JAIL4Judges founder debates former Justice O'Connor on TV
As a result of bringing Judicial Accountability to the ballot last year, 2006, in the State of South Dakota, former Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has traveled the country taking every opportunity she can to condemn and castigate JAIL4Judges as a great concern to her. Her theme is, and has been, that J.A.I.L. (Judicial Accountability Initiative Law) undermines the independence of the judiciary. As a result, her ravings have appeared in various news publications around the country, including the Wall Street Journal, as well as on CNN TV, who contacted this author and asked if I would be available to appear at their television studios to provide the opposing view to Justice O'Connor. I accepted their offer and went on national TV opposite her.
A campus news article reported,
Former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor said the best way to teach young people about the civics and the importance of the judiciary is through modern media, such as interactive Web sites and computers. The comments came during a brief speech at an SMU conference about judicial independence and accountability . . . .
. . . .O'Connor said she is in the middle of creating a Web site that will teach children of all grades about the judiciary and its importance to American life. The site could be used in classrooms across the nation, she said . . .
. . . The former justice also said she is hearing more criticisms about the judiciary than any other time in her lifetime.
She mentioned recent elections in South Dakota and Colorado that challenged the independence of judges in the state.
No, Sandra, the only way to improve the public's views of our corrupt court system is to reform it, not whitewash it.
The above campus news article is open to comments.
Good for Ron Branson! Ron is really working hard to make things better for the little guy in our court system. In contrast, some lousy finks who post comments on my blog here -- e.g., Kevin Vicklund, Bill Carter, Bob Serranos, Voice in the Wilderness, and Anonymous -- are opposed to making things better for the little guy in our court system. They were very approving, for example, of Judge TJ "Mad" Hatter's dismissal of my suit against the grossly unconstitutional California smog impact fee without stating an opinion (and there was no oral hearing), though I made a very strong argument which defendant California did not even attempt to answer. To a sensible judge, the failure of a defendant to submit a rebuttal brief would have been a red flag. The courts have said that the general right to judicial review of a government action is a strong one and whenever that right is challenged in court, any benefit of a doubt (there was not even a doubt in my case) must be granted to the plaintiff.
Because of the efforts of people like Branson, the main Los Angeles County Courthouse now has a special office to assist pro se (self-represented) litigants. There was no such office when I sued in this courthouse. I made a very costly mistake when no staffer in the superior court informed me that because my suit was for less than $25,000 (it was actually $0), I should sue in the municipal court instead of the superior court (the staffers knew that I was suing for $0 because I told them that I was having difficulty in filling out a superior court form which required a dollar damages claim). Telling me this fact would not have been giving me legal advice, which court staffers are not allowed to do -- it would have just been telling me a fact. The municipal court clerk's office had a posted sign stating this fact but the superior court clerk's office did not! Even a highly experienced out-of-town or out-of-state attorney unfamiliar with the local rules could have made the same mistake. Not only were the court fees in the municipal court much cheaper, but my mistake affected my appeals rights, too -- a municipal court case can be appealed to the superior court, which is far cheaper and easier than appealing to a state appeals court as required for superior court cases.
How many times have you wanted to file a lawsuit -- particularly against the government -- but were discouraged from doing so because of sky-high attorney fees and a court system that is extremely hostile to pro se litigants? Professional jealousy often prevents judges from ruling in favor of pro se litigants even when the pro se litigants present winning arguments, as I did in my lawsuit against the California smog impact fee.
I met Ron Branson about 10 years ago at a protest demonstration outside a branch office of the 9th Circuit federal court of appeals in Pasadena, Calif.. Thanks for hanging in there, Ron.
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Labels: Judicial independence