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.

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, December 29, 2007

More breathtaking inanity from Judge Jones

An article in the St.Louis JewishLight.com website said,

The legal reasoning behind his ruling that "intelligent design" cannot constitutionally be taught as "science" in public schools, and the importance of Missouri retaining its Non-Partisan Court Plan to assure an independent judiciary were the subjects of a major address by Judge John E. Jones, a U.S. District federal judge serving in Pennsylvania. Jones spoke at a gathering of more than 150 people at an event sponsored by the League of Women Voters of St. Louis, which was held at the Ethical Society last week.

In a brief interview with the St. Louis Jewish Light prior to his formal remarks, Jones, a Republican who was nominated to serve as a federal judge by President George W. Bush and confirmed by the Senate in 2002, said that major Jewish organizations, such as the Anti-Defamation League "have been very supportive" of his ruling in a case arising in Dover, Pa., in which he found that teaching "intelligent design" as "science" in public schools violates the separation of church and state principle in the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

Jones has often said that judges should make decisions without regard to pleasing or offending anyone and now he is bragging that "major Jewish organizations" have been "very supportive" of his Dover ruling. In his speech at a national meeting of the Anti-Defamation League, he said,

A fundamental cornerstone of our justice system, and in fact of our federal and state government, is an independent judiciary. The concept requires judges to decide cases in front of them in a manner faithful to the law without fear or favor and free from political and external pressures.

Under his "judicial independence" doctrine, support from some Jewish organizations is of no more significance than opposition from Christian fundy and other organizations.

Also, I doubt that orthodox Jews have been "very supportive" of his Dover ruling -- opposition to Darwinism is widespread and strong among orthodox Jews.

In addition to his ruling in the intelligent design case, Jones strongly encouraged Missourians to retain the Non-Partisan Court Plan, which was adopted in 1940, under which judges in covered jurisdictions and higher courts are nominated on a non-partisan basis, for later appointment by the governor. "Your system assures that judges will not be subjected to pressures from those who supported them politically, and empowers them to make independent decisions in tough cases like the intelligent design and similar cases."

Even under this plan, the candidates for judgeships still need political support to be nominated -- even if that support is non-partisan -- and will still be subject to pressures from those who supported their nominations. And even without being pressured, a non-partisan judge can be as biased as any partisan judge.

Also, I don't see what is so special about this plan. On Los Angeles County election ballots, candidates for judgeships are non-partisan. Federal judicial nominees are chosen by partisan presidents but federal judges themselves are non-partisan.

Jones was pleased that the Jewish Community Relations Council of St. Louis and other Jewish groups support the retention of the plan, which has been under attack from various conservative groups in Missouri. "It would be a big mistake to eliminate a system which is the envy of much of the rest of the nation," Jones said.

"Envy"? What is there to "envy"? Any jurisdiction is free to adopt this Non-Partisan Court Plan, free of charge.

Jones, a native of Pennsylvania and a graduate of the Penn State School of Law, received the first John Marshall Award for Judicial Independence in recognition of his ruling.

Jones actually graduated from the Dickinson College Law School School of Law, which was affiliated with Penn State at the time merged with Penn State after he graduated. No big error.

So he is the first recipient of the John Marshall Award for Judicial Independence? Was the award created just for him?

Also, this award can easily be confused with the American Bar Association's John Marshall Award (with nothing about "judicial independence" in the name). The ABA's John Marshall Award has been conferred annually starting in 2001 and Jones has never received it. The John Marshall Award is conferred by the national ABA whereas the John Marshall Award for Judicial Independence is conferred by the Pennsylvania Bar Association. I hope that the national ABA takes action to have the latter award canceled or at least renamed.



Anonymous Anonymous said...

The law school from which he graduated is the Dickinson School of Law. It was not part of Dickinson College when he attended--at that time it was a stand-alone law school.

In 2000, the Dickinson School of Law merged with Penn State, becoming the The Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University.

Saturday, December 29, 2007 12:03:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Thanks for the correction -- my source was wrong. I have corrected my opening post.

Saturday, December 29, 2007 12:28:00 PM  
Blogger Jim Sherwood said...

Cried Jones, "I'm getting support
From some Jews, at latest report!
If I garner the vote
Of more factions of note,
I'll be Caesar? And rule every court?"

Monday, December 31, 2007 4:29:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

Nice limerick, Jim. I'm adding it to the limerick archives.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008 12:05:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Came Jim to the blog
An irrelevant lim'rick he did log
Who does vote
for a judge, even of note?
Appointed they are, have been -- all

Friday, January 04, 2008 4:33:00 PM  
Blogger Larry Fafarman said...

There once was a judge who had news
of getting some help from the Jews.
"They're helping me out,"
he said with a shout,
"by helping to tighten the screws."

Wednesday, January 09, 2008 9:56:00 AM  

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