I'm from Missouri

This site is named for the famous statement of US Congressman Willard Duncan Vandiver from Missouri : "I`m from Missouri -- you'll have to show me." This site is dedicated to skepticism of official dogma in all subjects. Just-so stories are not accepted here. This is a site where controversial subjects such as evolution theory and the Holocaust may be freely debated.

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

My biggest motivation for creating my own blogs was to avoid the arbitrary censorship practiced by other blogs and various other Internet forums. Censorship will be avoided in my blogs -- there will be no deletion of comments, no closing of comment threads, no holding up of comments for moderation, and no commenter registration hassles. Comments containing nothing but insults and/or ad hominem attacks are discouraged. My non-response to a particular comment should not be interpreted as agreement, approval, or inability to answer.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Backlash against judges

It looks like arrogant judges who think that they can get away with anything may soon get their comeuppances. A recent article in the Los Angeles Times reported:

DENVER — Judges across several Western states could soon face new limits on their authority and threats to their independence, as conservatives campaign for ballot measures that aim to rein in what they describe as "runaway courts."

Frustration among the right has been building for years, especially since the high court in Massachusetts legalized same-sex marriage in 2003. Politicians and pastors have accused judges of ignoring the public will and legislating from the bench . . . . .

South Dakota's Amendment E would have the most sweeping effect; it has drawn opposition from conservatives and liberals — including, in a rare show of unanimity, every member of the state Legislature.

Under the amendment judges in the state could lose their jobs or assets if citizens disliked how they sentenced a criminal, resolved a business dispute or settled a divorce. "We want to give power back to the people," said Jake Hanes, a spokesman for the measure.

A special grand jury would evaluate citizen complaints against judges — and judges would not be presumed innocent. Amendment E explicitly instructs jurors to "liberally" tilt in favor of any citizen with a grievance, and "not to be swayed by artful presentation by the judge."

Amendment E is titled "Judicial Accountability Initiative Law" (J.A.I.L.). The campaign website is here and the state legislature's resolution opposing the amendment is here. It is noteworthy that the resolution contains statements having nothing to do with the merits of the proposed amendment, e.g.,

WHEREAS, Amendment E was drafted by a resident of California and the petitions were circulated by paid out-of-state persons; and

WHEREAS, the Amendment E petition failed to get more than a few thousand signatures in California, and thus was never submitted to California voters; and . . . . .

South Dakota, like California, has a "direct" initiative (proposition placed directly on ballot) but no "indirect" initiative (proposition submitted to the legislature first). It seems that by voting on a resolution on Amendment E, the S.D. legislature was treating this proposition as though it had been created by an indirect initiative. I have lived in California for many years and seen dozens of propositions and to my knowledge the state legislature has never voted on a resolution regarding any one of them. I think that it was grossly improper of the S.D. legislature to vote on Amendment E.

Also, I think that the S.D. legislature is rather hypocritical about claiming to have a high respect for judicial decisions, because a recently enacted hard-line S.D. anti-abortion law was intended to be a direct challenge of Roe v. Wade.

The initials of Amendment E's title, J.A.I.L., are also the initials of the organization pushing the amendment. Maybe about 10 years ago, when I was fighting California's abominable motor-vehicle "smog impact fee," I participated in a J.A.I.L. demonstration at a courthouse -- there was just a handful of demonstrators. I never expected the organization to get as far as it has today.

I fired off the following letter to the L.A. Times in response to the article --

I wonder how much of public resentment of judges is the result of bad personal experiences with judges. I am not just talking about disagreement with the judges' decisions -- I am talking about gross malpractice on the part of judges, e.g., issuing decisions without opinions, arbitrary and capricious decisions, and apparent collusion with attorneys, particularly government attorneys. I have experienced all of these things as a pro se (self-represented) litigant. Complaints about bad personal experiences with judges should not just be dismissed as "sore loser" reactions -- attorneys have told me that judges are prejudiced against pro se litigants. Also, judges often make time for high-profile cases by giving short shrift to low-profile cases.

This resentment of judges might be a threat to judicial independence, but I think that this resentment also has a silver lining. For example, the Los Angeles Superior/Municipal Court's new special office for assisting pro se litigants could be an indication that the judges are starting to feel the heat.

The author of the article sent the following reply --

thanks for your interest in the article --

i think you're absolutely right. my sense is that the leaders of the movement to rein in judges have broad ideological objections to the way the courts are run. but they get support from the masses because people like yourself have had bad experiences in court, either in trials or in settling divorces or even something as simple as trying to pay a traffic ticket or reschedule jury duty

in any case, i appreciate your taking the time to write ---.

There are several articles in this blog on the subject of "judicial independence." The blog search window appears to be working again, so it is only necessary to enter those words in the window. The blog search window is in the top border of the blog and is not visible unless you are scrolled to the very top.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Voice In The Urbanness said...

> Also, I think that the S.D. legislature is rather hypocritical about claiming to have a high respect for judicial decisions <

They are not claiming anything of the kind. They are just pointing out that Amendment E is harebrained and would obviously have consequences far beyond those envisioned by the halfwits who wrote it.

You seem to believe that if they do not oppose everything that they can oppose nothing. This is just one more facet of the insanity that you display quite often.

> I wonder how much of public resentment of judges is the result of bad personal experiences with judges. <

Then again you go on with your tantrum about the judges making a proper decision in your pathetic cases.

> apparent collusion with attorneys, particularly government attorneys. <

Perhaps they were colluding with the little green men who you say publish the Los Angeles Times? It seems that these would be the last ones you would want to address with this issue.

> I have experienced all of these things as a pro se (self-represented) litigant. <

You only think you have. As it has been proven over and over, your unbroken record of failures in court are not due to a problem with the judges. They are due to your poorly done work and total ignorance of legal procedure.

> Complaints about bad personal experiences with judges should not just be dismissed as "sore loser" reactions <

But they are.

> attorneys have told me that judges are prejudiced against pro se litigants. <

Statistics show that pro se litigants are more successful on average than attorneys. Attorneys often complain about the way judges will bend over backwards to accommodate pro se litigants.

> Also, judges often make time for high-profile cases by giving short shrift to low-profile cases. <

They give short shrift to cases that are dead on arrival, such as your drivel.

> the Los Angeles Superior/Municipal Court's new special office for assisting pro se litigants could be an indication that the judges are starting to feel the heat. <

It is just an indication that they are continuing their traditional support of pro se litigants.

> The blog search window appears to be working again, so it is only necessary to enter those words in the window. <

This will lead you to more of the mindless drivel the IDiot in Chief has posted this subject but it will also lead you to our excellent refutations of his tripe.

Sunday, October 22, 2006 10:33:00 AM  
Blogger Dave Fafarman said...

< Backlash against judges >

This is an excellent example of why it is important not to get sidetracked by bogus "issues" like Kitzmiller. For instance, Phyllis Schlafly, in her latest newsletter, also goes after Judge Jones. She is an intelligent woman with whom I often agree. But she not only damages her own credibility with this, she reduces the prospects that truly rogue judges might get reined in.

And there definitely are such. There have been some appalling rulings (Hamdan comes to mind); the 9th Circuit is an especially rich source.

Sunday, October 22, 2006 12:18:00 PM  
Anonymous Sherry D said...

We are seeing more and more into the workings of Larry's disfunctional mind. Everything that he has brought up he believes that he has proved conclusively, no matter how clearly and completely his misconceptions have been debunked.

While nobody could claim a more disastrous legal career, he actually believes, in spite of all evidence to the contrary, that he is a great legal mind. All that his past has shown is that he learns nothing from experience.

Belief in conspiracies is not always a sign of mental illness but it often is a facet of mental illness. This case is a prime example.

Rational people could believe that there is more to the Kennedy assassination than has been published. They could also believe that the government is not telling all they know about UFOs, but when one believes that the Los Angeles Times is published by extraterrestrials or that judges and attorneys conspire to find against a litigant who has not satisfied court rules, they have gone over the edge.

Again I say in all sincerity, you need help, Larry. Your mental problem may just due to a chemical imbalance and could possibly be easily cured, or at least lessened to some extent.

Sunday, October 22, 2006 12:49:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

VIU said,
>>>> They are just pointing out that Amendment E is harebrained and would obviously have consequences far beyond those envisioned by the halfwits who wrote it. <<<<<<

There have been many highly controversial propositions in California, but to my knowledge the state legislature has not voted on a resolution on any one of them. There is something called "protesting too much," and the S.D. legislature has done that. Individual legislators have plenty of opportunities to present their own opinions about Amendment E.

>>>>> You seem to believe that if they do not oppose everything that they can oppose nothing. <<<<<

How can they argue that the Supreme Court can be wrong but that a two-bit judge in some South Dakota hicktown cannot be wrong?

>>>> apparent collusion with attorneys, particularly government attorneys.

Perhaps they were colluding with the little green men <<<<<

So you think that judges, attorneys, court clerks, etc. are always honest. What a stupid sucker.

There is a saying that power corrupts, and that absolute power corrupts absolutely.

>>>>> Complaints about bad personal experiences with judges should not just be dismissed as "sore loser" reactions

But they are. <<<<<<

And that is a large part of the problem.

>>>>>It is just an indication that they are continuing their traditional support of pro se litigants. <<<<<<<

Wrong. Until recently, the county courts had no office or staff assigned to assisting pro se litigants in following court procedures.

There was a sign in the municipal court clerk's office saying that suits for under $25,000 could be filed in municipal court instead of superior court, where suing is more expensive and difficult. I asked the court clerks several times to put a similar sign in the superior court clerk's office. They said that they would do it but never did.

Sunday, October 22, 2006 5:20:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Fake Dave said ( 10/22/2006 12:18:17 PM ) --
>>>>>> Backlash against judges

This is an excellent example of why it is important not to get sidetracked by bogus "issues" like Kitzmiller. <<<<<

Kitzmiller is not a "bogus" issue -- it is a classic example of judicial activism.

>>>>>>> For instance, Phyllis Schlafly, in her latest newsletter, also goes after Judge Jones. She is an intelligent woman with whom I often agree. But she not only damages her own credibility with this, she reduces the prospects that truly rogue judges might get reined in. <<<<<<<

Phyllis Schlafly's remark that Judge Jones "stuck the knife in the backs of those who brought him to the dance" was unfortunate. However, I think that a lot of the rest of her article is on target.

And Judge Jones truly is a rogue. This blog has a dozen or more articles condemning him. Here are some of the things he did:

(1) In a commencement speech at his alma mater, he made a stupid remark that "the Founders believed that true religion was not something handed down by a church or contained in a Bible, but was to be found through free, rational inquiry." The college seal he was standing behind, designed by two of the Founders, had a picture of an open Bible.

(2) He denied FTE's motion to intervene in Kitzmiller (FTE, the Foundation for Thought and Ethics, is the publisher of Of Pandas and People, the book that was central to the case). Incredibly, one of the reasons he gave for denying the motion was that FTE's interests in the case were "purely economic."

(3) He said that he was considering watching again the historically inaccurate and biased movie "Inherit the Wind" to give him "historical perspective" that might help in deciding the case.

The defenders of Judge Jones are protesting too much. By insisting -- in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence -- that he never did anything wrong, they are raising doubts that he ever did anything right.

Sunday, October 22, 2006 6:17:00 PM  
Anonymous Voice In The Wilderness said...

> And Judge Jones truly is a rogue. This blog has a dozen or more articles condemning him. <

Your rants are so silly that they tend to support, rather than condemn him. Repetition is not proof.

> By insisting -- in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence <

By insisting that he did something wrong in the face of overwhelming contrary evidence, you are proving yourself to be a jackass.

Monday, October 23, 2006 1:15:00 AM  

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