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Archive for the ‘judiciary’ Category

“Anybody want to hear the one about the audio recording the cops said didn’t exist? “

Posted by Charles II on January 1, 2015

A California attorney has begun posting diaries on Daily Kos regarding cases he has defended. They are extremely entertaining. His first:

The transcript was a window into the heart of darkness. Bill apparently thought Stoney was a cop come to reward him for setting up Dave. He apparently wanted everybody to know what a good job he had done. He spared no details. He told about how he was in jail for burglary, drugs, and perjury when the detective approached him with a deal to lighten his sentence. All he had to do was go out and set up Dave. He was instructed in detail as to how he was to approach Dave. He reported his progress regularly to the detective. The detective introduced him to Joyce and told him how use her to get into Dave’s confidence. Bill said he was always afraid Joyce was a cop and actually asked Stoney if she was. Finally, Stoney identified himself as a private investigator working for the defense attorney. Bill was stunned. He asked for an attorney. Stoney advised him that he was going to be confronted in court with the statements he had just made. Bill said “What do I care? I’m in here for perjury anyway!”

Forward to the preliminary hearing. Bill testified under oath to the detective’s version of the story. My turn. I asked Bill if he had ever met the couple sitting in the second row of the courtroom. He looked out and saw Stoney and the stenographer. At that point, I handed a copy of the transcript to that smarmy lying bastard of a DA. He read a couple of sentences and asked for a recess. When we came back, he abruptly dismissed the charges regarding the pill sales.

His latest:

I have contended that the greatest power a license to practice law confers is the power to compel powerful people to testify under oath. But police have developed a countermeasure. It’s called lying. It’s a powerful device because it’s institutionally protected. Few lawyers can beat them head on. They will always be “believed.” Cops sardonically call it “testilying.” However, there is a workaround. It involves maneuvering them into telling the wrong lies. To do this, you have to exploit a common character flaw – hubris. Cops who lie are generally infected with a compulsion for dominance. They need to let you know they are lying and that you can’t do anything about it. That’s why I love to tell about the missing tape recording.

Posted in evil, government malfeasance, judiciary, liars | 1 Comment »

Impeach them all

Posted by Charles II on December 29, 2014

Erwin Chemerinsky had a brilliant presentation on his book, “The Case Against the Supreme Court”. Watch or read if you can.

Posted in abuse of power, judiciary, Supreme Court | Comments Off on Impeach them all

Supreme Court is so corrupt that even Linda Greenhouse has to say it

Posted by Charles II on November 14, 2014

Thanks to Jonathan Tasini for highlighting a Linda Greenhouse Op-Ed that says, in black and white in the New York Times, that the Supreme Court is doing politics by taking up a challenge to the Affordable Care Act.

Nearly a week has gone by since the Supreme Court’s unexpected decision to enlist in the latest effort to destroy the Affordable Care Act, and the shock remains unabated. “This is Bush v. Gore all over again,” one friend said as we struggled to absorb the news last Friday afternoon. “No,” I replied. “It’s worse.”

There was [in the ACA case, unlike Bush v. Gore] no urgency. There was no crisis of governance, not even a potential one.

the case the court agreed to decide, King v. Burwell, doesn’t fit the normal criterion for Supreme Court review.

So no, this isn’t Bush v. Gore. This is a naked power grab by conservative justices who two years ago just missed killing the Affordable Care Act in its cradle, before it fully took effect.

Professor [John] Yoo, formerly of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel and now at the University of California at Berkeley, wrote that the new case gave the chief justice “the chance to atone for his error in upholding Obamacare” and that “it will be the mission of his chief justiceship to repair the damage.”

In decades of court-watching, I have struggled — sometimes it has seemed against all odds — to maintain the belief that the Supreme Court really is a court and not just a collection of politicians in robes. This past week, I’ve found myself struggling against the impulse to say two words: I surrender.

Why should any citizen respect the decisions of the courts when they are just political organs, cranking out pre-determined decisions to oppress the poor and the sick in favor of the rich and powerful? Without the courts being perceived as just, what nation can stand?

Posted in judicial rulings, judiciary, Supreme Court | 7 Comments »

Noted with interest

Posted by Charles II on August 11, 2014

Josh Marshall, TPM (via Barbara Morrill, DK)

US District Court Judge Mark Fuller was arrested Sunday morning and charged with misdemeanor battery for assaulting his wife. Police responded to a call from the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Atlanta. Fuller’s wife said her husband had assaulted her; she was treated for wounds by paramedics but declined to be taken to a hospital.

Fuller is best known for presiding over the trial of former Alabama Gov. Don Siegelman (D), which Siegelman’s supporters believe – with some reason – was a politically motivated prosecution.

Fuller is a judge in the Middle District of Alabama.

Posted in DoJ, Don Siegelman, judiciary | 1 Comment »

A most dangerous case

Posted by Charles II on June 3, 2014


In one of the most significant press freedom cases in decades, the U.S. Supreme Court has turned down the appeal of a New York Times reporter who faces prison for refusing to reveal a confidential source. James Risen had asked the court to overturn a ruling forcing him to testify in the criminal trial of ex-CIA analyst Jeffrey Sterling. Prosecutors believe Sterling gave Risen information on the CIA’s role in disrupting Iran’s nuclear program [in the course of which, the CIA handed the blueprints for a functioning weapon to Iran]. Risen vowed to go to prison rather than testify and was hoping for Supreme Court intervention. But on Monday, the Supreme Court refused to weigh in, effectively siding with the government. The Obama administration must now decide if it will try to force Risen’s testimony and risk sending one of the nation’s most prominent national security journalists to jail.

It’s easy to despise the corporate media, especially the journalists that we see and read, for their cravenness before power and their complicity in the corruption of this nation. Watching Brian Williams question Edward Snowden without once mentioning that Daniel Ellsberg has said that Snowden did the right thing should have opened the eyes of every viewer to just how completely the corporate media serves the interests of the State.

But among the empty shirts, there are a few journalists who put themselves on the line to report the news. Among them is James Risen. That the Obama Administration is likely to prosecute him to coerce testimony about exposing wrongdoing at very high levels makes it clear that the Administration is a better friend to the Security State than it is to the American Constitution. And for the Supreme Court to decline to hear the case is not just a function of the right wingers, but a failure of the so-called “liberals” on the court. As was commented on in DemocracyNow, it’s a blessing that the Roberts Court did not hear the case. Every case they hear, they turn into a perversion and mockery of justice.

This is a most dangerous case.

Posted in judiciary, media, Supreme Court | 2 Comments »

Courts for sale

Posted by Charles II on March 2, 2014

Judith Resnik, NYT:

SHOULD wealthy litigants be able to rent state judges and courthouses to decide cases in private and keep the results secret?

The answer should be an easy no, but if the judges of Delaware’s Chancery Court persuade the United States Supreme Court to take their case and reverse lower federal court rulings outlawing that practice, corporations will, in Delaware, be able to do just that.

Posted in activist judges, corruption, judicial rulings, judiciary | Comments Off on Courts for sale

The patter of little lawsuits

Posted by Charles II on September 22, 2013

Curt Anderson of AP reports at HuffPo that Chiquita is facing lawsuits over its payments to a right-wing Colombian death squad, the AUC. Chiquita has admitted to paying $1.7 M to the AUC, which it called blackmail, and pled guilty to assisting terrorists. It is now facing civil actions in Florida. It has appealed to the 11th Circuit Court on the basis that the victims families can’t prove a connection between the payments and the murders. One would think that Chiquita’s best defense would be that it also made payments to the FARC, the people who the AUC was supposedly fighting while, in fact, terrorizing the entire population.

The 11th Circuit has previously ruled that a Bolivian Minister of Defense can’t be held liable for killings that resulted from his orders, issued on the battlefield, to fire at certain locations. You know, because pulling the trigger doesn’t necessarily mean that someone at where the gun is pointing is going to be wounded and perhaps die. Or whatever.

According to Telesur, the objective of the AUC violence, according to Raúl Emilio Hasbún alias Pedro Ponte o Pedro Bonito, was to displace local communities in areas where Chiquita wished to grow bananas.

It’s not like I expect any lawsuits against American corporations for their crimes to succeed in the present unjust judicial system, but perhaps, like the patter of raindrops on an autumn afternoon, they may awaken Americans to the dark side of our engagement in Latin America.

Posted in judicial rulings, judiciary, Latin America | Comments Off on The patter of little lawsuits

Of all the gin joints in all of the towns of the world… Some of the FISA judges

Posted by Charles II on July 10, 2013

John Shiffman and Kristina Cooke, Reuters:

* Reggie Walton [drug czar under Bush], the current FISA presiding judge, may be best known for two high-profile perjury trials – the one with [Scooter] Libby, who was ultimately pardoned by Bush ….

* James Zagel, who led the Illinois State Police for seven years, co-authored widely-used law school text books on criminal procedure, wrote a critically-acclaimed crime novel, presided over the corruption trial of former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich and appeared as an actor in a 1991 David Mamet movie, ‘Homicide.’ …

* Roger Vinson of Florida, who signed the Verizon order [to provide data to the NSA], is perhaps best known for striking down the Obama Administration’s health care law in 2011. …

* John Bates of Washington, D.C., the judge who served as a Whitewater prosecutor, has dealt blows to the Obama administration in rulings on the indefinite detention of terror suspects. In 2009, Bates ruled that to be held at Guantanamo Bay indefinitely, a detainee must be a member of Al Qaeda, the Taliban or associated groups or have committed belligerent acts. Simply supporting those organizations, he ruled, is not enough. Bates’ term expired in February.

* Mary A. McLaughlin of Pennsylvania is the sole Democrat. She spent three decades working for white-shoe law firms and four years as a prosecutor. In 1995, McLaughlin served as a special counsel to a U.S. Senate subcommittee investigating an alleged FBI cover-up following a fatal shoot-out in Ruby Ridge, Idaho. ….

* Martin Feldman of Louisiana was active in Republican politics from the Eisenhower to Reagan Administrations. He counts as a mentor and clerked for the liberal Republican John Minor Wisdom, an appeals judge credited with issuing significant civil rights rulings during the 1960s. An expert in tax and business law, Feldman most recently presided over litigation related to the Deepwater Horizon/BP oil spill.

* Raymond Dearie of New York, a veteran prosecutor…..

* Thomas Hogan of Washington, D.C. has been involved in several high-profile cases, including a ruling that restricted public access to White House records kept by President Richard Nixon, an order requiring the Library of Congress to keep publishing a Braille version of Playboy for the blind and a decision that directed the government to stop routinely denying security clearances to naturalized Americans born in certain countries.

* Susan Webber Wright of Arkansas is best known as the judge who presided over the sexual harassment case Paula Jones filed against Clinton. Wright ruled that Clinton could postpone the lawsuit until after he left office, but the Supreme Court disagreed. She later held Clinton in contempt of court for lying under oath about a sexual encounter with White House intern Monica Lewinsky. (emphases added)

Two Whitewater figures, including Susan Webber Wright.

Of all the gin joints in all of the towns of the world…

Posted in FISA, judiciary | Comments Off on Of all the gin joints in all of the towns of the world… Some of the FISA judges

As usual, only one man can summarize the healthcare case before the Supreme Court correctly

Posted by Charles II on March 30, 2012

In its entirety:

The following message was released today by the National Alliance of Funeral Directors:

This week, several Republican Supreme Court Justices have argued that the Affordable Care Act supported by the Obama Administration is unconstitutional. At the National Alliance of Funeral Directors, we couldn’t agree more.

It was Revolutionary War hero Patrick Henry who said, in 1775, “Give me liberty or give me death.” From that moment on, legal scholars have agreed that the Constitution guarantees every American the liberty to be dead. Here at the Alliance, we will fight for your right to be dead to the death.

Let’s take a look, if you will, at the Second Amendment of the Constitution, which protects every American’s right to shoot another American. It says nothing about giving the person who is shot health insurance to prevent him from dying. This cherished constitutional right to shoot people and make them dead is currently recognized in all fifty states, most recently Florida.

In commenting on the Affordable Care Act this week, Justice Samuel Alito compared the Obama healthcare plan to burial insurance. Coincidentally, burial insurance is the Republican healthcare plan, and one that we enthusiastically support. Under this plan, every American would be mandated to buy a coffin from one of our member-owned and operated funeral homes. May we recommend the Peaceful Valley Royale,™ a luxury mahogany casket with sienna satin interior and the finest imitation antique nickel handles ($2899).

As the organization representing America’s funeral directors, gravediggers, embalmers and cremators, we are confident that the Supreme Court will ultimately do the right thing and decide that healthcare flies in the face of every American’s constitutional right to the pursuit of deadness. And when they do, we’ll be waiting for you.


The National Alliance of Funeral Directors

Andy Borowitz

Posted in health care, judicial rulings, judiciary, Republicans as cancer, Supreme Court | 4 Comments »

Troy Anthony Davis, 10/9/68 – 9/21/11

Posted by Charles II on September 21, 2011

Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked. –Ex. 23:7

The State of Georgia has slain a man that should never have been found guilty. Among those urging that he not be executed were Pope Benedict, President Jimmy Carter, former Republican Congressman Bob Barr, and former GHW Bush FBI Director William Sessions. A plea was issued by former prison wardens, including the former warden of the prison in which Davis was held (the Georgia Diagnostic Prison) that this conviction was so riddled with doubt that it would haunt those who participated in it for the rest of their lives. Rachel Maddow read their letter. I urge you to listen to it.

It is not that Troy Davis is provably innocent. It is that there is more than reasonable doubt. Davis was alleged to have shot Michael Cooper with the same gun that was used against Officer Mark MacPhail. But he was never tried for shooting Cooper–the case for doing so would have been hopeless as this link should make clear–and the forensics were inconclusive. The gun was never found. The recantations make it clear that there was extensive police coercion used to force the case to a conclusion.

Davis maintained his innocence to the end. Georgia’s Parole Board, Governor, Georgia Supreme Court, and other officials including the US Supreme Court have, I believe, murdered an innocent man. The case is now in God’s hands.

Posted in judicial rulings, judiciary | 1 Comment »

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