn't a good example because the private company WAS the government.
But what is the worst thing a private company ever did? Now, what is the worst thing government ever did? See the difference? In fact, private companies only become dangerous when they use and manipulate government. The less power government has the less 'influence' 'wealth' and 'power' it will have to market to private companies and 'do things' in their interest.
Agree with your criticism about 'many modern economists'.
But what the New Deal did was it stole, via taxes, money from productive businesses and gave it to the unemployed to create useless earthworks and money loosers like the TVA (Tennessee Valley Authority). This is bad economics. Creating entitlement programs, taking money from productive businesses that would be hiring and giving it to people for no reason is bad economics.
It had lasted 2-3 years before Roosevelt took office and you had Hoover raising taxes from 25-65% (or whatever it was)... which further deepened it. This is not often cited, which was why I think it is important.
To raise the top rate to 65% during peacetime? Especially right after the market crashed? This, more than anything, probably exacerbated the GD.
Roosevelt also launched massive farm subsidies during this period, yet people were starving. Stealing money from teh rich to raise teh price of grain for everyone.
I understand what your saying about the credit problem, but don't see how raising taxes and redistributing wealth and creating entitlement programs helps this.
Everytime programs were cut back or not renewed unemployment went up and economic growth slowed again - which is why Roosevelt was able to continue to expand these programs despite prolonged criticism from the Republicans, from the Supreme Court and from members of his own party, including his own treasury secretary.
I'm not sure this argument can be backed up. It is difficult to determine what is causing what. Lagging/leading indicators etc...
I don't think these programs should ever have been started and think they prolonged teh Great Depression.
But I agree, it is better to focus on the future than on the past. I would like to read more on the great depression. FDR's folly, was very illustrative, but other POV are welcome.
And as far as the Republicans at the time of the GD... I think they blew it when they raised taxes and reacted 'liberally', so to speak, to the GD.
You are wrong, too. Judge Jones did not write the opinion in Burdine. It was written by Judge Barksdale. I'm very glad you aren't a senator since you don't do your homework.
Suggest you learn a bit more history than you think you know about this. You picked a very very bad example to support your point of view.
The problem that was faced in the great depression was a structural problem. Because of the collapse of credit and the impact on the economy, there was a sharp decline in jobs. Because of the sharp decline in jobs, there was a sharp decline in private demand. Because of the drop in private demand there were further declines in jobs.
This is a classic monetary depression that Milton Friedman wrote about so well.
When, because of a collapse of credit, there is no private demand, you cannot stimulate the economy by creating more credit because no one wants it to invest to create jobs (Japan has been going through that problem over the last several years, and it is only the very strong hand of government that has prevented a monetary crisis turning into massive unemployment).
The only way to get money into the hands of private parties to increase demand is to print it and put it in the hands of those who you wish to start spending. That is exactly what the New Deal did. But, because Roosevelt recognized the danger of just handing out money, he created jobs programs and made people do some sort of work to earn their handouts.
The subsequent fate of such programs as the TVA or the Bonneville Power administration, and such losing money because they sell power at below market rates has nothing to do with the New Deal. It has to do with Congress not being able to bite the bullet and make these operations charge market rates (their industrial consumers such as the aluminum and aircraft industries very much enjoy paying lower than fair market value for electricity.)
That you cannot cut a government program once it has been created is the fault of our current politicians, and not the fault of the creators of the program.
Two things. We were not there, and I don't think you realize how much wealth was concentrated in how few hands at the time. One does not have to be anti-capitalist to recognize that Vanderbilt did not earn all of his money by either the sweat of his own brow or the product of his own invetion. Nor did most of the other "grand" capitalists.
let me ask this. If you believe in the power of unbridled capitalism, do you also believe in the power of individuals to join together to fix the price of their labor? Or do your free market ideas just work one way and not the other?
well, there are plenty of examples of governments destorying all their industry, killing their people etc...
private companies don't do this. It would be 'unprofitable'. :)
thats my point. The British East India company isn't relvavent to our discussion (as I admitted), but does tie in a bit with adam smith's 'nation of shopkeepers'.
And just think, Bush/41 selected Souter over her!
Well, we are in agreement with the causes of a recession and the credit problem etc... And yea, you need to get money in peoples hands.
So, sounds like a good time for a... TAX CUT RATHER THAN A TAX HIKE!
Since wealth is created, going after inequality is mostly a moot point. The wealthiest countries are the most unequal in dollar amount, but the poorest countries are the most unequal in terms of what the richest adn poorest consume. Example, in North Korea the corrupt and thieving government class live like 'kings' but no better than our middle class, while the poor starve, but our billionaries are more 'unequal' then our middle class. If this makes sense.
More on this:
(graph on this link)
And I don't believe your characterization of the 'capitalists' is correct. I read a paper the other day on how standard oil lowered prices drastically for nearly all of its consumers, yet in history books today (at least in our public skrewls) is demaguaged as a robber baron entity.
Yes, I agree that a group can band together and fix their price of labor. BUT I think an employer can have every right to fire the lot of them (which they can't do under current labor laws). In fact, it would be a foolish employer who ever let a union take over his/her factory.
By and large Unions are a scourge on society today and bankrupt company after company.
btw, have you seen this chart:
The only time in America history when there was a net immigration away from the country was during the great depression (I contend due to the socialistic policies of the Roosevelt Admin and the hoover admin):
(this is more FYI, it doesn't really have much bearing on our discussion either way)
Counter-cyclical monetary policies seem to work for the ordinary business cycle. The depression was not an ordinary business cycle. A tax cut certainly provides no relief to the 30% who were unemployed.
I like the way this woman thinks! Someone persuade her that the Supreme Court and the country need her.
A tax cut certainly provides no relief to the 30% who were unemployed.
Disagree. It puts more money in peoples hands, which is what you said was needed. Even if the tax cuts benefited only the 'rich', these are the people that own small businesses and factories etc.. and so would buy more luxery goods, expand employment and thus grow their businesses, create demand in teh economy, and lower the number of unemployed. It seems better to put the money in the hands of the people then to give it to those doing useless tasks, an action you seem to be defending.
"It would be nice however to see her tangle with Kennedy, Leahy and Schumer."
She would sentence these losers to hard time or death for treason.
"I am, in fact, very concerned about conservatives who believe that large unaccountable private institutions are somehow less of a threat to individual liberties than are public institutions, this after Enron."
Private institutions, large or small, do not coerce you into interacting with them. Public institutions usually require, under threat of some form of penalty, that we interact with them.
Good grief, where do you live - on a mountain top in Idaho?
I suppose my interaction with PEPCO (Potomac Electric Power Compay) is entirely voluntary and any time I choose I can decide to go without electricity. Likewise I can dispense with the services of Verizon. Can I dispense with interacting with the bill collector trying to collect a bill for a service I never purchased?
I suppose the coal miners in West Virginia who protested mining conditions did have the right to pack up and leave and seek employment elsewhere - as soon as they settled their debts with the company store and the company housing authority, etc.
I don't think you have any clue of the magnitude of the monetary crisis that then existed. The problem was not trying to kick in an additional 5% of circulating funds to clear an inventory of few unsold Louis Vuitton handbags or a yacht or two. The problem was to try to make up for an enormous contraction in credit which resulted in the collapse in the market for yachts, houses, etc. I don't have the exact numbers in front of me, but what we would call M3 today contracted by well over 50%, which represented a large multiple on the dollar bills in circulation. The sudden creation of enormous excess inventories of these things meant a several decade backlog to clear the overhang.
Even Milton Friedman will tell you that the consequences of dramatic deflation are, well, dramatic, and the only solution is to print money and hand it out to those who will spend it.
I also think you miss the entire point of the various conservative economic schools, such as Ludwig von Mises. Their prescription is never to have expanded credit as much as has had happened in the first place so that you don't create the bubble that then, inevitably they would tell you, collapsed. They have little to tell you about what to do after a bubble collapse, except perhaps, as you advocate, do nothing.
Likeminded conservatives of the 30's, however, took the prescription to do nothing to their political graves. The voting public would not stand for it.
Also a tax cut on the rich would only very partially make up for the collapse in their own earning capability brought on by the collapse in demand for the prodcuts of their factories because of the high unemployment among the segments of the population that would normally have purchased those goods.
Your let them eat cake attitude is very sweet.
? So far we agree on the solution, but disagree on how to achieve the solution. My solution is to lower taxes to solve the credit problem, yours is to spend gov money on earthworks and entitlements.
"Even Milton Friedman will tell you that the consequences of dramatic deflation are, well, dramatic, and the only solution is to print money and hand it out to those who will spend it."
I can't believe Milton Friedman would support gov subsidies to interest groups over tax cuts to all.
"Likeminded conservatives of the 30's, however, took the prescription to do nothing to their political graves. The voting public would not stand for it."
No, as documented, they voted for massive and unprecedented tax hikes.
Your post clearly implied that Judge Jones was the AUTHOR of the Burdine opinion. ("Judge Jones' opinion in Burdine"; The 5th Circuit sitting en banc reversed her").
Please tell me what opinions Judge Jones has written that would cause you to say that "she believes that anything the government does in criminal case is OK, even perjury, false evidence, framing an innocent person" and that "She just doesn't get the 'innocent until proven guilty'or 'due process' thing." I've read every opinion she's written, and I defy you to name one in which she approved of the framing of an innocent person. I think you just don't like her.
Milton Friedman would not endorse creating the monetary bubble that creates the problem in the first place. A 10% tax cut is pi$$ing in the wind when you have a 50% collapse in monetary flows.
Well, how 'bout a 50% tax cut then?
Read later bump
Hmmm. This causes one to wonder about the outcome of a legal action regarding the instance of a functionary (law enforcement) refusing to honor the 4th. Amendments compulsory, "oath or affirmation" , with regard to acquiring a search warrant. Could the LEO claim religious issues if he is an atheist? A Muslim? Is the 4th. Amendment in violation of the 1st. Amendment by requiring an "oath or affirmation? Should law enforcement be compelled by the Constitution to have moral scruples?
All we would need is one detective to refuse to swear, or affirm, upon his conscience that the probable cause was true by which he is asking a magistrate to issue a search warrant and would be a violation of his 1st. Amendment rights.
Go to it, ACLU!
I'm off to the Washington State Supreme Court with my petition to recall Christine Gregoire. During the sufficiency hearing, the judge ruled that the members of the Washington State Supreme Court have the inherent power to intentionally violate the Washington Constitution, to obstruct justice, violate Title 18 US Code 241 and 242; and that based on the separation of powers doctrine, has no authority to order the investigation and prosecution of state supreme court justices who commit mail fraud, obstruct justice and otherwise violate Title 18 US Code section 1962(c) and (d) (RICO).
That was his exact ruling, though he did not use those exact words.
ping this, as today she's the front runner
ping for later
ping to read later - wonderful stuff! Nominate this woman to the Supreme Court, Mr. Bush!
Premptive strike against a possible nominee?
Thank you for the excellent post. You are so right..."we are ready and waiting for Edith"...and we've needed her for way too long.
"You're right. Judge Jones' opinion in Burdine will doom her, as well it should. I read that case, and it was WAY worse than it sounds.
"The 5th Circuit sitting en banc reversed her, but the damage was done. She'll never be confirmed or I suspect even nominated."
IT SHOULD BE ATTEMPTED ANYWAY!
aint no way the senate, with or without filibuster, is going to let her in to replace anyone to the left of Scalia.
Hope Hon Jones is on Bush's A list.
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