Justice And The Law Do Not Mix

15 07 2013

 By Timothy D. Naegele[1][2]

Justice is in the eye of the beholder, and not some absolute standard that is clearly and quantifiably definable or identifiable.  However, human beings have a sense of what is just and what is not, which is often governed by their belief systems and experiences in Life.  The law, on the other hand, is an imperfect discipline governed by grossly-inflated egos and political considerations, and flavored by incompetence and arrogance.

Is the law ever just?  Perhaps this question is the proper starting point.  “The law” is not some idealistic and intellectually pure result, resting on a cloud somewhere.  Rather, it is a hard-edged and hard-fought amalgam of competing ideas and biases, dictated by judges who are imperfect at best—and often egotistical, callous, mean-spirited, power-hungry, self-righteous, condescending and, yes, incompetent and arrogant.  They can smile at you, just as easily as they can slit your throat and never think twice about doing it.

How on earth can the dispensers of that magical ingredient, justice, do so when they are “unsavory” themselves?  How can they judge another person when they often bring distorted realities and moral visions to the process?  Many of them, at least in the United States, are former prosecutors who seemingly have never laid eyes on an innocent criminal defendant.  To put on black robes does not change their mindset.  Indeed, many seem to relish the power trip.  Shakespeare’s famous quotation—“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”—must have been written in some light-hearted moment with the dark and sinister characteristics of judges in mind.

Having been a lawyer for more than 45 years, and having received two law degrees from prestigious American law schools, I can honestly say that the thought of becoming a judge has never crossed my mind.  Indeed, when I arrived at Berkeley for my first year of law school, I was stunned by how many of my classmates had dreamed of becoming lawyers most of their lives.  The pinnacle was to become a judge, which was repulsive to me.  While I read many learned and well-written opinions in law school, I never figured out why anyone would want to be a judge.

We had fine law professors who taught the best of the law; and they instilled in us a belief in the purity and sanctity of the law.  Forty-five years later, I do not doubt their sincerity at the time, but I have never encountered a sitting judge who met their expectations.  The best reason for being a judge was told to me one day in chambers by a California Superior Court judge, who said that it was easier than practicing law.  I respected him for his honesty and candor, and his willingness to tell the unvarnished truth.  Most judges would never do that.  It was refreshing.  He smiled when he said it, and did not slit my throat or even come close.  In fact, he decided in my favor.

If the law is little more than decisions made by judges based on whether they got up on the wrong side of their beds or not, or took umbrage with a lawyer or client, then is there any rhyme or reason to it, which makes sense judicially?  I concluded ages ago that the proceedings in most American courts are remarkably close to “Law West of the Pecos by Judge Roy Bean,” the hanging judge.  In Bean’s court, the law was what he said it was, and nothing else mattered.  Too often in U.S. courts today, very little has changed.  Judges have become the law unto themselves.  Any citation of legal precedents is met by judges whose eyes glaze over, because many of them were taught in law schools where the purity and sanctity of the law did not matter.  Brute force governs far too many courtrooms.

State courts—certainly those in California—are a total joke. Judges routinely ignore the applicable law, or twist the law to suit their desires. It is a travesty, and really no law at all.  Our federal courts are somewhat better, only because federal judges have law clerks who actually research the law; and federal judges are mindful of the fact that they can be overruled on appeal.  Owing to the fact that our Supreme Court takes so few cases these days, and most of its cases are heard for political reasons, our federal courts of appeal become the only real checks on the actions of District Judges.

At the U.S. Supreme Court building in Washington, D.C., there is a statue of “Justice” with blinders on her eyes to depict the impartiality and objectivity that the word justice is supposed to represent.  However, another interpretation can be given to the statue; namely, blindness to injustices that occur each and every day in our legal system.  More than eight thousand petitions for certiorari are filed with the Court every year, yet the number of cases that are heard is usually less than one hundred.  Justice William Brennan was the last jurist to read such petitions.  They are now read exclusively by the individual justices’ law clerks, who decide which cases the Court hears and those that are never heard.

As a practical matter, the American system of justice no longer exists—because the presumption of innocence no longer exists.  In U.S. courts, even though it is not articulated—certainly by the judges themselves—there is a presumption of guilt instead of innocence in criminal cases.  Any appearance of bending over backwards to help the defense is window dressing and largely form over substance.  Many judges are courteous, but their long knives come out before the process is completed.  Others do not mince with words, and are tyrants from Day One.  Still others defy one’s imagination with respect to how they got there.  They do not understand the law or facts of the cases, nor do they care; and they seem to be political appointees who have overstayed their welcome.

 The United States is a nation where rogue prosecutors reign, whose goals in life include the prosecution of even the innocent. Federal, State and local prosecutors ruthlessly and gleefully pursue countless numbers of innocent Americans for a multitude of crimes that were never committed; and the judiciary has allowed this to happen.  Corruption is rampant among federal prosecutors and those who work with them, such as FBI agents.  No amount of rational thinking or discourse can be applied to a system that is inherently and systemically corrupt.

A federal official with reason to know told me that between 15-20 percent of the indictees in our federal courts are probably innocent.  Some are elderly who have been charged with cheating the Social Security system—America’s retirement benefit program—and they are scared to death, so they agree to plea bargains rather than fight for their innocence.  The latest figures indicate that 97 percent of convictions in federal courts were the result of guilty pleas.  In 2006, the last year for which data was available, the corresponding figure for State courts was 94 percent.

Indeed, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority in a recent U.S. Supreme Court opinion—quoting other sources:

[Criminal justice today] is for the most part a system of pleas, not a system of trials. . . .  [Plea bargaining] is not some adjunct to the criminal justice system; it is the criminal justice system.[3]

He added—again quoting other sources: “[L]onger sentences exist on the books largely for bargaining purposes.”[4]

What Kennedy neglected to mention is that “criminal justice” today in the United States is not a system of justice at all, at least for many Americans.  It is appalling that so many innocents are swept up in our criminal system.  Even if they do not go to prison, the mere fact that a prosecutor comes after them and they have to deal with the system is brutal and tragic.  Lives are wrecked in the process by zealous prosecutors and callous judges, who should be consigned to prison life themselves—where they would come to understand the true meaning of justice.

Fortunately, America has a very good public defender system, at the federal, state and local levels; and this helps a great deal, although far too often its lawyers are burdened with very heavy caseloads, and the accused may not understand that they can avail themselves of such assistance.  Anyone who thinks that prosecutors are advocates of truth and justice is living in a “Mary Poppins” fantasy world, and knows nothing about how our legal system really operates.  It is seldom if ever discussed or written about, yet it is often said—by lawyers—that the only thing separating prosecutors from guilty criminals is the “badge.”

Also, in criminal prosecutions, there is often the systematic concealment of significant exculpatory evidence, in some instances intentionally, which gave rise to the guilty verdicts against former United States Senator Ted Stevens of Alaska being set aside, and a dismissal of the case against him.  It is another travesty and miscarriage of justice that three years after the federal judge set aside the verdicts, the wrongdoers within America’s Justice Department have not been subjected to criminal prosecution, convicted, and sent to prisons—where true justice would be meted out—instead of getting “slaps on the wrist” for their criminal misconduct.[5]

To be fair and put things into perspective, victims of criminal conduct need and deserve protection as well; and the guilty must not be sheltered or coddled if there are to be deterrents against the commission of crimes, especially those of a violent nature.  Also, many crimes are not reported or dealt with, such as rampant fraud that is occurring over the Internet each and every day, and bilking sophisticated and unsophisticated Web users out of billions of dollars.  Clearly, none of us would like to be a “jailed innocent,” but similarly we do not want to be harassed by vicious or other criminals either.  Those people who are truly innocent should not enter the criminal system; and innocent victims must be protected at all costs.

It has been noted that if we want to be 100 percent certain that no innocent will end up in jail, the inevitable result is that nobody will be in jail.  There is no such thing as perfect evidence or a perfect judge.  Indeed, as noted at the beginning of this article, the law is an imperfect discipline and process.  Also, it must be recognized that the cost of criminal and civil litigation in the United States and globally is staggering; and it takes years to resolve complex litigation.  The cost of business litigation in America’s federal courts often exceeds $1 million on each side of the action; and this figure does not include the cost of a trial or appeals.

Lawyers are trained in law schools to be advocates, and sometimes this becomes a curse.  When they represent clients in divorce proceedings, the last thing that estranged couples need is their respective lawyers “stirring the pot” to earn greater fees, and increasing the acrimony that exists already.  However, it happens, which is why lawyers are ill suited to handle such proceedings.  Also, male lawyers prey sexually on their distraught and emotionally vulnerable female clients, which should give rise to automatic disbarments.  Both the American Bar Association and State bar associations “turn a blind eye” and do little or nothing to curb such abuses.  Like rogue prosecutors who are sheltered from discipline, so too are lawyers in divorce proceedings who abuse their positions and power.  This is among the many reasons why non-lawyers in the United States and elsewhere view lawyers with such contempt and disdain—not dissimilar to how they view leeches and vermin.

Without the law though, we would have anarchy and chaos.  Yet, there is a certain amount of inherent anarchy and chaos within the legal system itself.  Harsh economic times produce demands on lawyers and courts, and bring citizens in contact with the system who otherwise might not be there except for their economic plight and hardships.  Whether the issues involve housing foreclosures or evictions, or the loss of jobs or dissolution of marriages, the American legal system is taxed like seldom before.  Budgetary constraints dictate shorter court hours and over-burdened judges, and closed courthouses and furloughed prisoners to ease overcrowding.  What is certain is that the situation will become worse between now and the end of this decade, at least in the United States.

Perhaps the only saving grace about the American legal system is that it may still be the best in the world, albeit very imperfect and flawed.  Indeed, it is the only legal system that I can address with a modicum of understanding and authority, having spent my entire career thus far dealing with it.  Unfortunately, too few lawyers are willing to speak out and criticize the profession, and “tell it like it is.”  The judiciary is almost completely blind to the problems, because its members are at the root of many of these issues.  Also, the American Bar Association is essentially worthless; and State bar associations are not much better.  I am a member of the District of Columbia Bar, which I have always been proud of though.

These are a few of the very serious problems that face our system of justice and fairness for all, which demand attention.  They are not easily fixable or remedied, yet they are at the tip of an enormous iceberg of problems.  There is a real question as to whether our system can be “fixed.”  Much like family members or loved ones of alcoholics or drug addicts, it is arguable that we cannot fix or change our legal system.  All we can do is take care of ourselves, and hope that we never come in contact with it.  There are even those who believe that quantitative and qualitative analyses can and must be applied to “redesign the judicial structure . . . into a practical process with an understood functionality and imperfection”—in the words of one engineer with a keen sense of justice.

© 2012, 2013, Timothy D. Naegele

Twill Magazine version of the article 

Justice And The Law Do Not Mix

(Image: Andrè Azevedo)

[1] Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass).  He practices law in Washington, D.C. and Los Angeles with his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, which specializes in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and http://www.naegele.com/naegele_resume.html).  He has an undergraduate degree in economics from UCLA, as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University.  He is a member of the District of Columbia and California bars.  He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal.  Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g.,www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com; see also Google search:Timothy D. Naegele

[2]  This article was published originally in Europe and distributed globally by Twill Magazine; see http://www.twill.info/wp-content/uploads/2013/03/justide_and_the_law_do_not_mix.pdf (issue #15, pp. 8-11); see also http://www.twill.info/ and http://www.twill.info/?p=1850

The author wishes to thank Fosco Bianchetti, Twill‘s Editor In Chief and Manager, for publishing it.  He was a pleasure to work with, always.

[3] See Missouri v. Frye, Case   No. 10–444. Argued October 31, 2011—Decided March 21, 2012 (emphasis in original); see also http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/11pdf/10-444.pdf

[4] See id.

[5] See also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/the-united-states-department-of-injustice/



42 responses

15 07 2013

Loved it.
There is however one perfect Judge: Jesus Christ.


15 07 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you so much.

Yes, I agree . . . and God. 🙂

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/


15 07 2013
g stiles



15 07 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you. 🙂


15 07 2013
Mary Orth

I think justice was served in the Zimmerman case. It probably never should have gone to trial.


15 07 2013
John R Hanson, Sr.

Thank you for this well written and I might add timely article. I could be wrong but in today’s courtroom it appears promotion (whether political or otherwise) is more important than getting to the truth and justice. Since our nation’s birth, what has separated the United States from other countries in the world has been our justice system. It has to be fair and equitable for everyone or we ALL lose. I fear for our country.

Liked by 1 person

15 07 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, John, for your comments.

Yes, I agree with your second sentence. “Promotion” is the name of the game, sadly. The legal profession has gone astray, and has become “mesmerized” by TV and movie portrayals of lawyers.

The judges also view themselves as “mini-gods,” which is tragic as well.

As I concluded in another article:

Can our legal system be fixed, and will the American people come to trust and respect lawyers and judges again, and believe that justice not only exists but prevails in this great nation? Maybe . . . if the profession is restructured, and if it attracts those people who believe that the law is sacred, sacrosanct and pristine—truly a shining city upon a hill—and they put such principles into practice. The profession does not require saints, but it does need something different than “Law West of the Pecos by Judge Roy Bean.” And it needs people who are different than it has been attracting: who are often driven, ruthless, unprincipled, money-hungry, and power-hungry.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/the-american-legal-system-is-broken-can-it-be-fixed/

Liked by 1 person

17 07 2013
Timothy D. Naegele


If we want to reduce or eliminate violence, then Hollywood should not make and distribute any violent films and TV shows; such violence should be banned from TV programming; violent video games should be banned; advertisers that support violent media undertakings should see their products boycotted; parents who allow their children to commit violence should be prosecuted; and those who advocate violence should be prosecuted as well.

Liked by 1 person

20 07 2013
Timothy D. Naegele

Judges Are The Worst Of The Legal Profession


As I have written in my article above:

[J]udges . . . are imperfect at best—and often egotistical, callous, mean-spirited, power-hungry, self-righteous, condescending and, yes, incompetent and arrogant. They can smile at you, just as easily as they can slit your throat and never think twice about doing it.

. . .

I can honestly say that the thought of becoming a judge has never crossed my mind. Indeed, when I arrived at Berkeley for my first year of law school, I was stunned by how many of my classmates had dreamed of becoming lawyers most of their lives. The pinnacle was to become a judge, which was repulsive to me.

. . .

I concluded ages ago that the proceedings in most American courts are remarkably close to “Law West of the Pecos by Judge Roy Bean,” the hanging judge. In Bean’s court, the law was what he said it was, and nothing else mattered. Too often in U.S. courts today, very little has changed. Judges have become the law unto themselves. Any citation of legal precedents is met by judges whose eyes glaze over, because many of them were taught in law schools where the purity and sanctity of the law did not matter. Brute force governs far too many courtrooms.

Judges go out of their way to hurt people, and to wield their power to accomplish this. They rewrite laws, even though that is the domain of legislatures. In short, there is not much of a redeeming nature that can be written about judges . . . although I have some friends who are judges, but I knew them before they became judges.

In a democracy like ours, courts and judges must serve the people, not the other way around. Judges are not mini-gods, or anything remotely close.

Former prosecutors should be barred from becoming judges. They spend their lives hurting people—often in ‎masochistic ways—many of whom are innocent; and the worst thing to happen is that they become judges.

See also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/03/the-american-legal-system-is-broken-can-it-be-fixed/#comment-7386 (“Why Doctors And Lawyers Quit“) and http://www.wsj.com/articles/SB11614593350830634792804581047743451728306 (“A group of judges, attorneys and law professors recently voted to make tapping the shoulder of a Muslim woman to ask for directions potentially punishable in a U.S. court of law. This group, the American Law Institute, is an elite private organization that includes the justices of the U.S. Supreme Court, the chief judges of the U.S. Courts of Appeal and the highest state courts, most law school deans, some law professors and private attorneys”)

Liked by 1 person

7 01 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Don’t Talk to the Police Under Any Circumstances

Food for thought


25 01 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Imagine If The Internet Went Down: Court System Hit With Cyberattack


POLITICO has reported:

Unidentified hackers took aim at the federal court system Friday, blocking access to its public website while preventing lawyers and litigants from filing legal documents online.

The incident affected uscourts.gov, the federal court’s public hub, as well as most if not all federal court sites—not to mention the federal court system’s electronic filing system and its access page, PACER, a spokesman for the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts said Friday.

The aide described the incident only as a denial-of-service attack, and that the court system, which manages its own cybersecurity, is still investigating the exact nature of the incident and who’s responsible.

Earlier Friday, a federal court clerk from Arkansas indicated in an email obtained by POLITICO that it appeared to be a “new national cyberattack on the judiciary,” but he did not provide any additional information about the type of attack or who might be behind it.

The Justice Department, for its part, did not comment for this story. The Department of Homeland Security, which plays a key role monitoring federal networks and disseminating information about cyber threats, could not be reached for comment.

See http://www.politico.com/story/2014/01/cyberattack-federal-courts-102594.html

I can personally confirm that certain courts could not be accessed yesterday.

A bigger question involves: could any documents be changed or deleted as a result of a Cyberattack?

Anything is possible. However, the federal court system maintains hard copies of recent filings, which are also available online. Thus, it is unlikely that hacking would make a difference in that regard.

Because America’s court system is already burdened by budget cuts (e.g., shorter hours, layoffs), hacking’s immediate effect is to create chaos in the system.

It seems that this hacking episode was relatively short lived. A sustained and effective hacking effort could bring the legal system to a screeching halt. So many filings are made online these days.

Yet, one must realize that the federal system is way ahead of State systems. Docket sheets and individual filings are not available online in many if not most States. However, as the States transition to fully online systems, they will become vulnerable too.

Obviously, all of this raises the larger question about efforts to bring down the Internet itself:

Imagine if someday we went online and there was nothing except a blank screen.

Worldwide terrorism is growing, not receding; and anything is possible.

Clearly, an EMP Attack would bring this country to a screeching halt . . . killing millions of Americans in the process.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive“)


29 07 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Arbitration Is An Unmitigated Disaster In Most Instances.

Arbitration is a disaster

In a fine article entitled, “Big Risks and Disadvantages of Arbitration vs. Litigation,” Aaron Foldenauer writes for Corporate Counsel:

Three recent high-profile arbitral awards highlight the risks of arbitration and demonstrate that, contrary to widespread belief, arbitration is often not cheaper, faster or more predictable than litigation. These three awards, as well as emerging trends in arbitral proceedings, call into question the common practice among corporations of including contractual provisions mandating arbitration in the event of any disputes.

In May of this year, in arbitration proceedings that have been pending for nearly eight years involving a patent license agreement between the technology companies Amkor Technology and Tessera Technologies, Tessera was awarded $145 million. And this was on top of $64 million Amkor had already paid to Tessera in connection with a prior, related ruling. These adverse awards far exceeded even Amkor’s publicly disclosed worst-case estimates of its possible exposure. The Amkor proceedings present a recent example of the delays, costs and unpredictability often associated with arbitration. But they are by no means a worst-case scenario. The dangers of arbitration hit two prominent retail corporations on a far greater scale.

Specifically, Starbucks Corporation and Tiffany & Co. were recently on the wrong side of decisions by arbitrators who imposed massive awards against each—awards that were expected by neither management nor by shareholders. Coffee giant Starbucks lost an arbitral award totaling $2.76 billion, including $527 million in interest and legal fees, to Kraft Foods Group Inc. in connection with a dispute related to the termination of an agreement that allowed Kraft to distribute Starbucks coffee in grocery stores. Even for a successful corporate stalwart like Starbucks, the size of the arbitral award was of enormous significance. Starbucks’ net profits for the years 2011 and 2012 were $1.2 billion and $1.4 billion, respectively. Thus, standing alone, the award wiped out two years’ worth of Starbucks’ profits.

And late last year, jeweler Tiffany lost $449.5 million, plus interest, costs and attorney fees, in an arbitral proceeding to Swatch SA concerning a failed partnership in which Swatch was to develop watches for Tiffany’s brand. Tiffany’s loss surpassed the profits it had earned during all of 2012.

As is commonly the case in arbitrations, neither Tiffany nor Starbucks apparently has the ability to effectively appeal the decisions, and in fact, Starbucks was forced to issue $750 million of additional debt to help raise money to satisfy the adverse award.

That risk-averse, well-represented corporations would willingly put such large sums of money in the hands of ultimately unaccountable arbitrators, whose decisions are almost always nonappealable, is surprising. The instinctive decision to do so should be revisited. This is particularly so given that the oft-touted benefits of arbitration—that it is cheaper, faster and more predictable than litigation—are routinely untrue in practice. In fact, the disputes that caught Starbucks, Tiffany and Amkor off guard each have taken years to resolve, caused each side to incur significant legal fees and yielded unpredictable results.

Arbitration Is Problematic for Risk-Averse Corporations

That these three major corporations were taken aback by the size of the awards may surprise those, including many corporate in-house counsel, who believe that arbitration is inherently more predictable than litigation. Although corporate defendants are often concerned about “runaway juries” in the context of cases in which there is a sympathetic victim, in contractual and other business-related disputes juries may, in fact, be less likely than an arbitrator to award unreasonable damages or issue an unexpected, highly lopsided verdict.

In other words, in connection with business-related disputes, an experienced arbitrator in the industry may be more inclined than a jury to view the parties’ conduct in black-and-white terms and thus rule in a way that overwhelmingly favors one side over the other. Indeed, the arbitrator in the Kraft-Starbucks dispute apparently did precisely that. In that dispute, Kraft asserted that it was owed $2.9 billion, plus attorney fees. The arbitrator ultimately awarded Kraft a total of $2.76 billion, thus giving Kraft just about everything it wanted. In other words, after considering the underlying agreements and the parties’ positions, the arbitrator read the contract and calculated damages in a way that essentially mirrored Kraft’s demands.

One-sided awards in arbitration underscore what are ultimately larger concerns for risk-averse corporations: The absence of meaningful checks and balances in arbitration proceedings and the extraordinarily wide latitude that arbitrators have in rendering decisions. For instance, arbitrators have broad discretion to decide disputes and may disregard the factual evidence presented by the disputing parties. Furthermore, unlike judges and juries, arbitrators are typically unconstrained by statutes, case law or the rules of evidence. The consequence is that an arbitrator’s subjective notion of fairness in a given case can easily translate into a lopsided award against the losing party, even when the facts and the law are on the losing party’s side. For risk-averse companies seeking some semblance of predictability concerning their legal affairs, the very nature of arbitration—which some have called “ad hoc justice,” given the lack of accountability and predictability—renders arbitration a highly precarious prospect.

To be sure, the fact that some parties are less successful than others says little about the intrinsic merits of the process. After all, the results of arbitration were favorable for Tessera, Kraft and Swatch, the prevailing parties. The difficulty is that, for companies looking to manage their business and legal risks, it is impossible to know, ex ante, on which side of the win-lose column they will ultimately end up following an arbitration—and how much it will cost them if they end up on the wrong side.

Arbitration Is Often More Expensive Than Litigation

It is routinely argued—often without empirical support—that arbitration is cheaper than litigation. Although litigation can be costly, many of the costs incurred in litigation are also incurred in arbitration, and additional costs are incurred during the course of a typical arbitration to pay for what is essentially a private judicial system.

The Tiffany-Swatch arbitration provides concrete evidence of the often-significant costs associated with arbitration. Not only was Tiffany required to pay the $449.5 million award, plus interest, to Swatch, but Tiffany was also required to pay two-thirds of the cost of the arbitration and two-thirds of the reasonable attorney fees and expenses incurred by Swatch. As a publicly listed U.S. company, Tiffany publicly disclosed these amounts, lifting the veil on how both attorney fees and forum costs (including arbitrator fees) can be surprisingly high in arbitration proceedings.

Swatch alone incurred approximately $13.3 million in reasonable attorney fees, costs and other expenses (of which the arbitral panel required $8.8 million to be paid by Tiffany). For an arbitration that lasted less than three years, $13.3 million in attorney fees and related expenses is striking, particularly in comparison to reported legal fees in complex litigations in federal court. For example, patent litigations—which are among the most complex litigations that are adjudicated in federal court—are often reported to result in legal fees averaging approximately $4 million to $5 million per side through trial.

The amount of legal fees that Swatch incurred in arbitration—a supposedly cost-effective venue—was more than twice that of the average total fees for patent litigation in federal court, again showing that the common contention that arbitration is inexpensive is often plain false. Indeed, features of arbitration that once may have made it a less-costly alternative to litigation are increasingly a thing of the past. In many arbitrations today, for instance, discovery is as common as it is in litigation, increasing both the cost of arbitration and the time required to complete it. And recalcitrant parties to an arbitration can often employ dilatory and other tactics that result in significant attorney fees to both sides as the parties spar over procedural and other issues. In contrast, many courts and judges have established, routinely enforced rules that parties must follow and which are not subject to challenge. But in arbitrations, more flexible rules often apply, which give litigious parties and their attorneys more things to argue about, thus further increasing the cost of arbitral proceedings. Furthermore, litigations (sic) often can be dismissed at a preliminary stage, such as decisions on motions to dismiss or motions for summary judgment, but such preliminary determinations are less-frequently used in arbitration.

On top of attorney fees, the parties to an arbitration must pay fees to the arbitral tribunal and to the arbitrators themselves. In the Tiffany-Swatch arbitration, the costs of the arbitration, which was heard by a panel of three arbitrators pursuant to the rules of the Netherlands Arbitration Institute, totaled $1.2 million ($800,000 of which was paid by Tiffany). In comparison, had the parties used a court in the United States, these costs would have essentially been nonexistent, given that courts and judges are paid for by the public. Indeed, a 2013 study described in the Global Arbitration Review found that costs for the arbitrators themselves and the arbitral tribunal with respect to one type of arbitral proceeding have risen by 56 percent in just the past eight years. Contributing to the growing cost of arbitration is the fact that unlike in litigation, for which judges are appointed to preside over a case, in an arbitral proceeding the parties will first have to decide on mutually acceptable arbitrators, which often takes time and runs up the attorney fees of the parties. Once an arbitrator is agreed upon, the parties then have to pay for their services. Since arbitrators are often top lawyers or retired judges with steep hourly rates, this is almost always a significant expense.

Concerns about the costs of arbitration and the time it takes to arbitrate disputes are not limited to high-stakes and international arbitrations. A 2012 study of single-plaintiff cases found that, on average, arbitration is significantly more expensive than litigation and results in each side’s incurring significantly higher attorneys’ fees. The study found that even in these less prominent cases, the average attorney fees incurred by parties in arbitration were 25 percent greater than those incurred in equivalent litigation. Factoring in total cost and outside counsel fees, arbitration was 31 percent more expensive than litigation in these small-scale cases. In fact, corporate clients are beginning to appreciate the potential costs involved in arbitrating disputes. A 2013 survey by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that the top two reasons corporations avoid arbitration were the costs and the delays associated with arbitration.

The Bottom Line

Despite the disadvantages of arbitration, there always will be circumstances under which arbitration is preferable and perhaps even required. For example, an arbitral proceeding may be the only venue in which a party can secure an enforceable judgment against the assets held by a counterparty in a given country. The fact remains, however, that even as arbitration can, in theory, offer some advantages over litigation, in practice it is often an inefficient method of dispute resolution. Arbitration, despite its promise of efficiency, often drags on for years and results in substantial fees and costs—which can add up to more than the parties would have spent in traditional litigation.

Most worryingly, for companies seeking to effectively manage their legal risks, arbitration places their financial fortunes in the uncertain hands of arbitrators bound by only their own sense of the proper outcome, and which may have only a tenuous connection to the law. The lesson for corporate parties is that, instead of agreeing to arbitrate disputes as a matter of course, they should carefully consider whether arbitration will actually be beneficial in a particular instance. As companies like Amkor, Starbucks and Tiffany have discovered, the downsides of choosing arbitration can be significant indeed.

See http://www.corpcounsel.com/id=1202665052210/Big-Risks-and-Disadvantages-of-Arbitration-vs-Litigation%3Fmcode=0&curindex=0&curpage=ALL (emphasis added)

Like a hurricane, arbitration is an unmitigated disaster in most instances.

The arbitrators consist of lawyers, who come with their usual biases, or retired judges who are even worse—and have not had their fill of the power trip they were on. And there is no right of appeal.

Also, in one instance that I know of, the ultimate losing party went to its friendly state court judge and obtained an injunction to prevent an expert witness from testifying, which distorts the arbitration process completely, and effectively turns it into litigation in two forums.


12 11 2014
Timothy D. Naegele

Why Innocent People Plead Guilty [UPDATED]

No Justice

Jed S. Rakoff, a United States District Judge for the ­Southern District of New York, writes in The New York Review of Books:

The criminal justice system in the United States today bears little relationship to what the Founding Fathers contemplated, what the movies and television portray, or what the average American believes.

To the Founding Fathers, the critical element in the system was the jury trial, which served not only as a truth-seeking mechanism and a means of achieving fairness, but also as a shield against tyranny. As Thomas Jefferson famously said, “I consider [trial by jury] as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution.”

The Sixth Amendment guarantees that “in all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury.” The Constitution further guarantees that at the trial, the accused will have the assistance of counsel, who can confront and cross-examine his accusers and present evidence on the accused’s behalf. He may be convicted only if an impartial jury of his peers is unanimously of the view that he is guilty beyond a reasonable doubt and so states, publicly, in its verdict.

The drama inherent in these guarantees is regularly portrayed in movies and television programs as an open battle played out in public before a judge and jury. But this is all a mirage. In actuality, our criminal justice system is almost exclusively a system of plea bargaining, negotiated behind closed doors and with no judicial oversight. The outcome is very largely determined by the prosecutor alone.

In 2013, while 8 percent of all federal criminal charges were dismissed (either because of a mistake in fact or law or because the defendant had decided to cooperate), more than 97 percent of the remainder were resolved through plea bargains, and fewer than 3 percent went to trial. The plea bargains largely determined the sentences imposed.

While corresponding statistics for the fifty states combined are not available, it is a rare state where plea bargains do not similarly account for the resolution of at least 95 percent of the felony cases that are not dismissed; and again, the plea bargains usually determine the sentences, sometimes as a matter of law and otherwise as a matter of practice. Furthermore, in both the state and federal systems, the power to determine the terms of the plea bargain is, as a practical matter, lodged largely in the prosecutor, with the defense counsel having little say and the judge even less.

It was not always so. Until roughly the end of the Civil War, plea bargains were exceedingly rare. A criminal defendant would either go to trial or confess and plead guilty. If the defendant was convicted, the judge would have wide discretion to impose sentence; and that decision, made with little input from the parties, was subject only to the most modest appellate review.

After the Civil War, this began to change, chiefly because, as a result of the disruptions and dislocations that followed the war, as well as greatly increased immigration, crime rates rose considerably, and a way had to be found to dispose of cases without imposing an impossible burden on the criminal justice system. Plea bargains offered a way out: by pleading guilty to lesser charges in return for dismissal of the more serious charges, defendants could reduce their prison time, while the prosecution could resolve the case without burdening the system with more trials.

The practice of plea bargaining never really took hold in most other countries, where it was viewed as a kind of “devil’s pact” that allowed guilty defendants to avoid the full force of the law. But in the United States it became commonplace. And while the Supreme Court initially expressed reservations about the system of plea bargaining, eventually the Court came to approve of it, as an exercise in contractual negotiation between independent agents (the prosecutor and the defense counsel) that was helpful in making the system work. Similarly, academics, though somewhat bothered by the reduced role of judges, came to approve of plea bargaining as a system somewhat akin to a regulatory regime.

Thus, plea bargains came to account, in the years immediately following World War II, for the resolution of over 80 percent of all criminal cases. But even then, perhaps, there were enough cases still going to trial, and enough power remaining with defense counsel and with judges, to “keep the system honest.” By this I mean that a genuinely innocent defendant could still choose to go to trial without fearing that she might thereby subject herself to an extremely long prison term effectively dictated by the prosecutor.

All this changed in the 1970s and 1980s, and once again it was in reaction to rising crime rates. While the 1950s were a period of relatively low crime rates in the US, rates began to rise substantially in the 1960s, and by 1980 or so, serious crime in the US, much of it drug-related, was occurring at a frequency not seen for many decades. As a result, state and federal legislatures hugely increased the penalties for criminal violations. In New York, for example, the so-called “Rockefeller Laws,” enacted in 1973, dictated a mandatory minimum sentence of fifteen years’ imprisonment for selling just two ounces (or possessing four ounces) of heroin, cocaine, or marijuana. In addition, in response to what was perceived as a tendency of too many judges to impose too lenient sentences, the new, enhanced sentences were frequently made mandatory and, in those thirty-seven states where judges were elected, many “soft” judges were defeated and “tough on crime” judges elected in their place.

At the federal level, Congress imposed mandatory minimum sentences for narcotics offenses, gun offenses, child pornography offenses, and much else besides. Sometimes, moreover, these mandatory sentences were required to be imposed consecutively. For example, federal law prescribes a mandatory minimum of ten years’ imprisonment, and a maximum of life imprisonment, for participating in a conspiracy that distributes five kilograms or more of cocaine. But if the use of a weapon is involved in the conspiracy, the defendant, even if she had a low-level role in the conspiracy, must be sentenced to a mandatory minimum of fifteen years’ imprisonment, i.e., ten years on the drug count and five years on the weapons count. And if two weapons are involved, the mandatory minimum rises to forty years, i.e., ten years on the drug count, five years on the first weapons count, and twenty-five years on the second weapons count—all of these sentences being mandatory, with the judge having no power to reduce them.

In addition to mandatory minimums, Congress in 1984 introduced—with bipartisan support—a regime of mandatory sentencing guidelines designed to avoid “irrational” sentencing disparities. Since these guidelines were not as draconian as the mandatory minimum sentences, and since they left judges with some limited discretion, it was not perceived at first how, perhaps even more than mandatory minimums, such a guidelines regime (which was enacted in many states as well) transferred power over sentencing away from judges and into the hands of prosecutors.

One thing that did become quickly apparent, however, was that these guidelines, along with mandatory minimums, were causing the virtual extinction of jury trials in federal criminal cases. Thus, whereas in 1980, 19 percent of all federal defendants went to trial, by 2000 the number had decreased to less than 6 percent and by 2010 to less than 3 percent, where it has remained ever since.

The reason for this is that the guidelines, like the mandatory minimums, provide prosecutors with weapons to bludgeon defendants into effectively coerced plea bargains. In the majority of criminal cases, a defense lawyer only meets her client when or shortly after the client is arrested, so that, at the outset, she is at a considerable informational disadvantage to the prosecutor. If, as is very often the case (despite the constitutional prohibition of “excessive bail”), bail is set so high that the client is detained, the defense lawyer has only modest opportunities, within the limited visiting hours and other arduous restrictions imposed by most jails, to interview her client and find out his version of the facts.

The prosecutor, by contrast, will typically have a full police report, complete with witness interviews and other evidence, shortly followed by grand jury testimony, forensic test reports, and follow-up investigations. While much of this may be one-sided and inaccurate—the National Academy of Science’s recently released report on the unreliability of eyewitness identification well illustrates the danger—it not only gives the prosecutor a huge advantage over the defense counsel but also makes the prosecutor confident, maybe overconfident, of the strength of his case.

Against this background, the information-deprived defense lawyer, typically within a few days after the arrest, meets with the overconfident prosecutor, who makes clear that, unless the case can be promptly resolved by a plea bargain, he intends to charge the defendant with the most severe offenses he can prove. Indeed, until late last year, federal prosecutors were under orders from a series of attorney generals to charge the defendant with the most serious charges that could be proved—unless, of course, the defendant was willing to enter into a plea bargain. If, however, the defendant wants to plead guilty, the prosecutor will offer him a considerably reduced charge—but only if the plea is agreed to promptly (thus saving the prosecutor valuable resources). Otherwise, he will charge the maximum, and, while he will not close the door to any later plea bargain, it will be to a higher-level offense than the one offered at the outset of the case.

In this typical situation, the prosecutor has all the advantages. He knows a lot about the case (and, as noted, probably feels more confident about it than he should, since he has only heard from one side), whereas the defense lawyer knows very little. Furthermore, the prosecutor controls the decision to charge the defendant with a crime. Indeed, the law of every US jurisdiction leaves this to the prosecutor’s unfettered discretion; and both the prosecutor and the defense lawyer know that the grand jury, which typically will hear from one side only, is highly likely to approve any charge the prosecutor recommends.

But what really puts the prosecutor in the driver’s seat is the fact that he—because of mandatory minimums, sentencing guidelines (which, though no longer mandatory in the federal system, are still widely followed by most judges), and simply his ability to shape whatever charges are brought—can effectively dictate the sentence by how he publicly describes the offense. For example, the prosecutor can agree with the defense counsel in a federal narcotics case that, if there is a plea bargain, the defendant will only have to plead guilty to the personal sale of a few ounces of heroin, which carries no mandatory minimum and a guidelines range of less than two years; but if the defendant does not plead guilty, he will be charged with the drug conspiracy of which his sale was a small part, a conspiracy involving many kilograms of heroin, which could mean a ten-year mandatory minimum and a guidelines range of twenty years or more. Put another way, it is the prosecutor, not the judge, who effectively exercises the sentencing power, albeit cloaked as a charging decision.

The defense lawyer understands this fully, and so she recognizes that the best outcome for her client is likely to be an early plea bargain, while the prosecutor is still willing to accept a plea to a relatively low-level offense. Indeed, in 2012, the average sentence for federal narcotics defendants who entered into any kind of plea bargain was five years and four months, while the average sentence for defendants who went to trial was sixteen years.

Although under pressure to agree to the first plea bargain offered, prudent defense counsel will try to convince the prosecutor to give her some time to explore legal and factual defenses; but the prosecutor, often overworked and understaffed, may not agree. Defense counsel, moreover, is in no position to abruptly refuse the prosecutor’s proposal, since, under recent Supreme Court decisions, she will face a claim of “ineffective assistance of counsel” if, without consulting her client, she summarily rejects a plea bargain simply as a negotiating ploy.

Defense counsel also recognizes that, even if she thinks the plea bargain being offered is unfair compared to those offered by other, similarly situated prosecutors, she has little or no recourse. An appeal to the prosecutor’s superior will rarely succeed, since the superiors feel the need to support their troops and since, once again, the prosecutor can shape the facts so as to make his superior find his proposed plea acceptable. And there is no way defense counsel can appeal to a neutral third party, the judge, since in all but a few jurisdictions, the judiciary is precluded from participating in plea bargain negotiations. In a word, she and her client are stuck.

Though there are many variations on this theme, they all prove the same basic point: the prosecutor has all the power. The Supreme Court’s suggestion that a plea bargain is a fair and voluntary contractual arrangement between two relatively equal parties is a total myth: it is much more like a “contract of adhesion” in which one party can effectively force its will on the other party.

As for the suggestion from some academics that this is the equivalent of a regulatory process, that too is a myth: for, quite aside from the imbalance of power, there are no written regulations controlling the prosecutor’s exercise of his charging power and no established or meaningful process for appealing his exercise of that power. The result is that, of the 2.2 million Americans now in prison—an appalling number in its own right—well over two million are there as a result of plea bargains dictated by the government’s prosecutors, who effectively dictate the sentences as well.

A cynic might ask: What’s wrong with that? After all, crime rates have declined over the past twenty years to levels not seen since the early 1960s, and it is difficult to escape the conclusion that our criminal justice system, by giving prosecutors the power to force criminals to accept significant jail terms, has played a major part in this reduction. Most Americans feel a lot safer today than they did just a few decades ago, and that feeling has contributed substantially to their enjoyment of life. Why should we cavil at the empowering of prosecutors that has brought us this result?

The answer may be found in Jefferson’s perception that a criminal justice system that is secret and government-dictated ultimately invites abuse and even tyranny. Specifically, I would suggest that the current system of prosecutor-determined plea bargaining invites the following objections.

First, it is one-sided. Our criminal justice system is premised on the notion that, before we deprive a person of his liberty, he will have his “day in court,” i.e., he will be able to put the government to its proof and present his own facts and arguments, following which a jury of his peers will determine whether or not he is guilty of a crime and a neutral judge will, if he is found guilty, determine his sentence. As noted, numerous guarantees of this fair-minded approach are embodied in our Constitution, and were put there because of the Founding Fathers’ experience with the rigged British system of colonial justice. Is not the plea bargain system we have now substituted for our constitutional ideal similarly rigged?

Second, and closely related, the system of plea bargains dictated by prosecutors is the product of largely secret negotiations behind closed doors in the prosecutor’s office, and is subject to almost no review, either internally or by the courts. Such a secretive system inevitably invites arbitrary results. Indeed, there is a great irony in the fact that legislative measures that were designed to rectify the perceived evils of disparity and arbitrariness in sentencing have empowered prosecutors to preside over a plea-bargaining system that is so secretive and without rules that we do not even know whether or not it operates in an arbitrary manner.

Third, and possibly the gravest objection of all, the prosecutor-dictated plea bargain system, by creating such inordinate pressures to enter into plea bargains, appears to have led a significant number of defendants to plead guilty to crimes they never actually committed. For example, of the approximately three hundred people that the Innocence Project and its affiliated lawyers have proven were wrongfully convicted of crimes of rape or murder that they did not in fact commit, at least thirty, or about 10 percent, pleaded guilty to those crimes. Presumably they did so because, even though they were innocent, they faced the likelihood of being convicted of capital offenses and sought to avoid the death penalty, even at the price of life imprisonment. But other publicized cases, arising with disturbing frequency, suggest that this self-protective psychology operates in noncapital cases as well, and recent studies suggest that this is a widespread problem. For example, the National Registry of Exonerations (a joint project of Michigan Law School and Northwestern Law School) records that of 1,428 legally acknowledged exonerations that have occurred since 1989 involving the full range of felony charges, 151 (or, again, about 10 percent) involved false guilty pleas.

It is not difficult to perceive why this should be so. After all, the typical person accused of a crime combines a troubled past with limited resources: he thus recognizes that, even if he is innocent, his chances of mounting an effective defense at trial may be modest at best. If his lawyer can obtain a plea bargain that will reduce his likely time in prison, he may find it “rational” to take the plea.

Every criminal defense lawyer (and I was both a federal prosecutor and a criminal defense lawyer before going on the bench) has had the experience of a client who first tells his lawyer he is innocent and then, when confronted with a preview of the government’s proof, says he is guilty. Usually, he is in fact guilty and was previously lying to his lawyer (despite the protections of the attorney–client privilege, which many defendants, suspicious even of their court-appointed lawyers, do not appreciate). But sometimes the situation is reversed, and the client now lies to his lawyer by saying he is guilty when in fact he is not, because he has decided to “take the fall.”

In theory, this charade should be exposed at the time the defendant enters his plea, since the judge is supposed to question the defendant about the facts underlying his confession of guilt. But in practice, most judges, happy for their own reasons to avoid a time-consuming trial, will barely question the defendant beyond the bare bones of his assertion of guilt, relying instead on the prosecutor’s statement (untested by any cross-examination) of what the underlying facts are. Indeed, in situations in which the prosecutor and defense counsel themselves recognize that the guilty plea is somewhat artificial, they will have jointly arrived at a written statement of guilt for the defendant to read that cleverly covers all the bases without providing much detail. The Supreme Court, for its part, has gone so far (with the Alford plea of 1970) as to allow a defendant to enter a guilty plea while factually maintaining his innocence.

While, moreover, a defendant’s decision to plead guilty to a crime he did not commit may represent a “rational,” if cynical, cost-benefit analysis of his situation, in fact there is some evidence that the pressure of the situation may cause an innocent defendant to make a less-than-rational appraisal of his chances for acquittal and thus decide to plead guilty when he not only is actually innocent but also could be proven so. Research indicates that young, unintelligent, or risk-averse defendants will often provide false confessions just because they cannot “take the heat” of an interrogation. Although research into false guilty pleas is far less developed, it may be hypothesized that similar pressures, less immediate but more prolonged, may be in effect when a defendant is told, often by his own lawyer, that there is a strong case against him, that his likelihood of acquittal is low, and that he faces a mandatory minimum of five or ten years in prison if convicted and a guidelines range of considerably more—but that, if he acts swiftly, he can get a plea bargain to a lesser offense that will reduce his prison time by many years.

How prevalent is the phenomenon of innocent people pleading guilty? The few criminologists who have thus far investigated the phenomenon estimate that the overall rate for convicted felons as a whole is between 2 percent and 8 percent. The size of that range suggests the imperfection of the data; but let us suppose that it is even lower, say, no more than 1 percent. When you recall that, of the 2.2 million Americans in prison, over 2 million are there because of plea bargains, we are then talking about an estimated 20,000 persons, or more, who are in prison for crimes to which they pleaded guilty but did not in fact commit.

What can we do about it? If there were the political will to do so, we could eliminate mandatory minimums, eliminate sentencing guidelines, and dramatically reduce the severity of our sentencing regimes in general. But even during the second Obama administration, the very modest steps taken by Attorney General Eric Holder to moderate sentences have been met by stiff opposition, some from within his own department. For example, the attorney general’s public support for a bipartisan bill that would reduce mandatory minimums for certain narcotics offenses prompted the National Association of Assistant US Attorneys to send an “open letter” of opposition, while a similar letter denouncing the bill was signed by two former attorney generals, three former chiefs of the Drug Enforcement Administration, and eighteen former US attorneys.

Reflecting, perhaps, the religious origins of our country, Americans are notoriously prone to making moral judgments. Often this serves salutary purposes; but a by-product of this moralizing tendency is a punitiveness that I think is not likely to change in the near future. Indeed, on those occasions when Americans read that someone accused of a very serious crime has been permitted to plea bargain to a considerably reduced offense, their typical reaction is one of suspicion or outrage, and sometimes not without reason. Rarely, however, do they contemplate the possibility that the defendant may be totally innocent of any charge but is being coerced into pleading to a lesser offense because the consequences of going to trial and losing are too severe to take the risk.

I am driven, in the end, to advocate what a few jurisdictions, notably Connecticut and Florida, have begun experimenting with: involving judges in the plea-bargaining process. At present, this is forbidden in the federal courts, and with good reason: for a judge to involve herself runs the risk of compromising her objectivity if no bargain is reached. For similar reasons, many federal judges (including this one) refuse to involve themselves in settlement negotiations in civil cases, even though, unlike the criminal plea bargain situation, there is no legal impediment to doing so. But the problem is solved in civil cases by referring the settlement negotiations to magistrates or special masters who do not report the results to the judges who handle the subsequent proceedings. If the federal rule were changed, the same could be done in the criminal plea bargain situation.

As I envision it, shortly after an indictment is returned (or perhaps even earlier if an arrest has occurred and the defendant is jailed), a magistrate would meet separately with the prosecutor and the defense counsel, in proceedings that would be recorded but placed under seal, and all present would be provided with the particulars regarding the evidence and issues in the case. In certain circumstances, the magistrate might interview witnesses or examine other evidence, again under seal so as not to compromise any party’s strategy. He might even interview the defendant, under an arrangement where it would not constitute a waiver of the defendant’s Fifth Amendment privilege against self-incrimination.

The prosecutor would, in the meantime, be precluded from making any plea bargain offer (or threat) while the magistrate was studying the case. Once the magistrate was ready, he would then meet separately with both sides and, if appropriate, make a recommendation, such as to dismiss the case (if he thought the proof was weak), to proceed to trial (if he thought there was no reasonable plea bargain available), or to enter into a plea bargain along lines the magistrate might suggest. No party would be required to follow the magistrate’s suggestions. Their force, if any, would come from the fact that they were being suggested by a neutral third party, who, moreover, was a judicial officer that the prosecutors and the defense lawyers would have to appear before in many other cases.

Would a plan structured along these lines wholly eliminate false guilty pleas? Probably not, but it likely would reduce their number. Would it present new, unforeseeable problems of its own? Undoubtedly, which is why I would recommend that it first be tried as a pilot program. Even given the current federal rules prohibiting judges from involving themselves in the plea-bargaining process, I think something like this could be undertaken, since most such rules can be waived and the relevant parties could here agree to waive them for the limited purposes of a pilot program.

I am under no illusions that this suggested involvement of judges in the plea-bargaining process is a panacea. But would not any program that helps to reduce the shame of sending innocent people to prison be worth trying?

See http://www.nybooks.com/articles/archives/2014/nov/20/why-innocent-people-plead-guilty/?insrc=hpma (emphasis added); see also http://www.nysun.com/national/federal-judge-rips-the-system-as-american-justice/88924/ (“Federal Judge Rips System As American Justice Itself Is Put in the Dock“) and http://www.economist.com/news/leaders/21679472-suspects-japanese-police-cells-are-far-too-vulnerable-abuse-forced-confess (“Forced to confess”—”Suspects in Japanese police cells are far too vulnerable to abuse”)

America’s legal system is an abomination; and this is especially true of our “criminal justice” system, as discussed in my article above.

As Justice Anthony M. Kennedy wrote for the majority in a recent U.S. Supreme Court opinion—quoting other sources:

[Criminal justice today] is for the most part a system of pleas, not a system of trials. . . . [Plea bargaining] is not some adjunct to the criminal justice system; it is the criminal justice system.

He added—again quoting other sources: “[L]onger sentences exist on the books largely for bargaining purposes.”

Conrad Black adds: “Judge Rakoff reckons that between 2% to 8% of defendants are innocent. . . . [T]he number is probably between 10% to 15%.” A federal official with reason to know told me that between 15-20 percent of the indictees in our federal courts are probably innocent. Whatever the number, it is a travesty that this should happen in America today.

Lives are ruined; families are broken; and prosecutors take satisfaction that they have done their jobs. And judges, many of whom are former prosecutors, encourage plea bargaining and ignore prosecutorial misconduct, which simply underscores how terribly corrupt and abusive the system is today.

See also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/the-united-states-department-of-injustice/ (“The United States Department of Injustice“)

Department of Injustice


13 03 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Ohio Judge Who Released Trump Attacker Must Be Removed From Office [UPDATED]

Yesterday’s attack on Donald Trump by Thomas Dimassimo in Dayton, Ohio—like those on President Ronald Reagan by John Hinckley, Jr. in Washington, D.C. and on President Gerald Ford in Sacramento and San Francisco, California, and on presidential candidate George Wallace by Arthur Bremer in Laurel, Maryland—warrants the maximum punishment possible.

Yet, a totally-incompetent judge in Montgomery County, Ohio released Dimassimo. In doing so, the judge has encouraged others to attack Trump or the remaining presidential candidates of both political parties, which could produce tragic consequences for our great nation and its democratic process. The election is highly charged enough, without having assassination attempts occur—or God forbid, actual assassinations.

Trump and Secret Service agents

Can our great nation endure assassinations like those of John F. Kennedy, Robert Kennedy and Martin Luther King, Jr. again?

The judge must pay a very heavy price; and removal from office is the very least that must occur.

As stated in the article above, “judges . . . are imperfect at best—and often egotistical, callous, mean-spirited, power-hungry, self-righteous, condescending and, yes, incompetent and arrogant.”

See http://www.nbcnews.com/politics/2016-election/secret-service-rushes-stage-protect-donald-trump-ohio-rally-n537181 (“Secret Service Rushes Stage to Protect Donald Trump at Ohio Rally“) and http://www.whio.com/news/news/local/protester-rushes-stage-at-dayton-donald-trump-even/nqjjg (“Security jumps stage at Donald Trump event“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/boycott-the-gop-and-ignore-foreign-naysayers/#comment-8497 (“Security Scare At Trump Rally“); see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Attempted_assassination_of_Ronald_Reagan (“Attempted assassination of Ronald Reagan“) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_Ford#Assassination_attempts (“Gerald Ford: Assassination attempts“) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Wallace#Democratic_presidential_primaries_of_1972_and_assassination_attempt (“George Wallace: Democratic presidential primaries of 1972 and assassination attempt“)

Dimassimo and Secret Service agents

It has been reported that “Dimassimo is an avid supporter of Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders on social media, as well as being active with the Black Lives Matter movement.”

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-3489576/Trump-left-visibly-shaken-Ohio-rally-scare-SS-agents-race-surround-stage-minutes-brushed-night-s-Chicago-racist-violence-planned-attack-professional-wiseguys.html (“Pictured: The moment a protester tries to rush Trump on stage in Ohio – leaving him visibly shaken – just minutes after he brushed off last night’s Chicago violence as a ‘planned attack by thugs’“); see also http://theconservativetreehouse.com/2016/03/12/shock-video-attempted-physical-attack-on-donald-trump-in-ohio-thwarted-by-secret-service-suspect-identified/comment-page-2/#comment-2249887 (“A student of Wright University in Dayton Ohio, Tom Dimassimo is a progressive leftist thug who has participated in various protests including flag burning”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/boycott-the-gop-and-ignore-foreign-naysayers/#comment-8494 (“‘Black Lives Matter’ Thugs In Chicago”) and http://www.allenbwest.com/2016/03/breaking-we-just-learned-who-attacked-trump-this-morning-it-explains-everything/ (“Thomas Dimassimo turns out to be a ‘professional’ protester with a history of anti-American demonstrations”—”[H]e first came to national attention for holding ‘a protest’ where students stepped on the American flag on the grounds of Ohio’s Wright State University”) and http://www.atlantaga.gov/index.aspx?page=672&recordid=4006

Presidential aspirant, Dr. Ben Carson—who recently endorsed Trump—is quoted as having said: “If your expression is shutting down somebody else’s planned expression, you’re interfering with their rights.” Of course, Carson is correct.


16 03 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Trump Attacker Charged Federally [UPDATED]

Dimassimo and Secret Service agents

WDTN.com in Dayton has reported:

Thomas DiMassimo, the man accused of rushing the stage during Donald Trump’s rally on Saturday in Vandalia is facing federal charges.

The 22-year old has been charged in federal court with entering a restricted building without lawful authority, according to court documents.

It was announced Tuesday afternoon that he will be represented by local attorney, Jon Paul Rion.

According to court documents, DiMassimo knowingly entered a restricted area “cordoned off and otherwise restricted area where a person protected by the Secret Service [was temporarily visiting, without lawful authority to do so].”

DiMassimo is due in federal court March 23rd at 10:30 a.m. before Judge Sharon Ovington.

Local charges are being reviewed but haven’t been officially filed in the Dayton Municipal Court.

See http://wdtn.com/2016/03/15/accused-donald-trump-stage-runner-charged-federally/ (“Accused Donald Trump stage runner charged federally”) (emphasis added); see also http://www.inquisitr.com/2888758/thomas-dimassimo-22-year-old-receiving-death-threats-following-ohio-trump-rally/ (“Thomas DiMassimo: 22-Year-Old Receiving Death Threats Following Ohio Trump Rally“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/#comment-8503 (“Ohio Judge Who Released Trump Attacker Must Be Removed From Office“)

The pending count of the complaint against DiMassimo:

18 U. S.C. Section 1752(a)(1 )- Knowingly enter and remain in a restricted building and on grounds at Wright Bros. Aero, 3700 McCauley Drive, Vandalia, Ohio, which was then a posted, cordoned off and otherwise restricted area where a person protected by the Secret Service was temporarily visiting, without lawful authority to do so.

However, this case is in its preliminary stages, before Magistrate Judge Ovington; and additional counts may be added.

As presently charged, DiMassimo could face a year in federal prison.

See USA v. DiMassimo, Case #: 3:16-cr-00037-SLO, U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio (Dayton); see also http://www.mydaytondailynews.com/news/news/trump-protestor-faces-a-year-in-prison/nqmCw/ (“Trump protestor faces a year in prison“)


16 03 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

President Trump Must Fill The Supreme Court Vacancy [UPDATED]

Donald Trump

Cracks are emerging already in the Senate’s GOP “establishment” with respect to filling the vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia.

The Hill has reported:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) on Wednesday shot down the idea of Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland getting a hearing.

McConnell insisted in a floor speech that the vacancy should be filled by the next president.

“The next justice could fundamentally alter the direction of the Supreme Court and have a profound impact on our country, so of course the American people should have a say in the court’s direction,” he said.

“The Senate will continue to observe the ‘Biden Rule’ so the American people have a voice in this momentous decision. The American people may well elect a president who decides to nominate Judge Garland for Senate consideration. The next president may also nominate somebody very different. Either way, our view is this: Give the people a voice in filling this vacancy.”

Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) stood by McConnell’s decision.

“This has never been about who the nominee is. It is about a basic principle. Under our Constitution, the president has every right to make this nomination, and the Senate has every right not to confirm a nominee.

“I fully support Leader McConnell and Chairman [Chuck] Grassley’s [R-Iowa] decision not to move forward with the confirmation process. We should let the American people decide the direction of the court.”

President Obama on Wednesday nominated Garland, the chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, to the Supreme Court.

Obama animatedly called on Republicans to allow a hearing and vote on the nominee.

“It is tempting to make this confirmation process simply an extension of our divided politics, the squabbling that’s going on in the news every day,” he said. “But to go down that path would be wrong. It would be a betrayal of our best traditions and a betrayal of the vision of our founding documents.

“This is precisely the time when we should play it straight.”

McConnell said just hours after the death of Justice Antonin Scalia last month that the vacancy should be filled by the next president.

As he has done repeatedly, McConnell on Wednesday cited remarks Vice President Biden made when he was Senate Judiciary Chairman in 1992. At the time, Biden said a hypothetical Supreme Court opening should not be filled during a presidential election year, and that it was acceptable for the court to only have eight justices temporarily.

“President Obama and his allies may now try to pretend this disagreement is about a person, but as I just noted, his own vice president made clear it’s not,” McConnell continued. “The Biden Rule reminds us that the decision the Senate announced weeks ago remains about a principle, not a person.”

McConnell implored his colleagues to focus on bipartisan legislation to combat drug abuse.

“We just passed critical bipartisan legislation to help address the heroin and prescription opioid crisis in our country. Let’s build on that success. Let’s keep working together to get our economy moving again and make our country safer, rather than endlessly debating an issue where we don’t agree.”

See http://thehill.com/blogs/blog-briefing-room/news/273230-mcconnell-no-hearing-for-garland (“No hearing for Obama’s Supreme Court nominee, McConnell says“) (emphasis added)

Since when has Barack Obama “play[ed] it straight” with the GOP or the American people? He has governed by executive orders, which must be reversed on Day One of the Trump presidency.

Mitch McConnell is one of the GOP “establishment” Neanderthals. However, realizing that the “Trump Revolution” is underway, he seems smart enough so far to block any consideration of Barack Obama’s pick to fill the vacancy.

His GOP Senate colleagues are as “dense” as ever. Indeed, POLITICO has reported:

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell may be holding the line, but a handful of Senate Republicans say they would meet with Supreme Court nominee Merrick Garland — a sign of emerging cracks in the brick wall the GOP has presented thus far.

New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte, who’s facing a tough reelection fight, said that while she still opposes moving on a nomination ahead of the presidential race, she would take the time to explain her position to Garland. When the nomination was still conceptual, Ayotte had said she would not meet the nominee.

Sen. Jeff Flake, a Republican who sits on the Judiciary Committee, said he would also meet with Garland. And Sen. Susan Collins, a Maine Republican, added that she’d take a meeting with Garland.

“He’s a current appeals court judge and out of courtesy and respect we will certainly meet with him if he would like to meet with me,” Ayotte said. “I would want to explain my position to the nominee. . . . I would want to give him that courtesy.

Ayotte is gearing up for a close reelection race against New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat who has been hammering Ayotte as obstructionist.

Other Republican senators indicated they’d be at least willing to talk to the nominee.

Iowa Sen. Chuck Grassley, who chairs the Judiciary Committee, is expected to talk to Garland on the phone at 3 p.m. Collins told reporters “I view it as my job,” when it comes to meeting with Obama’s pick.

Illinois Sen. Mark Kirk said he had “reaffirmed my commitment to represent and people of Illinois in an independent and thoughtful manner, free from the partisanship and political rancor that too often consumes Washington” and would therefore “assess Judge Merrick Garland based on his record and qualifications.”

Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey tweeted that he would “happy to carefully consider” Garland’s nomination if his name were submitted by the next president.

Other leading Republicans, meanwhile, sought to hold the line.

Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, appearing on Fox Business Wednesday, said that during a “toxic year” like 2016 it is not acceptable for Obama’s pick to be confirmed.

“This is not the way that there are Supreme Court nominations. It isn’t the person, it isn’t the person that we’re against,” Hatch said.

The process was “reducing the respect of the court,” Hatch added. “This is important stuff and it shouldn’t be brought up when people are screaming and shouting.”

See http://www.politico.com/story/2016/03/kelly-ayotte-to-meet-merrick-garland-220868 (“GOP Supreme Court blockade showing early cracks“) (emphasis added); see also http://www.nysun.com/national/hamilton-saw-senate-power-to-block-a-nomineeas/89503/ (“[Alexander] Hamilton Saw Senate Power To Block a Court Nominee As an Antidote to Kings”—”The topic of Federalist 69 [one of the columns he wrote back in 1788 under the pen-name Publius] is the ‘real character of the executive.’ It makes it clear that in filling the seat once held by Justice Antonin Scalia, President Obama is at the complete mercy of the Senate — and should be”)

As a historical footnote to all of this, no autopsy was performed on Scalia; and it is clear that his death was handled improperly.

Also, the court over which Obama’s nominee Garland presides—the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, reputedly the second highest court in the nation—is one of America’s most “lawless” courts. It does not follow binding precedents of the U.S. Supreme Court, or even previous decisions that the D.C. Circuit has issued itself.

To elevate a judge from this court to the U.S. Supreme Court would be a monumental travesty.

Americans are angry enough already. However, if they knew how corrupt our legal system really is, their anger would grow exponentially. As I have written in the article above:

[T]he proceedings in most American courts are remarkably close to “Law West of the Pecos by Judge Roy Bean,” the hanging judge. In Bean’s court, the law was what he said it was, and nothing else mattered. Too often in U.S. courts today, very little has changed. Judges have become the law unto themselves.

. . .

See also http://humanevents.com/2016/03/16/voters-deliver-subtle-message-die-donor-scum/ (Ann Coulter, who worked on the Senate Judiciary Committee: “Voters Deliver Subtle Message: Die Donor Scum”—”One would have to search the history books to find a party establishment so emphatically rejected by the voters as today’s Republican Party has been”—”Trump and Cruz have totally rejected the Bush/Ryan/Rubio/Fox News/WSJ/RNC establishment position on immigration”—”After Mitt Romney lost an election he should have won in 2012, . . . the party was dead”—”Only Ted Cruz was smart enough — or hated the Republican establishment enough — to adopt Trump’s pro-American immigration policies”—”They’ve crushed the rest of the field — winning large majorities of Hispanics along the way, incidentally. Between them, Trump and Cruz have won 77 percent of the delegates (1,067). The donor-approved, mass immigration advocates, John Kasich and the (late, lamented) Marco Rubio, have 23 percent (313)”—”Rubio lost every single county in Florida to Trump but one. He went 1 for 66 in a state where he is not only a U.S. senator, but also a former house speaker. He outspent Trump by about 500 percent and still lost his home state by 20 points”—”On Tuesday night, Kasich barely won his own state, making him 1 for 29 in GOP primaries. The one and only primary he’s won is in the state where he’s the sitting governor”) and http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/us/elections/primary-calendar-and-results.html?_r=0 (“2016 Delegate Count and Primary Results“)


1 04 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Trump Attacker Federal Trial Date Set

Dimassimo and Secret Service agents

Magistrate Judge Sharon L. Ovington set an expedited schedule today with respect to Thomas DiMassimo, who tried to attack Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Dayton, Ohio on March 12, 2016.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/#comment-8503 (“Ohio Judge Who Released Trump Attacker Must Be Removed From Office“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/#comment-8517 (“Trump Attacker Charged Federally“)

Discovery is due by April 11, 2016; a status conference has been set for April 15, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. in the judge’s chambers; pre-trial motions are due by April 25, 2016; a final pre-trial conference is set for May 23, 2016 at 10:30 a.m. in the judge’s chambers; and a jury trial set for May 31, 2016 at 9:30 a.m. in Courtroom 5 – Dayton before Judge Ovington.

See http://www.sent-trib.com/news/trial-set-for-ohio-student-who-rushed-trump-rally-stage/article_e3d7dafc-f760-11e5-8a05-bff60f0f794c.html (“Trial set for Ohio student who rushed Trump rally stage“)


5 07 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

There Is No Justice In America: FBI Won’t Recommend Criminal Charges Against Hillary Clinton [UPDATED]


The Wall Street Journal has reported:

FBI Director James Comey said Tuesday that Hillary Clinton was “extremely careless” in handling classified information while secretary of state and added scores of emails on her personal server contained highly classified information—but he said the FBI won’t recommend criminal charges against the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee.

In a 15-minute statement at FBI headquarters, Mr. Comey said that after an exhaustive, apolitical investigation, the FBI found that “no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.”

The final decision on charges will be made by top Justice Department officials, but the FBI recommendation is likely to carry great weight in the case. Mr. Comey began his remarks by saying no one at the Justice Department or any other government agency knew what he was about to propose.

While the announcement is a major positive development for the Clinton camp, Mr. Comey’s comments were hardly uncritical of Mrs. Clinton, saying she and her State Department colleagues were irresponsible in their handling of national secrets.

“Although we did not find clear evidence that Secretary Clinton or her colleagues intended to violate laws governing the handling of classified information, there is evidence that they were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information,” Mr. Comey said.

The FBI director also insisted that the recommendation was made without outside influence. Mrs. Clinton’s husband, former President Bill Clinton, met several days ago with Attorney General Loretta Lynch, leading to widespread criticism that such a meeting was inappropriate. Mrs. Lynch later said she regretted the meeting and intended to accept the recommendation of the FBI and professional prosecutors regarding any charges.

“Only facts matter, and the FBI found them here in an entirely apolitical and professional way,” Mr. Comey said.

The recommendation against charges could help bring to an end a political drama that has dogged Mrs. Clinton’s campaign for nearly a year and a half.

Still, Mrs. Clinton’s ratings on trustworthiness have been damaged by the email matter, and Republicans have made it clear they’ll make ethics a central part of the fall campaign. Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump has taken to calling Mrs. Clinton “Crooked Hillary” on the campaign trail, saying her alleged lapses on the email issue make her unfit for the White House.

Within minutes of Mr. Comey’s announcement, Donald Trump said in tweet: “The system is rigged” adding, “FBI director said Crooked Hillary compromised our national security. No charges. Wow!”

House Speaker Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), said in a statement: “While I respect the law-enforcement professionals at the FBI, this announcement defies explanation. No one should be above the law.”

Mr. Comey’s comments lambasting the handling of sensitive information by Mrs. Clinton and her colleagues—due to her decision to use a personal email server for her government work—could provide plenty of grist for such attacks.

A leading Republicans said Mrs. Clinton’s conduct was irresponsible even if she was not charged. “This is still very troubling,” House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R., Calif.) told reporters. Mr. McCarthy said Mr. Comey’s statement undermined Mrs. Clinton’s claims that she was not mishandling classified information. “We know now that was not true,” he said.

Several organizations have filed their own lawsuits in to obtain emails and other government documents from Mrs. Clinton’s tenure as secretary of state, and those could still yield new information.

Even so, the conclusion of the FBI investigation helps lift some of the clouds hanging over the Clinton campaign. Coupled with the recent report of a House committee on the terrorist attacks on Benghazi, which provided few significant new details, it allows Mrs. Clinton to head into her party’s convention with the high-profile official probes into her record seemingly over.

Mrs. Clinton is expected to campaign with President Barack Obama in North Carolina on Tuesday, flying with the president on Air Force One in their first joint campaign appearance of the year.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/fbi-won-t-recommend-clinton-be-indicted-over-private-email-use-1467731774 (“FBI Won’t Recommend Criminal Charges Against Hillary Clinton Over Private Email Use“) (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/12/11/boycott-the-gop-and-ignore-foreign-naysayers/#comment-8963 (“Not Surprisingly, The Clintons Are Racists And Anti-Semites“) and (“https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-7185 (“Clinton Fatigue”)

This is a travesty and shameful.

Massive indictments of Hillary Clinton and her co-conspirators must be handed down on Day Two of the Trump presidency, with charges leveled at Comey and others for obstruction of justice.

Either our legal system works or it doesn’t. If not—which seems clear—then it is time for sweeping reforms that will include getting rid of the “dead wood” that permeates our judiciary.

The American legal system today is essentially on a par with that of Russia.


8 07 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Will Americans Elect The Criminal Hillary Clinton As Their President? [UPDATED]


Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written:

Does Hillary Clinton possess the integrity and honesty to be president of the United States? Or are those quaint and irrelevant considerations in electing a head of state in 21st-century America?

These are the questions put on the table by the report from FBI Director James Comey on what his agents unearthed in their criminal investigation of the Clinton email scandal.

Clinton dodged an FBI recommendation that she be indicted for gross negligence in handling U.S. security secrets, a recommendation that would have aborted her campaign. But Director Comey dynamited the defense she has been offering the country.

Comey all but declared that Clinton lied when she said she had State Department approval for the email server in her home.

He all but declared that she lied when she said she had only one server, and that no classified or secret material was transmitted. He also implied that she lied when she said she had used only one device and had turned over all of her work-related emails to State. The FBI found “several thousand” more.

Clinton said her emails were stored in a secure area. This, too, was false. Hostile actors and hostile regimes, said Comey, had access to email systems of those with whom she communicated.

Comey said he found no criminal “intent” in what Clinton did.

Yet, he charged her with having been “extremely careless” with U.S. national security secrets, a phrase that seems synonymous with the gross negligence needed to indict and convict.

While recommending against prosecution, Comey added, “This is not to suggest that in similar circumstances, a person who engaged in this activity would face no consequence. To the contrary, those individuals are often subject to security or administrative sanctions.”

Translation: Were Clinton still the secretary of state and were such recklessness with secrets to be discovered, she could have been forced to resign and stripped of her security clearance forever.

Yet if Clinton is elected president, our commander in chief for the next four years, and her confidantes Huma Abedin and Cheryl Mills, will all be individuals the FBI has found to be reckless and unreliable in the handling of national security secrets.

We will have security risks running the armed forces of the USA.

Nor is this the first time Clinton’s truthfulness has been called into question. Twenty years ago, she fabricated a tale about crossing a tarmac in Bosnia “under sniper fire,” and running with “our heads down.” Photos showed a peaceful arrival featuring a smiling little girl.

Family members of the dead heroes of Benghazi’s “13 Hours” say Clinton told them she would see to it that the creator of the anti-Islamic video that incited the mob that killed their sons would be run down, all the while knowing it had been a planned terrorist attack.

In 1996, the New York Times’ William Safire went over all of the statements Clinton had made in Whitewater and related scandals of Bill Clinton’s first term, compared them with subsequently revealed truth, and pronounced Hillary Clinton a “congenital liar.”

She has claimed she tried to join the Marines in 1975, and long contended she was named for famed mountaineer Edmund Hillary, who conquered Mount Everest. Only Sir Edmund climbed Everest when Hillary was 6 years old. The perfect running mate for this serial fabricator would be the Cherokee lass Elizabeth Warren.

Still, a question arises as to Comey’s motives in airing the findings of an FBI investigation. Normally, the bureau passes on the evidence it has found, along with its recommendation, to the Justice Department. And Justice decides whether to prosecute.

Instead, Comey called a press conference, documented the charge that Clinton was “extremely careless,” contradicted, point by point, the story she has told the public, then announced he was recommending against prosecution.

What was behind this extraordinary performance?

By urging no prosecution, but providing evidence for a verdict of criminal negligence in handing classified material, Comey was saying:

I am not recommending prosecution, because, to do that, would be to force Hillary Clinton out of the race, and virtually decide the election of 2016. And that is not my decision. That is your decision.

You, the American people, should decide, given all this evidence, if Clinton should be commander in chief. You decide if a public figure with a record of such recklessness and duplicity belongs in the Oval Office.

Comey was making the case against Clinton as the custodian of national security secrets with a credibility the GOP cannot match, while refusing to determine her fate by urging an indictment, and instead leaving her future in our hands.

And, ultimately, should not this decision rest with the people, and not the FBI?

If, knowing what we know of the congenital mendacity of Hillary Clinton, the nation chooses her as head of state and commander in chief, then that will tell us something about the America of 2016.

And it will tell us something about the supposed superiority of democracy over other forms of government.

See http://www.wnd.com/2016/07/will-americans-elect-a-congenital-liar-president/#! (“Will Americans elect a ‘congenital liar’ president?”) (emphasis added; italics in original); see also https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/comey-a-theory/2016/07/07/297f9bd0-4478-11e6-8856-f26de2537a9d_story.html (“FBI Director James Comey spent 14 minutes laying out an unassailable case for prosecuting Hillary Clinton for the mishandling of classified material. Then at literally the last minute, he recommended against prosecution. Under the statute (18 U.S.C. section 793(f)), it’s a felony to mishandle classified information either intentionally or ‘through gross negligence.’ The evidence, as outlined by Comey, is overwhelming”—”Clinton either sent or received 110 emails in 52 chains containing material that was classified at the time. Eight of these chains contained information that was top secret”—”These were stored on a home server that was even less secure than a normal Gmail account. Her communications were quite possibly compromised by hostile powers, thus jeopardizing American national security”—”She meant to do what she did. And she did it. Intentionally”—”[T]he Clintons are treated by a different standard. Only little people pay. They are too well-connected, too well-protected to be treated like everybody else. Alternatively, the explanation lies with Comey: He gave in to implicit political pressure, the desire to please those in power”)

Comey must be driven from the FBI and prosecuted himself.

The agency has been corrupt for decades; however, he may be the most corrupt official in its history.

Also, Clinton must be indicted at the outset of the Trump presidency, and spend the rest of it in an orange prison jumpsuit. Only a presidential pardon by Barack Obama may save her from this fate.


15 07 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Who Gave Us Justice Ginsburg?

Ruth Ginsberg

This is the tile of an article by Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself:

“Her mind is shot.”

That was the crisp diagnosis of Donald Trump on hearing the opinion of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the possibility he might become president.

It all began with an interview last week when the justice was asked for her thoughts on a Trump presidency. Ginsburg went on a tear.

“I can’t imagine what this place (the Supreme Court) would be — I can’t imagine what the country would be — with Donald Trump as our president. For the country, it could be four years. For the court, it could be — I don’t even want to contemplate that.”

Yet she had contemplated the horror of it all, as she quoted her late husband as saying of such a catastrophe, “It’s time for us to move to New Zealand.”

This week, Ginsburg doubled down.

“Trump is a faker,” she vented in chambers on Monday, “He has no consistency about him. He says whatever comes into his head. … He really has an ego. … How has he gotten away with not turning over his tax returns? The press seems to be very gentle with him on that.”

Sounding like Democratic Party Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Ginsburg attacked the Senate for not voting on Judge Merrick Garland to fill the seat of the late Justice Antonin Scalia.

“That’s their job. There’s nothing in the Constitution that says the president stops being president in his last year.”

True, your honor, but there is also nothing in the Constitution that says the Senate must vote expeditiously, or at all.

Ginsburg hailed Justice Anthony Kennedy as “the great hero of this term” for his votes upholding abortion rights and affirmative action.

“Think what would have happened had Justice Scalia remained with us,” she added, which comes close to saying the death of the great jurist was not entirely unwelcome to the leading liberal on the court.

“I’d love to see Citizens United overruled,” Ginsburg volunteered, which gives us a pretty good idea how she will vote when that question comes before the court again.

As the Wall Street Journal notes, under Section 28 US Code 455, “(a)ny justice, judge or magistrate judge of the United States must disqualify himself in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Since “himself” and “his” refer to men, perhaps Ginsburg does not think the rules apply to her.

The federal code of judicial conduct for U.S. judges, says the Chicago Tribune, states that a “judge should not … publicly endorse a candidate for public office.”

But does not Ginsburg’s relentless trashing of Trump constitute a political attack on him, to help his opponent Hillary Clinton?

Ginsburg “should resign from the Court before she does the reputation of the judiciary more harm,” says the Journal.

There is a precedent. Justice Abe Fortas resigned in 1969 in a scandal when his ties to a convicted swindler became known.

But a dissent here. Why should Ginsburg resign? Did anyone doubt she held these views? Did she hide her radical liberalism from the Senate that confirmed her 96-3 in 1993, with only three Republicans dissenting, led by the venerable Jesse Helms?

Ginsburg was an ACLU lawyer and feminist-activist when she was named to the appellate court by Jimmy Carter. Her views were no secret to anyone when the Senate confirmed her.

Let us not pretend we did not know. Thus, why should she step down for airing political and ideological views everyone knew she held?

Liberal angst is understandable. Ginsburg is giving away the game.

How can liberals credibly uphold the pretense that Supreme Court decisions, where the left is the majority, represent judgments based on the Constitution, when Ginsburg, the leading leftist, has revealed herself to be a rabid partisan who can’t wait to use her judicial power to impose her ideology upon the United States?

Ginsburg detests Trump. She wants to kill super PACs. She thinks discrimination against white males is fine if it advances diversity. She thinks Republican Senators are blockheads who do not know their duties.

She thinks the death penalty is barbaric, and that abortion on demand and same-sex marriage are progressive. She is waiting for a case to come before her so she can restrict gun rights.

In a democratic republic, she has a right to hold and air these views.

But a democratic republic no longer exists when justices of the mindset of Ginsburg, who have never been elected, but serve for life, can impose these views, anti-democratically, upon the country.

Since the Earl Warren era, the Supreme Court has usurped the legislative power and imposed social policies, and Congress, which has the power under Article III to shackle the Ruth Bader Ginsburgs and restrict the court’s jurisdiction, has lacked the courage to do so.

This is the problem, not Ginsburg. She does what leftist ideologues do. The problem is elsewhere.

Pogo said it best, “We have met the enemy — and he is us.”

See http://buchanan.org/blog/gave-us-justice-ginsburg-125436 (emphasis added); see also http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_SUPREME_COURT_GINSBURG_TRUMP?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT&CTIME=2016-07-14-10-16-40 (“GINSBURG APOLOGIZES FOR “ILL-ADVISED” CRITICISM OF TRUMP“)

While many of us oppose abortions, it is a shame that Ginsburg was not aborted.


23 07 2016
Timothy D. Naegele

Efforts To Destroy Hershey Must End [UPDATED]

Hershey bar

The Wall Street Journal has reported:

Hershey Co.’s largest shareholder—a trust that oversees billions of dollars for a local, nonprofit school—has agreed to make significant governance changes that could affect the future of the chocolate company, according to people familiar with the matter.

Hershey Trust Co. has agreed on terms of a settlement with Pennsylvania’s top law-enforcement officer, which has been investigating the trust board over allegations of excessive compensation and conflicts of interest.

The parties are in the process of drafting a legal document outlining the terms, which would lead to resignations of some trust board members, these people said. The settlement would include enforcing a cap on compensation and term limits of board members, according to these people.

With its roughly 30% stake in Hershey and 81% of its voting power, the Hershey Trust plays a key role in the future of the chocolate company.

A few weeks ago, Mondelez International Inc., maker of Oreo cookies and Ritz crackers, made a $23 billion bid for Hershey. The offer was rejected unanimously by Hershey’s corporate board, which includes three members of the trust’s board.

“We have reached an agreement in principle and are working on the final details in productive discussions with the Office of the Attorney General,” a spokesman for the trust said Friday.

First Deputy Attorney General Bruce Castor said in an email Friday that he met with board members and a lawyer for the trust on Thursday and agreed “in principal to a series of changes.” He declined to give further details on the proposed deal.

Industry experts say the upheaval, and a nearly entirely new 10-person board, could give Mondelez or other potential bidders an opening to try to buy the company.

Any future offers for Hershey that are accepted by the corporate board would require the approval of the trust as well as the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, which has oversight powers over the trust and can take it to court to stop a sale if it thinks it will hurt the local economy.

The Hershey Trust has opposed efforts to sell the company in the past, as it has been under pressure by the local community to keep Hershey independent. In 2002, the trust ultimately rejected an offer by Wm. Wrigley Jr. Co.

The trust’s board has a legal obligation to act in the best interest of the Milton Hershey School for underprivileged children. Proceeds from the trust’s investments provide the revenue to run the school, which has about 2,000 students, many of whom get jobs and internships within the Hershey empire, including the chocolate factory in town, the Hershey resort and the local theme park.

But the trust’s roughly $12 billion endowment is largely tied up in Hershey stock, making its portfolio heavily concentrated. Some say selling the company would benefit the school by diversifying the trust’s assets and generating higher returns.

At issue in the current investigation by the attorney general’s office were concerns about alleged overpayments for board members, reimbursements for exorbitant travel expenses and term limits that exceed 10 years, according to internal memos from the attorney general’s office reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Under the settlement, several board members would resign at the end of the year, according to people familiar with the matter. This would be in addition to the four who have resigned in the past several months.

See http://www.wsj.com/articles/hershey-trust-to-reach-settlement-with-pennsylvania-attorney-generals-office-1469224460 (“Hershey Trust to Reach Settlement With Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office“) (emphasis added)

Government does not work, at any level. It is a vast wasteland of bureaucracy, inefficiencies, petty yet gigantic egos and abuses of power, and everything bad that the American people think it is, and far worse.

For those of us who have worked in and with governments at all levels in the United States, the time-tested axiom—the government that governs least governs best—rings with amazing clarity. The American people are wise, and they know this intuitively, which undergirds the Trump and Sanders movements.

Second, Hershey is an American institution. Many of us have eaten Hershey bars since we were kids; and while fancier chocolate bars have emerged in the market, we still choose Hersheys because we love them. The idea that this great company could be torn asunder by some hack AG’s office is an affront to everything we believe in.

The Hershey Trust has opposed efforts to sell the company in the past, and rightly so, which must continue.

Hands off Hershey! Get rid of the AG instead!

. . .

Perhaps the most egregious example of AGs’ corruption has involved the extortion of America’s banks, shareholders and customers, to the tune of $110 billion. As I have written:

The prosecutors must be held personally responsible as well, and their legal careers must be ended. They are a vicious and unprincipled lot anyway. The same is true of the corrupt politicians who were involved in this wholesale fleecing of America’s banks.

Each of these lawless monsters should be imprisoned, where true justice will be meted out by the inmates.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2016/01/16/the-obama-great-depression/#comment-8469 (“Extortion: Big Banks Paid $110 Billion In Mortgage-Related Fines“)


9 02 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Like So Many Judges, Is Trump’s Nominee To The Supreme Court An Arrogant Buffoon, Or A Fool? [UPDATED]

Despicable Judges

The UK’s Daily Mail has reported:

President Trump’s choice to serve on the Supreme Court said in a private meeting that he finds Trump’s Twitter attacks on a federal judge ‘disheartening,’ after Trump went after a judge who ruled on his immigration order.

Gorsuch made his views known in a private meeting with Connecticut Democratic senator Richard Blumenthal.

‘He said very specifically that they were demoralizing and disheartening and he characterized them very specifically that way,’ Blumenthal said following his meeting with Gorsuch, who is in the midst of a round of courtesy calls.

‘I said they were more than disheartening and I said to him that he has an obligation to make his views clear to the American people, so they understand how abhorrent or unacceptable President Trump’s attacks on the judiciary are,’ he added, CNN reported.

Trump this weekend went after a district court judge who issued a stay of his immigration order – setting up a process that could land the order before the Supreme Court.

‘The opinion of this so-called judge, which essentially takes law-enforcement away from our country, is ridiculous and will be overturned!’ Trump tweeted.

The comment was confirmed by the Supreme Court nomination team.

Federal district judge James Robart, a George W. Bush appointee, issued a stop to Trump’s immigration order last week while it is being adjudicated.

The order had the effect of reopening immigration from a group of seven majority-muslim nations that were deemed a threat.

The issue is certain to arise in Gorsuch’s confirmation before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Top Democrats are already making an issue of whether he can be independent from Trump.

Trump also drew widespread criticism during the primary for going after judge Gonzalo Curiel, who had ruled against him in a Trump University fraud case he ultimately settled after paying $25 million to students who claimed they were defrauded by the offer of real estate classes.

Blumenthal said he brought up Trump’s attacks on judges and that Gorsuch ‘didn’t disagree with me on that point.’

‘I said to him if a litigant before your court – and the President of the United States is in fact a litigant right now in the immigration ban cases – said what President Trump said, you would hold him in contempt of court,’ he added.

Gorsuch also met with Senate Demoratic leader Charles Schumer and reportedly gave similar assurances. But after his meeting with Gorsuch, Schumer said, ‘The judge today avoided answers like the plague.’

GOP Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas publicly criticized Trump for the twitter attack Wednesday.

‘Judge Robart, like every other judge in the federal system, is confirmed by the Senate after having been appointed by the president. He’s a judge. He’s not a so-called judge,’ he said bluntly, appearing on CNN.

‘I would say he wrote a so-called opinion, that didn’t offer a single legal reason for his conclusion,’ he added.

‘And again I think it’s best not to personalize these disputes. I understand the president is frustrated that this judge in Seattle has stayed his order. I don’t think that was the right decision. But I would probably focus on the merits of the case itself, and have confidence in his victory on appeal – because I think he should have confidence in his victory,’ he added.

Trump also criticized a federal Ninth Circuit Appeals Court that took up the immigration order Tuesday night.

‘A bad high school student would understand this. Anybody would understand this,’ he said, following a dramatic reading of a portion of the law Wednesday.

‘I listened to a bunch of stuff last night on television that was disgraceful. It was disgraceful,’ Trump fumed.

‘Because what I just read to you is what we have. And it just can’t be read any plainer or better. And for us to be going through this!’

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4205774/Trump-court-pick-finds-attack-judge-demoralizing.html (“Democratic senator says Supreme Court nominee found Trump’s attack on judge who blocked travel ban ‘demoralizing’ and ‘disheartening'”) (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/#comment-9647 (“Trump Blasts Courts On Travel Ban“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/#comment-9594 (“Trump Immigration Order Restricted By Despicable U.S. Judges“) and https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-02-09/appeals-court-keeps-u-s-doors-open-during-immigration-fight (The worst federal appellate court in the nation “Keeps U.S. Doors Open During Immigration Fight’) and http://www.newsmax.com/Politics/Blumenthal-Comments-Trump-Gorsuch/2017/02/09/id/772730/ (“Blumenthal: Gorsuch OK’d Me to Reveal His Trump Criticisms“) and https://www.bloomberg.com/politics/articles/2017-02-09/appeals-court-keeps-u-s-doors-open-during-immigration-fight (“Trump Dealt Major Setback as [lawless 9th Circuit] Appeals Court Sides With Immigrants“) and https://www.yahoo.com/news/exclusive-syrias-assad-tells-yahoo-news-some-refugees-are-definitely-terrorists-182401926.html (“Syria’s Assad tells Yahoo News some refugees are ‘definitely’ terrorists“)

Surely President Trump’s nominee to the Court is smart enough to know that a Democratic senator cannot be trusted, much less Blumenthal.

Has Blumenthal distorted Gorsuch’s words, or is Gorsuch a fool? We know that Robart is pure scum, and should be removed from the District Court. That much is clear.

What may also be clear is that President Trump should “yank Judge Gorsuch’s nomination and send up to the Senate a candidate who can keep his or her cool.”

See http://www.nysun.com/editorials/the-gorsuch-gaffe/89893/ (“The Gorsuch Gaffe”—”What’s so disheartening is to see such a promising nominee to the high court lose his bearings in a storm. What in the world was Judge Gorsuch thinking?”—”Judge Gorsuch . . . fetched up in the office of the senior Democratic senator from the People’s Republic of Connecticut, and starts wringing his hands about the behavior of the president who nominated him. It would be surprising to us if by chastising his nominator Judge Gorsuch gained any quarter whatsoever from the Democrats. Not even a micron of a quarter”—”It would not be surprising . . . were Mr. Trump to turn around and yank Judge Gorsuch’s nomination and send up to the Senate a candidate who can keep his or her cool”—”As the courts have thrust themselves into political questions, confidence in the Supreme Court has begun to decline”—”The percentage of Americans who had a great deal or quite a lot of confidence in the Supreme Court slumped to 3 in the decade ending in 2006, according to Gallup. Where Americans confidence reposes, it turns out, is in the military, the police, and religion. The Supreme Court’s slide is what’s disheartening”—”Mr. Trump is but one of the millions of voters who are upset by the politicization of the courts and he has emerged as a tribune for, among other things, millions of citizens who feel similarly”) and http://www.nysun.com/comments/340718 and http://humanevents.com/2017/02/08/a-maniac-is-running-our-foreign-policy-its-not-trump/ (“A Maniac Is Running Our Foreign Policy! (It’s Not Trump)”—”If only we were able to deport citizens, we could use Trump’s new policy of excluding those who are ‘hostile’ toward our country to get rid of Judge James Robart”—”[T]here is not the slightest question but that the president, in his sole discretion, can choose to admit or exclude any foreigners he likes, based on ‘the interests of the United States.’ The Clinton administration used the executive branch’s broad power over immigration to send a 6-year-old boy back to a communist dictatorship. The courts were completely powerless to stop him”—”The president’s authority over immigration is absolute and exclusive, as part of his authority over foreign policy”—”[W]hen the president’s immigration policy is to protect Americans: Some piss-ant judge announces that his authority exceeds that of the president”—”The judiciary, both political parties, the media, Hollywood, corporate America and approximately 1 million lobbying groups are all working frantically to bring the hardest cases to our shores”—”Federal judges issue lunatic rulings to ensure that there will never be a pause in the transformation of America”)

Tragically, lots of us who have been lawyers for many years, if not decades, have little or no confidence in or respect for our judiciary or courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.


9 02 2017
Gay Floyd

I agree with what my President Trump said and I watched him live on Facebook.

Liked by 1 person

9 02 2017
Timothy D. Naegele


Despicable Judges

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written:

“Disheartening and demoralizing,” wailed Judge Neil Gorsuch of President Trump’s comments about the judges seeking to overturn his 90-day ban on travel to the U.S. from the Greater Middle East war zones.

What a wimp. Did our future justice break down crying like Sen. Chuck Schumer? Sorry, this is not Antonin Scalia. And just what horrible thing had our president said?

A “so-called judge” blocked the travel ban, said Trump. And the arguments in court, where 9th Circuit appellate judges were hearing the government’s appeal, were “disgraceful.” “A bad student in high school would have understood the arguments better.”

Did the president disparage a couple of judges? Yep.

Yet compare his remarks to the tweeted screeds of Elizabeth Warren after her Senate colleague, Jeff Sessions, was confirmed as attorney general.

Sessions, said Warren, represents “radical hatred.” And if he makes “the tiniest attempt to bring his racism, sexism & bigotry” into the Department of Justice, “all of us” will pile on.

Now this is hate speech. And it validates Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s decision to use Senate rules to shut her down.

These episodes reveal much about America 2017.

They reflect, first, the poisoned character of our politics. The language of Warren – that Sessions is steeped in “racism, sexism & bigotry” – echoes the ugliest slander of the Hillary Clinton campaign, where she used similar words to describe Trump’s “deplorables.”

Such language, reflecting as it does the beliefs of one-half of America about the other, rules out any rapprochement in America’s social or political life. This is pre-civil war language.

For how do you sit down and work alongside people you believe to be crypto-Nazis, Klansmen and fascists? Apparently, you don’t. Rather, you vilify them, riot against them, deny them the right to speak or to be heard.

And such conduct is becoming common on campuses today.

As for Trump’s disparagement of the judges, only someone ignorant of history can view that as frightening.

Thomas Jefferson not only refused to enforce the Alien & Sedition Acts of President John Adams, his party impeached Supreme Court Justice Samuel Chase, who had presided over one of the trials.

Jackson defied Chief Justice John Marshall’s prohibition against moving the Cherokees out of Georgia to west of the Mississippi, where, according to the Harvard resume of Sen. Warren, one of them bundled fruitfully with one of her ancestors, making her part Cherokee.

When Chief Justice Roger Taney declared that President Abraham Lincoln’s suspension of the writ of habeas corpus violated the Constitution, Lincoln considered sending U.S. troops to arrest the chief justice.

FDR proposed adding six justices to emasculate a Supreme Court of the “nine old men” he reviled for having declared some New Deal schemes unconstitutional.

President Eisenhower called his Supreme Court choices Earl Warren and William Brennan two of the “worst mistakes” he made as president. History bears Ike out. And here we come to the heart of the matter.

Whether the roll-out of the president’s temporary travel ban was ill-prepared or not, and whether one agrees or not about which nations or people should be subjected to extreme vetting, the president’s authority in the matter of protecting the borders and keeping out those he sees as potentially dangerous is universally conceded.

That a district judge would overrule the president of the United States on a matter of border security in wartime is absurd.

When politicians don black robes and seize powers they do not have, they should be called out for what they are – usurpers and petty tyrants. And if there is a cause upon which the populist right should unite, it is that elected representatives and executives make the laws and rule the nation. Not judges, and not justices.

Indeed, one of the mightiest forces that has birthed the new populism that imperils the establishment is that unelected justices like Warren and Brennan, and their progeny on the bench, have remade our country without the consent of the governed – and with never having been smacked down by Congress or the president.

Consider. Secularist justices de-Christianized our country. They invented new rights for vicious criminals as though criminal justice were a game. They tore our country apart with idiotic busing orders to achieve racial balance in public schools. They turned over centuries of tradition and hundreds of state, local and federal laws to discover that the rights to an abortion and same-sex marriage were there in Madison’s Constitution all along. We just couldn’t see them.

Trump has warned the judges that if they block his travel ban, and this results in preventable acts of terror on American soil, they will be held accountable. As rightly they should.

Meanwhile, Trump’s White House should use the arrogant and incompetent conduct of these federal judges to make the case not only for creating a new Supreme Court, but for Congress to start using Article III, Section 2, of the Constitution – to restrict the jurisdiction of the Supreme Court, and to reclaim its stolen powers.

A clipping of the court’s wings is long overdue.

See http://www.wnd.com/2017/02/trump-must-break-judicial-power/ (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/#comment-9649 (“Like So Many Judges, Is Trump’s Nominee To The Supreme Court An Arrogant Buffoon, Or A Fool?“)

More than a “clipping of wings” is necessary. The dark and sinister, and lawless and tyrannical judiciary’s power must be broken.

Tragically, lots of us who have been lawyers for many years, if not decades, have little or no confidence in or respect for our judiciary or courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Will it take 9/11-like events that strike the judiciary directly—as well as the media, and the Left and far-Left—to shake them out of their sanctimonious and un-American attitudes?

See, e.g., http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/bomb-scare-shuts-down-hollywood-highland-metro-station-el-capitan-theatre-974684 (“Bomb Scare Shuts Down Hollywood Subway Station, Chinese Theater Evacuated“)


22 02 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Americans Hate Both Political Parties And Rightly So [UPDATED]

No Justice

American conservative social and political commentator, writer, syndicated columnist and lawyer Ann Coulter has written:

Americans thought electing a trash-talking billionaire reality TV star to the presidency of the #$%^ United States would finally be enough to convey the message that they hate both political parties. If anything, they hate Republicans more.

But the Uni-Party can’t learn. The bureaucracy, the judiciary and congressional Republicans are all openly working for the “Resistance.” It’s President Trump against the world.

In Congress, the hate for Trump is personal. Not only did he throw a grenade into politicians’ little do-nothing club, but his very existence destroys their self-conception as people with a set of skills.

While Trump was making billions of dollars building skyscrapers, developing golf courses and starring on a hit reality TV show, members of Congress were slowly working their way up the political ladder — interning at think tanks and congressional offices, taking some small government job, then running for the House or Senate, and, hopefully, marrying a woman with a large inheritance.

A stunning number of senators and congressmen are supported by rich wives — Sens. John McCain, Mitch McConnell, Richard Blumenthal, John Kerry and Ron Wyden, and Reps. Michael McCaul, Scott Peters and Paul Ryan, to name a few. Is there any other profession with as high a percentage of men sponging off their wives’ inheritances?

Then a self-made billionaire came along, violated all the rules they had lived by, and swept aside more than a dozen experienced politicians just like themselves! Not only did Trump make his own money, but he beat them at the one thing they thought they knew how to do.

How else to explain Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s sneering dismissal of Trump’s request for an investigation into voter fraud, followed — one week later! — by McConnell’s assurance that the Senate would investigate former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn’s phone call to the Russian ambassador?

These useless Republicans allowed a Senate seat to be stolen from under their noses in Minnesota in 2008, giving Obama the vote he needed to pass Obamacare and destroy our health care.

No, don’t investigate that! Why bother with the very foundation of democracy? How will these nitwit politicians win praise from The Washington Post without devoting all their energy to some current leftist fetish, like Russia?

At least when liberals fixate on Russia, they have a clear subversive mission.

Congressional Republicans are just nincompoops. The only thing they know is: Imitate Reagan — from 30 years ago. It would make more sense for Republicans to demand that all air traffic controllers be fired for no reason than it is for them to keep treating Putin like it’s 1950 and he’s Stalin. (We know Putin isn’t Stalin because Democrats aren’t affectionately calling him “Uncle Joe” and spying for him.)

If senators have time for hearings on Flynn’s discussions with the Russian ambassador, could they possibly squeeze in an afternoon to repeal Obamacare?

How about the campaign pledge that rocketed Trump to the White House? According to The Washington Post, at the GOP retreat last month, when Trump talked about using tax policy to help pay for the wall, Republicans expressed “confusion about what exactly he meant.”

Are they retarded? (By “they,” I mean all Republicans in Congress, except Sen. Tom Cotton and about a half-dozen others.)

If Republicans had an ounce of self-respect, right after repealing Obamacare and writing a bill taxing remittances to make Mexico pay for the wall, they’d be impeaching the ridiculous Judge James Robart. Even lawyers who oppose Trump’s travel ban agree that Judge Robart made a complete ass of himself when he blocked the executive order.

The “Resistance” claims to be terrified that Trump will not be constrained by our Constitution, but they’re the ones who are perfectly willing to disregard the Constitution simply to stop Trump.

At least since the Chinese exclusion case of 1889, the Supreme Court has made blindingly clear that “the power of exclusion of foreigners” belongs to the political branches of government: Congress and the president — not to the judiciary.

The president’s authority to exclude aliens in the public interest has been reaffirmed in dozens of cases since then. Among them:

— Harisiades v. Shaughnessy (1952): “Any policy toward aliens is vitally and intricately interwoven with . . . the conduct of foreign relations, the war power, and the maintenance of a republican form of government. Such matters are so exclusively entrusted to the political branches of government as to be largely immune from judicial inquiry or interference.”

— Shaughnessy v. Mezei (1953): “Congress expressly authorized the President to impose additional restrictions on aliens entering or leaving the United States during periods of international tension and strife. . . . (The President) may shut out aliens whose ‘entry would be prejudicial to the interests of the United States.’”

— Mathews v. Diaz (1976): “(T)he responsibility for regulating the relationship between the United States and our alien visitors has been committed to the political branches of the Federal Government. . . . (Therefore, there is) a narrow standard of review of decisions made by the Congress or the President in the area of immigration and naturalization.”

— United States v. Valenzuela-Bernal (1982): “The power to regulate immigration — an attribute of sovereignty essential to the preservation of any nation — has been entrusted by the Constitution to the political branches of the Federal Government.”

— INS. v. Aguirre-Aguirre (1999): “(J)udicial deference to the Executive Branch is especially appropriate in the immigration context where officials ‘exercise especially sensitive political functions that implicate questions of foreign relations.’”

And on and on and on.

There are lots of constitutional questions that reasonable people can disagree about. Whether the president can exclude foreigners from seven terror-prone countries is not one of them.

But congressional Republicans are happy to ignore the Constitution, ignore the balance of powers, ignore written law, even to relinquish their own constitutional authority and let the courts run our foreign policy, just to be a part of the establishment’s STOP TRUMP movement.

Instead of neurotically fixating on Russia in some fantasy camp imitation of Reagan, circa 1982, what we’d like these worthless Republicans to do is: Imitate Trump — circa now.

See http://humanevents.com/2017/02/22/american-gigolos-gop-watch-list-part-2/ (emphasis added)

There is no question that the total scumbag and “ridiculous Judge James Robart” should be impeached. And his impeachment should be just the beginning of a very long list of impeachments to rid our judiciary of lawless judges.

As Ann Coulter has written, correctly:

Even lawyers who oppose Trump’s travel ban agree that Judge Robart made a complete ass of himself when he blocked the executive order.



6 05 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Trump-Hatred Warps America’s Lawless Judiciary

Despicable Judges

St. John’s University law professor Marc O. DeGirolami has written in the Weekly Standard:

Something ugly is happening to the First Amendment. It is being contorted to enable judges to protest Donald Trump’s presidency. The perennial impulse of judges to manipulate the law to achieve morally and politically desirable ends has only been exacerbated by the felt necessity to “resist” Trump. The result: Legal tests concerning the freedoms of speech and religion that in some cases were already highly dubious are being further deformed and twisted.

Welcome to the rise of fake law. Just as fake news spreads ideologically motivated misinformation with a newsy veneer, fake law brings us judicial posturing, virtue signaling, and opinionating masquerading as jurisprudence. And just as fake news augurs the end of authoritative reporting, fake law portends the diminution of law’s legitimacy and the warping of judges’ self-understanding of their constitutional role.

Those who try to police the relentlessly transformational projects of constitutional progressives had much to dread from the Obama administration, an inveterate ally of the legal left that did what it could to graft the aspirations of progressives onto the Constitution. But Trump’s presidency may be even worse, because too many judges now feel called to “resist” Trump and all his works—no matter the cost to the law’s authority and to the integrity of the judicial role.

In one recent deformation, Trump was sued for incitement to riot and assault and battery when, at a campaign rally before he became president, he said “Get ’em out of here” in response to protesters in the audience. Several of these protesters were subsequently pushed and struck by others in the crowd. A Kentucky federal district judge ruled that the case against Trump could proceed because “Get ’em out of here” could reasonably be interpreted as an exhortation to attack the protesters.

The most astonishing part is the court’s conclusion that the statement is not protected by the speech clause of the First Amendment because it is plausible to think Trump was inciting a riot. Though the court cites the highly speech-protective test from Brandenburg v. Ohio, in which the Supreme Court held that the freedom of speech does not permit the government “to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action,” it mangles it. What part of “Get ’em out of here” could plausibly be interpreted as advocating illegal activity, rather than a call for the assistance of security officers? Where is the explicit advocacy of illegality?

Brandenburg involved a KKK member advocating on film the possibility of “revengeance” against African Americans and Jews, along with other hateful speech. In an earlier case, Terminiello v. City of Chicago, a rabble-rousing priest whipped up an angry throng to confront an enraged mob, shouting: “[T]here will be violence. .  .  . We will not be tolerant of that mob out there. .  .  . We are going to stand up and dare them to smear us. .  .  . We don’t want them here; we want them to go back to where they came from.” In both cases, the Supreme Court held that these words were constitutionally protected free speech. Neither what Trump said nor the context of his speech is even in the same universe.

And yet this district court found a way to rule that the president of the United States might be deposed on the question of incitement to criminal violence because Trump had on some other occasions “condoned violence,” and because had Trump actually wanted the assistance of security officers to remove the protesters, “Trump would have instructed the intervening audience members to stop what they were doing.”

It is not possible to explain this jaw-dropping ruling—one that flies in the face of binding Supreme Court precedent—without reference to extra-legal factors: the desire to embarrass the president, for example, or to create mischief for him, or to signal opposition to him. That Trump had previously “condoned violence” is irrelevant to whether he incited a riot at this rally. It is highly relevant, however, if one’s purpose is grandstanding to injure a political opponent.

An even more appalling specimen of fake law has been generated by Trump’s executive order restricting entry into the country by nationals of six foreign countries for 90 days and suspending refugee admission for 120 days. In one court order, a Hawaii federal district judge rejected the government’s claim that the six nations posed special security threats (on this, the Trump and Obama administrations are aligned) and concluded that the order violated the establishment clause. Relying principally on obscure dicta from Justice David Souter’s opinion for the Supreme Court in McCreary County v. ACLU (2005), the court held that the “unique,” “remarkable” “historical context” of the order, “full of religious animus, invective, and obvious pretext,” tainted it with anti-Muslim bias and therefore evidenced a purpose to make a law respecting an establishment of religion.

The court pointed to campaign statements by Trump that “Islam hates us” and by his “surrogate” (a media term appropriated by the judge) Rudy Giuliani’s description of a campaign conversation with Trump about a “Muslim ban” to justify its holding. This executive order was narrower than its predecessor—but somehow that counted against the government. In reaffirming its decision in a preliminary injunction, the court erupted in sanctimonious disgust: “The Court will not crawl into a corner, pull the shutters closed, and pretend it has not seen what it has.”

McCreary County was a 5-4 decision in which the Supreme Court concluded that two Kentucky counties’ displays of the Ten Commandments in their respective courthouses were unconstitutional because each of three iterations of the displays evinced to a “reasonable observer” the same impermissible, nonsecular purpose—the promotion of Christianity. “Reasonable observers,” the Court intoned, “have reasonable memories.”

And unreasonable observers have unreasonable ones. Put to one side that the Supreme Court has never yet applied the establishment clause to foreign claims—a fact not even acknowledged by this judge. What makes the Hawaii court ruling so absurd—and such a clear example of fake law—is the district judge’s use of campaign statements by people without any lawmaking power when they were made to identify the order’s purpose. The Ten Commandments case was at least an attempt to discern government purpose because there was actually a government with a law-making history whose purpose could ostensibly be investigated. What “legislative history” did this judge consult? Campaign rhetoric, and the media spouting of a “surrogate” who has no role at all in the current administration.

A large part of the blame for this abomination falls on the Supreme Court. It was only a matter of time before the hollowness of its favored establishment clause test—which focuses on impure motivations, perceived slights, and the hurt feelings of political exclusion—would be exposed in the patently unreasonable use of irrelevant and illimitable “context.” The reasonable observer, it seems, is not the judge who faithfully applies the law but the politically motivated judge who swells the scope of the establishment clause and wears his contempt for the president like a medal.

. . .

As more courts succumb to similar Trump-hatred in the exercise of their constitutional duties, the damage to the law’s legitimacy and to the institution of the judiciary will only intensify. As with fake news, it is one of the pathologies of fake law that we are likely to forget what real law looks like. Soon enough, we won’t even know the difference.

See http://www.weeklystandard.com/fake-law/article/2007934 (“Fake Law“) (emphasis added)

The worst of America’s legal profession become judges. It has been polluted the most by judges who are egotistical, callous, mean-spirited, power-hungry, self-righteous, condescending and, yes, incompetent and arrogant.

Shakespeare’s famous quotation—“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”—must have been written by the Bard in some light-hearted, clairvoyant moment with the dark and sinister characteristics of judges in mind.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Let%27s_kill_all_the_lawyers


27 05 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Despicable Benghazi Deaths’ Judge Must Be Targeted For Removal [UPDATED]

Amy Berman Jackson

POLITICO has reported:

A federal judge in Washington has dismissed a lawsuit alleging that Hillary Clinton’s lax security surrounding her emails led to the deaths of two of the Americans killed in the 2012 attack on the U.S. diplomatic compound in Benghazi, Libya.

In a ruling Friday, U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson tossed out the wrongful death claims as well as allegations that Clinton essentially slandered the parents of the deceased by contradicting accounts the parents gave of events related to their children’s deaths.

The suit was filed last August by Patricia Smith, the mother of State Department information officer Sean Smith, and Charles Woods, the father of CIA operative Tyrone Woods.

The parents sued weeks after Patricia Smith took to the stage at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland to deliver an emotional speech blasting the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee and for failing to save the four Americans who died in the Benghazi attack while she was secretary of state: Smith, Woods, CIA operative Glen Doherty and U.S. Ambassador to Libya Christopher Stevens.

Jackson dismissed the wrongful death portion of the suit on technical grounds after granting the State Department’s motion to step in as the defendant on those claims. The Obama-appointed judge concluded Clinton used her email in the course of her official duties.

“The Court finds that Secretary Clinton was acting in the scope of her employment when she transmitted the emails that are alleged to give rise to her liability,” Jackson wrote in her 29-page opinion. “The untimely death of plaintiffs’ sons is tragic, and the Court does not mean to minimize the unspeakable loss that plaintiffs have suffered in any way. But when one applies the appropriate legal standards, it is clear that plaintiffs have not alleged sufficient facts to rebut the presumption that Secretary Clinton was acting in her official capacity when she used her private email server.”

Jackson cautioned that she was not opining on the appropriateness of Clinton’s use of the private server or on whether what she said publicly about the Benghazi episode in its immediate aftermath.

“Nothing about this decision should be construed as making any determination or expressing any opinion about the propriety of the use of the private email server or the content or accuracy of the statements made by the Secretary to the family members or to anyone else in the days following the Benghazi attack,” the judge wrote.

Jackson added that she was also not making a determination about whether Clinton’s use of the private server was legal or not.

For the purposes of the suit, “it . . . does not matter whether Secretary Clinton used a private email server lawfully or unlawfully. Instead, the relevant inquiry is whether Secretary Clinton’s electronic communications with State Department personnel about official business during her tenure were within the scope of her employment as the head of the State Department,” the judge said. “Her actions – communicating with other State Department personnel and advisors about the official business of the department – fall squarely within the scope of her duty to run the Department and conduct the foreign affairs of the nation as Secretary of State.”

The judge also rejected the defamation claims, concluding that Clinton’s public statements that the family members’ were “wrong” about what she’d said to them about the motivation for the attack were not the equivalent of saying they lied. In short, Jackson concluded that Clinton was saying that the parents could be mistaken in their recollection, particularly given the impact of their children’s deaths.

“Secretary Clinton did not refer to plaintiffs as liars,” Jackson noted. “Plaintiffs may find the candidate’s statements in her own defense to be ‘unpleasant or offensive,’ but Secretary Clinton did not portray plaintiffs as ‘odious, infamous, or ridiculous….’ To the contrary, the statements portray plaintiffs as normal parents, grieving over the tragic loss of their loved ones.”

In the days following the September 11, 2012 assault in Benghazi, Clinton and other administration officials linked the attack to protests in various places in the Muslim world over an anti-Islam movie trailer released on the internet. However, U.S. intelligence officials ultimately concluded that the assault using mortars and other weapons was not a spontaneous outpouring of anger but an organized attack.

Conservatives have contended that the Obama administration delayed acknowledging the pre-planned nature of the assault because it would have undercut Obama’s campaign in the presidential election which was then just weeks away. Clinton and other Obama aides have said the initial intelligence did link the attack to the widespread protests.

The lawsuit’s email-related claims, redirected against the government, were dismissed because suits against a federal agency for money damages must generally be presented to the agency involved before a court case is filed.

A lawyer for Clinton, David Kendall, declined to comment on the decision.

The attorney for Smith and Woods, Larry Klayman of Freedom Watch, vowed an appeal while slamming the decision as “simply dishonest and an outrage.”

Klayman said his clients should have been allowed to force Clinton into a deposition to question her about her use of the private server he called “illegal” but which former FBI Director James Comey said did not meet the standards for prosecution.

Klayman said Jackson should have allowed a jury to decide whether Clinton’s statements were defamatory. The judge “clearly put politics and ahead of her oath of office as a judge to administer to the law in a neutral unbiased way,” the longtime Clinton gadfly added.

“Judge Jackson, who is an Obama appointee and a Democrat, was clearly protecting Mrs. Clinton and this intellectually dishonest decision will be appealed. My clients are confident of success,” Klayman said.

See http://www.politico.com/blogs/under-the-radar/2017/05/26/hillary-clinton-benghazi-email-suits-dismissed-238880 (“Suit against Hillary Clinton over Benghazi deaths and emails is dismissed“) (emphasis added); see also https://ecf.dcd.uscourts.gov/cgi-bin/show_public_doc?2016cv1606-37 (Jackson opinion) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/the-real-russian-conspiracy-barack-obama-the-clintons-and-the-sale-of-americas-uranium-to-russias-killer-putin/ (“The Real Russian Conspiracy: Barack Obama, The Clintons, And The Sale Of America’s Uranium To Russia’s Killer Putin“)

Jackson is not fit to serve as a district judge. In case after case, she ignores the applicable law; twists the facts and the law before her; and is the inheritor of Judge Roy Bean’s lawless mantle.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/ (“Justice And The Law Do Not Mix“)

She is a disgrace to our legal system, and does not possess the legal acumen to be a judge of any court, much less the highest courts of our land.

Any weasel words included by Jackson in her opinion to demonstrate how even-handed she is, and how she understands and has empathy and compassion for the parents’ grief, are not worth the paper they were written on. She is evil, personified; her words are pure tripe; and there is little or nothing fair or caring about anything she does.

She must be targeted for removal.

See, e.g., Saikrishna Prakash and Steven D. Smith, “How To Remove a Federal Judge,” 116 Yale L.J. 72 (2006), and http://www.yalelawjournal.org/article/how-to-remove-a-federal-judge

Indeed, she is a “poster child” for what is wrong with America’s judiciary and our profoundly rotten legal system. She is the worst of the worst, in a system that is already unfair, unjust and corrupt.

She is the Harvey Weinstein of the judiciary: despicable.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-10901 (“HOLLYWOOD HAS BEEN SICK FOR DECADES“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/09/24/washington-is-sick-and-the-american-people-know-it/#comment-7185 (“Clinton Fatigue“)

For those of us who served in the U.S. military, she is an affront to everything that is sacred. Veterans’ groups must rise up against her, and smite her down.

See, e.g., Zechariah 9:4 (King James Bible) (“Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea. . . .”)


22 07 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Let The Parents Take Charlie Gard Where They Wish

Charlie Gard

Charles Krauthammer, a physician himself, has written in the Washington Post:

One cannot imagine a more wrenching moral dilemma than the case of little Charlie Gard. He is a beautiful 11-month-old boy with an incurable genetic disease. It depletes his cells’ energy-producing structures (the mitochondria), thereby progressively ravaging his organs. He cannot hear, he cannot see, he can barely open his eyes. He cannot swallow, he cannot move, he cannot breathe on his own. He suffers from severe epilepsy, and his brain is seriously damaged. Doctors aren’t even sure whether he can feel pain.

For months he’s been at the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. His doctors have recommended removing him from life support.

His parents are deeply opposed. They have repeatedly petitioned the courts to allow them to take Charlie for experimental treatment in the United States.

The courts have denied the parents’ petition. They concluded that the proposed treatment had no chance of saving the child and would do nothing but inflict upon him further suffering. They did, however, allow the American specialist to come to London to examine Charlie. He is giving his findings to the court. A final ruling is expected on July 25.

The Telegraph of London reports that Charlie’s doctors remain unconvinced by the American researcher. Indeed, the weight of the evidence appears to support the doctors and the courts. Charlie’s genetic variant is different and far more devastating than the ones in which nucleoside bypass therapy has shown some improvement. There aren’t even animal models for treating Charlie’s condition. It’s extremely unlikely that treatment can even reach Charlie’s brain cells, let alone reverse the existing damage.

The parents have garnered support from thousands of petitioners and from such disparate luminaries as the pope and the president of the United States, both of whom have offered to bring Charlie to their facilities.

What to do? There is only one real question. What’s best for Charlie? But because he can’t speak for himself, we resort to a second question: Who is to speak for him?

The most heart-rending situation occurs when these two questions yield opposing answers. Charlie’s is such a case.

Let me explain.

In my view, two truths must guide any decision: (1) The parents must be sovereign, but (2) the parents are sometimes wrong.

I believe that in this case the parents are wrong, and the doctors and judges are right. Charlie’s suffering is literally unimaginable and we are simply prolonging it. This is a life of no light, no sound, no motion, only moments of physical suffering (seizures? intubation?) to punctuate the darkness. His doctors understandably believe that allowing a natural death is the most merciful thing they can do for Charlie.

As for miracle cures, I share the court’s skepticism. They always arise in such cases, and invariably prove to be cruel deceptions.

And yet. Despite all these considerations, I would nevertheless let the parents take their boy where they wish.

The sovereignty of loved ones must be the overriding principle that guides all such decisions. We have no other way. The irreducible truth is that these conundrums have no definitive answer. We thus necessarily fall back on family, or to put it more sentimentally, on love.

What is best for the child? The best guide is a loving parent. A parent’s motive is the most pure.

This rule is not invariable, of course. Which is why the state seizes control when parents are demonstrably injurious, even if unintentionally so, as in the case of those who, for some religious imperative, would deny their child treatment for a curable disease.

But there’s a reason why, despite these exceptions, all societies grant parents sovereignty over their children until they reach maturity. Parents are simply more likely than anyone else to act in the best interest of the child.

Not always, of course. Loved ones don’t always act for the purest of motives. Heirs, for example, may not the best guide as to when to pull the plug on an elderly relative with a modest fortune.

But then again, states can have ulterior motives, too. In countries where taxpayers bear the burden of expensive treatments, the state has an inherent incentive (of which Britain’s National Health Service has produced notorious cases) to deny treatment for reasons of economy rather than mercy.

Nonetheless, as a general rule, we trust in the impartiality of the courts — and the loving imperative of the parent.

And if they clash? What then? If it were me, I would detach the tubes and cradle the child until death. But it’s not me. It’s not the NHS. And it’s not the European Court of Human Rights.

It’s a father and a mother and their desperate love for a child. They must prevail. Let them go.

See https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/what-to-do-for-little-charlie-gard/2017/07/20/6e7916d2-6d65-11e7-96ab-5f38140b38cc_story.html (“What to do for little Charlie Gard“) (emphasis added)

Judges are the very worst of the legal profession, at least in the United States, and they should not be making such decisions.

The idea that potentially-life-saving treatment has been delayed is criminal; and those who are responsible should pay dearly.

. . .

Ultimately, Charlie and his parents, and all of us, must fall back on God. This is the great lesson of Life. And yes, miracles do happen.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/#comment-10485 (“What And Where Is God?“)


31 07 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

The Judiciary And Doctors In The UK Killed Little Charlie Gard

Charlie Gard

The UK’s Daily Mail has reported:

Eleven-month-old Charlie Gard, whose short life captured the hearts of the world, has died a week before his first birthday.

Charlie suffered from a rare genetic condition which saw him in hospital for the majority of his short life.

His parents, Connie Yates and Chris Gard, fought a lengthy and emotional legal battle to take their severely ill baby son to the US for treatment, but were denied by judges.

Charlie’s mother, Connie, said tonight: ‘Our beautiful little boy has gone, we are so proud of you Charlie.’

Yesterday courts denied his parents the chance to bring their son home to die and he was taken from Great Ormond Street to a hospice.

A spokesman said: ‘Everyone at Great Ormond Street Hospital sends their heartfelt condolences to Charlie’s parents and loved-ones at this very sad time.’

Charlie’s plight has seen hundreds of supporters – called Charlie’s Army – lending their voices and money to see the child given treatment, with £1.35 million raised on an online fund-raising site.

Pope Francis and US president Donald Trump weighed into the debate, with the Vatican saying the pontiff prayed for ‘their wish to accompany and treat their child until the end is not neglected’.

The protracted legal battle saw the couple take their case to the High Court, Court of Appeal and Supreme Court – all of which ruled life support treatment should end and Charlie should be allowed to die with dignity.

Judges at the European Court of Human Rights refused to intervene in the case – and the couple said they had been denied their final wish to be able to take their son home to die and felt ‘let down’ following the lengthy legal battle.

The couple, of Bedfont, west London, ended their legal battle on July 24, in what they called the ‘most painful of decisions’ and their son was moved to a hospice on July 27.

Mr Gard gave an emotional speech on the steps of the High Court when he said: ‘Mummy and Daddy love you so much Charlie, we always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn’t save you.

‘We had the chance but we weren’t allowed to give you that chance. Sweet dreams baby. Sleep tight our beautiful little boy.’

Charlie, who was born on August 4 last year, has a form of mitochondrial disease, a condition that causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.

Described as ‘perfectly healthy’ when he was born, Charlie was admitted to hospital at eight weeks and his condition has progressively deteriorated.

At the time Charlie’s parents said they believed their son might have been saved if experimental therapy had been tried sooner.

Ms Yates said time was ‘wasted’, adding ‘had Charlie been given the treatment sooner he would have had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy.’

Doctors at GOSH did not agree, with lawyers representing the hospital saying the ‘clinical picture’ six months ago had shown irreversible damage to Charlie’s brain.

They said the ‘unstoppable effects’ of Charlie’s rare illness had become plainer as weeks passed.

Following news of Charlie’s death, US Vice President Mike Pence tweeted: ‘Saddened to hear of the passing of Charlie Gard. Karen & I offer our prayers & condolences to his loving parents during this difficult time.’

The couple said they wanted to take their son across the Atlantic for nucleoside bypass therapy, but specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London, said the treatment was experimental and would not help.

The couple paid tribute to their ‘absolute warrior’ less than a fortnight before his first birthday on the steps of the High Court, with father Chris saying: ‘Mummy and Daddy love you so much Charlie, we always have and we always will and we are so sorry that we couldn’t save you.

‘We had the chance but we weren’t allowed to give you that chance. Sweet dreams baby. Sleep tight our beautiful little boy.’

Charlie’s parents added they believed their son might have been saved if experimental therapy had been tried sooner.

Ms Yates said time had been ‘wasted’, adding ‘had Charlie been given the treatment sooner he would have had had the potential to be a normal, healthy little boy.’

Doctors at Great Ormond Street did not agree, with lawyers representing the hospital saying the ‘clinical picture’ six months ago had shown irreversible damage to Charlie’s brain.

They said the ‘unstoppable effects’ of Charlie’s rare illness had become plainer as weeks passed.

Connie and Chris had asked for up to a week with their son before letting him ‘slip away’ before his first birthday next Friday.

Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) said last night ‘we have tried absolutely everything’ to accommodate the parents’ but will not risk an ‘unplanned and chaotic end to Charlie’s life’.

His mother Connie has hit back and insisted doctors ‘denied us our final wish’.

She said: ‘We just want some peace with our son, no hospital, no lawyers, no courts, no media – just quality time with Charlie away from everything to say goodbye to him in the most loving way.

‘Most people won’t ever have to go through what we have been through, we’ve had no control over our son’s life and no control over our son’s death.

‘I’m shocked that after all we’ve been through, they won’t allow us this extra time.’

On Wednesday Mr Justice Francis sided with his doctors and said Charlie would be taken to the hospice in a secret location where doctors will stop life-support treatment shortly after he arrives because they say extending his life will only cause him more pain.

The irrevocable court ruling came as home videos emerged showing Charlie as a newborn – weeks before his illness was diagnosed. The tiny baby is seen grasping at a two-week birthday card on a changing mat at his parents’ flat in west London, last August.

Charlie’s move to the hospice was kept secret until today.

GOSH has said it had ‘tried absolutely everything’ to accommodate the couple’s wishes, but ‘the risk of an unplanned and chaotic end to Charlie’s life is an unthinkable outcome for all concerned and would rob his parents of precious last moments with him’.

The statement concluded: ‘Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to Chris and Connie, and we hope that their privacy is respected at this devastating time for their family.’

Mr Justice Francis drew five months of litigation to a close by making the order, which saw Charlie leave the London hospital where he has been cared for since late 2016, and move to a hospice.

The hospital statement added: ‘We deeply regret that profound and heartfelt differences between Charlie’s doctors and his parents have had to be played out in court over such a protracted period.

The statement said it had been a ‘distressing process for all concerned’, adding that nobody could fault Charlie’s parents for tirelessly advocating ‘for what they sincerely believed was right for their son’.

The judge did not reveal when Charlie will move and has said the hospice cannot be identified in media reports.



The syndrome is an inherited disease which starts to show symptoms in infancy.

Most patients are born after a normal pregnancy and appear healthy at birth.

Symptoms usually begin to appear in the first few months of life.

It causes progressive muscle weakness, decreased muscle tone and kidney problems.

It also causes patients to lose motor skills such as standing, walking, eating and talking.

Eventually the muscles that control breathing become weak and respiratory failure is the most common cause of death.

Intelligence is not usually affected.

Children with severe forms of the condition usually survive for less than a year.

It is not yet fully understood what causes the condition but both parents of the child have to carry the gene mutation.

It is recessive meaning a child has a 25 per cent chance of suffering from the disease if both their parents carry the mutation.


‘Nobody can fault Charlie’s devoted parents’: Great Ormond Street on the ‘uniquely painful’ end

Yesterday Charlie’s parents were refused their request to take their son home to die and the 11-month-old was taken to a hospice in a secret location.

Great Ormond Street said hospital doctors ‘deeply regretted’ the way the case played out in court.

A spokesman for the hospital said medics there ‘get up every morning to care for sick children, not to cause further anguish to devoted parents like Chris and Connie’.

The statement comes as Charlie’s parents were told it would not be impossible for them to take their son home to die.

A Great Ormond Street Hospital spokesman said: ‘We deeply regret that profound and heartfelt differences between Charlie’s doctors and his parents have had to be played out in court over such a protracted period.

‘It has been a uniquely painful and distressing process for all concerned.

‘Charlie’s parents have tirelessly advocated for what they sincerely believed was right for their son, and nobody could fault them for doing so.

‘All of us at Great Ormond Street Hospital get up every morning to care for sick children, not to cause further anguish to devoted parents like Chris and Connie.

‘We have tried absolutely everything to accommodate their final wishes and engaged not only with those who volunteered to treat Charlie but experts from across the health service in close consultation with the NHS to make this happen.

‘This included exploring the unprecedented step of delivering intensive life support away from a hospital intensive care unit.

‘Sadly, as the judge has now ruled, there is simply no way that Charlie, a patient with such severe and complex needs, can spend any significant time outside of an intensive care environment safely.

‘The risk of an unplanned and chaotic end to Charlie’s life is an unthinkable outcome for all concerned and would rob his parents of precious last moments with him.

‘As the judge has now ruled, we will arrange for Charlie to be transferred to a specialist children’s hospice, whose remarkable and compassionate staff will support his family at this impossible time.

‘This is a very special place who will do all they can to make these last moments as comfortable and peaceful as possible for Charlie and his loved-ones.

‘Great Ormond Street Hospital would like to reassure everyone who has followed this heart-breaking story that we always puts the best interests of every single one of our patients above all else.

‘While we always respect parents’ views, we will never do anything that could cause our patients unnecessary and prolonged suffering.

‘The priority of our medical staff has always been Charlie.

‘Our doctors and nurses have worked tirelessly and done their utmost for him in the months he has been in our care.

‘Every single one of us wishes there could have been a less tragic outcome.

‘Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go out to Chris and Connie, and we hope that their privacy is respected at this devastating time for their family.



The plight of terminally-ill Charlie Gard drew international sympathy and saw interventions from the Pope and US president Donald Trump.

After a five-month legal battle, Charlie’s parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, ended their legal fight over treatment for their baby son and he was taken to a hospice.

They announced his death on Friday, July 28.

Here are the key events in the story of the 11-month-old:

• August 4 2016 – Charlie Gard is born a ”perfectly healthy” baby at full term and at a ”healthy weight”.

• September 2016 – Charlie’s parents notice that he is less able to lift his head and support himself than other babies of a similar age. Doctors discover that he has a rare inherited disease – infantile onset encephalomyopathy mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome (MDDS).

• October 2016 – Charlie has become lethargic and his breathing is shallow and he is transferred to the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London on October 11.

• December 2016 – Charlie spends his first Christmas in hospital with his parents putting a festive bib on the youngster and sharing a picture captioned ”our little elf”.

• January 2017 – A crowd-funding page is set up to help finance trial therapy in the United States.

• March 3 2017 – Great Ormond Street bosses ask Mr Justice Francis to rule that life-support treatment should stop.

• April 11 – Mr Justice Francis says doctors can stop providing life-support treatment after analysing the case at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court in London.

• May 3 – Charlie’s parents ask Court of Appeal judges to consider the case.

• May 23 – Three Court of Appeal judges analyse the case and dismiss the couple’s appeal two days later.

• June 8 – Charlie’s parents lose fight in the Supreme Court – his mother screams as justices announce their decision.

• June 20 – Judges in the European Court of Human Rights start to analyse the case after lawyers representing Charlie’s parents make written submissions.

• June 27 – European court judges refuse to intervene. A Great Ormond Street spokeswoman says the European Court decision marks ”the end” of a ”difficult process”. She says there will be ”no rush” to change Charlie’s care and says there will be ”careful planning and discussion”.

• June 29 – Charlie’s parents say his life-support will be switched off on Friday June 30.

• June 30 – They say GOSH has agreed to ”give us a little bit more time” with Charlie. They ask for privacy ”while we prepare to say the final goodbye”.

• July 2 – Pope Francis calls for the couple to be allowed to ”accompany and treat their child until the end”, saying he has followed the case with ”affection and sadness”.

• July 3 – US president Donald Trump intervenes, tweeting: ”If we can help little #CharlieGard, as per our friends in the U.K. and the Pope, we would be delighted to do so.”

• July 4 – Bambino Gesu, the Vatican’s children’s hospital in Rome, offers to take Charlie in.

• July 10 – Charlie’s parents return to the High Court and ask Mr Justice Francis to carry out a fresh analysis of the case. Mr Justice Francis says he will consider any new evidence.

• July 17 – Michio Hirano, the New York neurology professor who offered to treat Charlie, travels to London to examine the little boy, discuss the case with Great Ormond Street doctors and other clinicians and examine fresh scans.

• July 21 – Lawyer representing Great Ormond Street says a new scan makes for ”sad reading”.

• July 22 – Great Ormond Street chairwoman Mary MacLeod says doctors and nurses have been subjected to abuse in the street and received thousands of threatening messages in recent weeks.

• July 24 – Charlie’s parents announce their decision to end their legal fight, saying: ‘We are sorry we could not save you.’ Mr Justice Francis had been scheduled to analyse what his parents said was fresh evidence at a hearing in the Family Division of the High Court. But as the hearing got under way, the family’s barrister Grant Armstrong told the judge: ‘This case is now about time. Sadly time has run out.’

• July 25 – Lawyers representing Charlie’s parents and Great Ormond Street Hospital are back in court for a hearing at which the parents’ wish to take their son home to die was discussed.

• July 26 – Charlie’s parents decide he should spend his final days in a hospice but remain in dispute with Great Ormond Street Hospital over the length of time he should stay there. Mr Justice Francis says if the parties cannot agree before noon the next day, Charlie would be moved to a hospice and life-support treatment would end soon after.

• July 27 – An order issued by court officials and drawn up by Mr Justice Francis sets out arrangements for Charlie’s final hours. The plan will see him move to a hospice, where life-support treatment will be withdrawn soon after.


The little boy who touched the world: How Charlie Gard’s battle drew love from across the planet with support from US President Trump and the Pope

By Abe Hawken

Charlie Gard was born a ‘perfectly healthy’ baby on August 4 last year.

His loving parents Chris Gard, 32, and Connie Yates, 31, took him home in Bedfont, west London, to celebrate the birth of their first child.

But what happened next captured the hearts of people across the world as the brave couple initiated a tense and lengthy legal battle regarding their son’s life.

At just one month old, Charlie’s parents noticed he struggled to lift his head and support himself like other children his age.

Just a few weeks later, their son was diagnosed with a rare genetic condition when he began to lose weight.

He became just the 16th person in the world to be diagnosed with mitochondrial DNA depletion syndrome, which causes progressive muscle weakness and brain damage.

Charlie was transferred to the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London and his parents launched a desperate bid to save their son’s life.

Doctors there said they wanted the boy, who was then 10 months old, to be able to ‘die with dignity’ and his mother quickly found an American doctor who was willing to offer her son a trial therapy.

Mr Gard and Ms Yates began a crowd funding campaign to help finance the US treatment in January, however, the hospital – where he was staying – suggested that experimental treatment in the US would not work.

They advised switching off his life support but Charlie’s parents started a long and tense legal process which went on for the best part of two months.

But it ended on June 27 when judges in the European Court of Human Rights refused to overturn a ruling to switch Charlie’s life support off.

This was Mr Gard and Ms Yates’ final appeal and they were said to be ‘utterly distraught’ when the verdict was announced in Strasbourg, France.

The decision came after Charlie’s parents made a number of emotional appeals urging the public to help them fight for their son’s life.

While he was being treated in hospital, they raised a staggering £1.4million thanks to the help of those who were known as the so-called ‘Charlie’s Army’.

The money they raised – which was thanks to donations from around the world – was enough for Charlie to travel by air ambulance and to cover the cost of the experimental treatment.

The legal process began on April 3 when a judge in London’s High Court started to consider whether Charlie’s life support machines should be turned off and whether he should be allowed to go the US for treatment.

On April 11, the judge ruled that doctors were permitted to switch the machines off, to which Charlie’s heartbroken mother screamed ‘no’ when the verdict was announced.

Despite a petition calling on the Prime Minister to release the boy from hospital being signed by 110,000 people three judges at the Court of Appeal upheld the High Court’s ruling on May 25.

And in a last-ditch attempt to overturn the ruling in the UK, they took the case to the Supreme Court.

But on June 8 three justices rejected their fresh challenge and his mother vowed to take it the European courts after saying: ‘How can they do this to us?’

Judges in the ECHR agreed Charlie’s life support should be kept on until Monday, June 19 so they could consider the case.

But on June 27, they rejected a plea to intervene in the case.

His parents had to deal with fresh heartbreak when they were told their son’s life support machine would be switched off imminently.

However, they won more time so they could say goodbye to their dying son so they could ‘create precious memories’.

Pope Francis even helped them get the additional time when the Vatican said it was ‘never’ right to deliberately end a human life and added: ‘Dear Charlie… we are praying for you.’

See http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-4738946/Little-Charlie-Gard-s-parents-announce-death.html (“‘Our beautiful boy has gone’: Little Charlie Gard’s parents announce that their brave warrior whose plight touched the world has finally died after battling devastating genetic illness he fought for so long”) (emphasis added)

As I stated previously:

Judges are the very worst of the legal profession, at least in the United States, and they should not be making such decisions.

The idea that potentially-life-saving treatment has been delayed is criminal; and those who are responsible should pay dearly.

. . .

Ultimately, Charlie and his parents, and all of us, must fall back on God. This is the great lesson of Life. And yes, miracles do happen.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/05/12/what-and-where-is-god/#comment-10485 (“Let The Parents Take Charlie Gard Where They Wish“); see also https://www.amazon.com/When-Things-Happen-Good-People/dp/1400034728 (Harold S. Kushner: “When Bad Things Happen to Good People”)

The “miracle” in the case of little Charlie is that he has returned to God, and the world is a better place because he came here.


2 08 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Robert Mueller’s Partisan Witch Hunt Must Be Shut Down, And Its Staff Fired [UPDATED]

Reuters has reported:

A former U.S. Justice Department official has become the latest lawyer to join special counsel Robert Mueller’s team investigating Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, a spokesman for the team confirmed.

Greg Andres started on Tuesday, becoming the 16th lawyer on the team, said Josh Stueve, a spokesman for the special counsel.

Most recently a white-collar criminal defense lawyer with New York law firm Davis Polk & Wardwell, Andres, 50, served at the Justice Department from 2010 to 2012. He was deputy assistant attorney general in the criminal division, where he oversaw the fraud unit and managed the program that targeted illegal foreign bribery.

Mueller, who was appointed special counsel in May, is looking into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia during the election, among other matters. Congressional committees are also investigating the matter.

That Mueller continues to expand his team means the probe is not going to end anytime soon, said Robert Ray, who succeeded Kenneth Starr as independent counsel for the Whitewater investigation during the Clinton administration.

“It’s an indication that the investigation is going to extend well into 2018,” said Ray. “Whether it extends beyond 2018 is an open question.”

The special counsel last month asked the White House to preserve all of its communications about a June 2016 meeting that included the president’s eldest son, Donald Trump Jr., his son-in-law and adviser Jared Kushner, and Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya.

Russian officials have denied meddling in the U.S. election, and Trump denies any collusion by his campaign.

Among the cases Andres oversaw at the Justice Department was the prosecution of Texas financier Robert Allen Stanford, who was convicted in 2012 for operating an $8 billion Ponzi scheme.

Before that, Andres was a federal prosecutor in Brooklyn for over a decade, eventually serving as chief of the criminal division in the U.S. attorney’s office there. He prosecuted several members of the Bonanno organized crime family, one of whom was accused of plotting to have Andres killed.

A graduate of Notre Dame and University of Chicago Law School, Andres was a Peace Corps volunteer in Benin from 1989 to 1992.

He is married to Ronnie Abrams, a U.S. district judge in Manhattan nominated to the bench in 2011 by Democratic President Barack Obama.

Others on the special counsel team include Andrew Weissmann, chief of the Justice Department’s fraud section; Andrew Goldstein, former head of the public corruption unit at the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Manhattan; and James Quarles, who was an assistant special prosecutor in the Watergate investigation that helped bring down President Richard Nixon.

See http://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-trump-russia-lawyer-exclusive-idUSKBN1AH5F9 (“Former Justice Department official joins Mueller team“) (emphasis added); see also https://www.wsj.com/articles/special-counsel-mueller-impanels-washington-grand-jury-in-russia-probe-1501788287 (“Special Counsel Robert Mueller Impanels Washington Grand Jury in Russia Probe“)

Like the despicable new FBI Director, Christopher Wray, Andres is an alumnus of the corrupt “Department of Injustice,” and neither of them should have been allowed to serve in our government again, in any capacity. The same thing is true of Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/the-united-states-department-of-injustice/ (“The United States Department of Injustice“) and http://time.com/4854755/donald-trump-fbi-director-christopher-wray-james-comey-loyalty/ (“President Donald Trump’s pick to head the Federal Bureau of Investigation said Wednesday that nobody has asked him to take a loyalty pledge. ‘I sure as heck didn’t offer one,’ said Trump FBI nominee Christopher Wray during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee Wednesday. He added that he would not make such a pledge if asked” . . . Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein appointed Robert Mueller as special counsel to oversee an investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election and any possible collusion between Trump’s electoral campaign and the Russian government“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/03/21/the-united-states-department-of-injustice/#comment-10052 (“Another Despicable At The Department Of Injustice“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/05/16/americas-newest-civil-war-2017-and-beyond/#comment-10484 (“Shut Down The Mueller Witch Hunt, And Drain The Swamp!“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/ (“Justice And The Law Do Not Mix“)

As I have stated previously, investigations must be launched into the criminal actions of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Loretta Lynch, Susan Rice, Samantha Power, Huma Abedin, James Comey and others in the Obama administration; and they must be indicted, convicted and sent to prison, where true justice will be meted out by their fellow inmates.


23 12 2017
Timothy D. Naegele

Shakespeare Was Correct: Judges Are The Very Worst Of The Legal Profession [UPDATED]

Despicable Judges

As stated in my article above:

[Judges] are imperfect at best—and often egotistical, callous, mean-spirited, power-hungry, self-righteous, condescending and, yes, incompetent and arrogant. They can smile at you, just as easily as they can slit your throat and never think twice about doing it.

. . .

Many of them, at least in the United States, are former prosecutors who seemingly have never laid eyes on an innocent criminal defendant. To put on black robes does not change their mindset. Indeed, many seem to relish the power trip. Shakespeare’s famous quotation—“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers”—must have been written in some light-hearted moment with the dark and sinister characteristics of judges in mind.

Cogan Schneier has reported for The Recorder:

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit upheld an injunction against the third iteration of President Donald Trump’s travel ban executive order Friday.

The court, which heard oral arguments in the case last month, ruled that Trump exceeded his authority in issuing the Sept. 24 travel ban proclamation. The court said that under the Immigration and Nationality Act, Trump could only ban immigrants based on nationality if he makes a “finding” that the entry of those individuals would be “detrimental to the interests of the United States.”

Trump, the three-judge panel ruled, failed to make such a finding before issuing the proclamation, which indefinitely bans immigrants from eight countries on the basis that those countries have insufficient information-sharing protocols when it comes to vetting immigrants and granting visas.

“The President is not foreclosed from acting to enhance vetting capabilities and other practices in order to strengthen existing immigration law, but must do so in a manner consistent with Congress’s intent,” the per curiam opinion said. “Put another way, the President cannot effectively abrogate existing immigration law while purporting to merely strengthen it; the cure cannot be worse than the disease.”

The court, however, limited its ruling so that the injunction against the ban only applies to [those] with no bona fide relationship to the United States.

The case was brought by the state of Hawaii, as well as an individual affected by the Sept. 24 order and a Muslim association.Hogan Lovells’ Neal Katyal, who represented the state, said on Twitter that the ruling was a “thorough repudiation of Trump’s position on both substance and procedure.”

In the opinion, the judges wrote that allowing the ban to take effect would be against the public interest.

‘In assessing the public interest, we are reminded of Justice Murphy’s wise words: “All residents of this nation are kin in some way by blood or culture to a foreign land.’” the opinion said, quoting from the dissent in Korematsu v. United States. “It cannot be in the public interest that a portion of this country be made to live in fear.”

A separate challenge to the travel ban, brought by several immigrant rights groups and individuals, is pending in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. That court heard oral arguments on the case en banc last month, just days after the Ninth Circuit.

See https://www.law.com/therecorder/sites/therecorder/2017/12/22/ninth-circuit-slaps-down-trumps-travel-ban-a-third-time/ (“Ninth Circuit Slaps Down Trump’s Travel Ban a Third Time“) (emphasis added; opinion omitted); see also https://www.newsmax.com/t/newsmax/article/833420 (“Trump Travel Ban Dealt Blow by San Francisco Appeals Court”—”A regional appeals court based in San Francisco, one of two panels reviewing the third version of the president’s travel ban, concluded Friday that it continues to illegally discriminate against travelers just as earlier executive orders did. The three-judge panel also ruled, however, that Trump can continue to bar or limit entry by people from the Mideast and North African nations if they don’t have a relationship with a U.S.-based person or institution”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/#comment-9619 (“Cut Off All Federal Funding To Berkeley And Fire The U.C. President!“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/#comment-11015 (“Adios, California!“)

California is lawless. And the Ninth Circuit is a disgrace, and has been for decades. It “personifies” lawlessness.


6 02 2018
Timothy D. Naegele


The facts are mounting that he should!

See also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/the-real-russian-conspiracy-barack-obama-the-clintons-and-the-sale-of-americas-uranium-to-russias-killer-putin/ (“The Real Russian Conspiracy: Barack Obama, The Clintons, And The Sale Of America’s Uranium To Russia’s Killer Putin“) (see also the comments beneath the article) and http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-5362821/FBI-lovers-texts-Obama-wanted-info-Clinton-email-probe.html (“Texts between FBI lovers reveal Obama wanted to be briefed on EVERYTHING happening in Clinton email investigation – after he ‘guaranteed’ he wouldn’t get involved“) and https://www.westernjournal.com/dick-morris-obama-eyeballs/ (“Dick Morris: Obama Was in It up to His Eyeballs“)

Barack Obama - prison


4 07 2018
Timothy D. Naegele

For The U.S. Supreme Court, Politics Has Always Been The Name Of The Game

Justice and the law do not mix

This is the title of an article by Allan Hutchinson—a Distinguished Research Professor at Osgoode Hall Law School, Toronto—in Canada’s Globe and Mail:

With the retirement of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy, the American silly season is now upon us. There will be much talk about picking the best judge and avoiding the temptation of making an ideological appointment. As we all know, deep down, this is all so much nonsense.

President Donald Trump will pick a judge who as closely as possible will line up with his own ideological leanings. That judge will be presented as eminent and reasonable, someone who understands the true responsibilities of a judge in a constitutional democracy – apply the Constitution, don’t recreate.

But, for all the criticism that will be heaped upon him, Mr. Trump will be doing much the same as his predecessors. They chose nominees who held views that were, at a minimum, not against their own views. Unsurprisingly, Mr. Trump will simply be more crass in his choices and his justifications.

Most appointees are well over any institutional threshold of competence, experience and capacity. The difference between, say, Mr. Trump’s Neil Gorsuch and Barack Obama’s Merrick Garland is not professional merit, but constitutional ideology. Each lined up with the appointing president’s sense of the Constitution, but Mr. Trump and Mr. Obama had different politics.

Many commentators will contend that professional merit alone, not ideology, should be the bellwether of judicial appointments: Contested politics should be eschewed and the neutral qualities of integrity and judgment should be prioritized. For them, the good judge is not vulnerable to the forces of political alignment or orthodoxy.

But as appealing as this vision might be, it is almost impossible to maintain. It demands a suspension of belief over what actually goes on in the Supreme Court. Politics is the name of the game. Whether it is left, right or middle-of-the-road, it inescapably involves value choices and commitments. The Rule of Law is the Rule of Five. The 5-4 decisions of the past week on travel bans and union dues is recent evidence of that.

Indeed, the history of the U.S. Supreme Court reveals that legal trends and winning arguments shift and change with the times and certainly with the court’s personnel. There is very little about the law’s substance and stylings that can be usefully separated from the preferred styles and renderings of the individual judges that constitute the Supreme Court at any particular time.

The preferred contemporary defence of the court is that judges operate under certain restraints – legal precedents, constitutional conventions, judicial traditions and the like. But these very restraints are neither fixed, neutral nor objective. While judges claim to work within independently existing sets of principles and standards, they themselves have created, changed and relied upon those very same standards.

A more realistic, if unpalatable view is that, provided judges act in good faith and offer reasoned arguments, they can do almost whatever they wish. Constitutional law is so capacious and amorphous that almost anything short of outright manipulation or lying is acceptable. After all, if the decisions of Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas as well as Justices Thurgood Marshall and Ruth Bader Ginsburg are each and all considered legitimate (even if contested), then the judicial game is wide open.

However, it would be wrong-headed to think that it is all law or all politics and that judges are ideologues-at-large; it is an often bewildering combination of both. That said, the court is neither a holy shrine of law nor an elaborate charade of politics; it is a group of nine people doing what they think is best – no more and no less. To deny politics is a major part of that is almost delusional.

As such, there is no inconsistency between judicial decision making being both legal and ideological. Properly understood, legal reasoning and judicial decision making are themselves a specialized form of ideological practice. Ideology does not so much infiltrate or taint judicial decision making as embrace and instantiate it. Judicial decision making is an inextricable mix of both legal considerations and political concerns: it is a thoroughly professional as well as thoroughly ideological undertaking.

I am not suggesting that Donald Trump’s choice will be a good one and deserving of support. But let’s at least be honest. No matter how the criticism is packaged, the appointments battle will be about the nominee’s politics. It is well past time to accept that the Supreme Court is a political institution and deal with it accordingly.

And, of course, almost all of this applies to Canada. While we are less agitated and extreme in our judicial choices and styles, the same dynamic is at play. Judges are political and no less so when they are middle-of-the-road in their politics.

See https://www.theglobeandmail.com/opinion/article-for-the-us-supreme-court-politics-has-always-been-the-name-of-the/ (emphasis added)

What Professor Hutchinson neglects to mention is that President Franklin D. Roosevelt initiated one of the boldest attempts in American history to “stack” our Supreme Court. In his “court-packing plan,” the President would have been granted the power to appoint an additional Justice to the Supreme Court, up to a maximum of six, for every member of the court over the age of 70 years and 6 months.

See, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_Procedures_Reform_Bill_of_1937 (“Judicial Procedures Reform Bill of 1937“)

At the highest level of our unelected judiciary is Chief Justice John Roberts, whom many Americans believe never should have been appointed to the once-respected, now wholly-unaccountable and lawless U.S. Supreme Court—which does not even follow its own precedents.

He constitutes the second worst decision that former President George W. Bush made, aside from launching our great nation into the tragic Iraq War. And the list goes on and on, at all levels of our judiciary. The death of honesty, integrity and stare decisis presage the death of American justice itself.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/#comment-10099 (“Despicable Benghazi Deaths’ Judge Must Be Targeted For Removal”)

Many if not most of today’s judges are reincarnations of Judge Roy Bean, the hanging judge, who called himself “The Law West of the Pecos.” In Bean’s court, the law was what he said it was, and nothing else mattered. Too often in U.S. courts, very little has changed. Unelected judges have become the law unto themselves.

See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roy_Bean (“Roy Bean”)

The key considerations, in my opinion, are whether judicial nominees are faithful to the Constitution and stare decisis, and truly serve the American people. If not, they should never be appointed to the bench; and if there already, they should be removed summarily.

Nothing less will suffice.


10 07 2018
Timothy D. Naegele

Donald Trump’s New Pick For The Supreme Court [UPDATED]

President Trump, Brett Kavanaugh and family

An editorial has appeared in the UK’s Economist, which states:

ON JULY 9th, in a prime-time ceremony, President Donald Trump announced that he had chosen Brett Kavanaugh to be his new pick for the Supreme Court. As his nominee walked into the East Room of the White House flanked by his wife and two daughters, the president praised his “impeccable credentials, unsurpassed qualifications and a proven commitment to equal justice under the law”. Mr Kavanaugh, the president’s second nominee to the Supreme Court in as many years, has twin degrees from Yale. He clerked for three judges, including Justice Anthony Kennedy, the man he hopes to replace. He worked for Kenneth Starr in the investigation of Bill Clinton. He spent five years as a lawyer in George W. Bush’s administration. And since 2006, he has been a judge on the second-most powerful tribunal in America: the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

Mr Trump settled on 53-year-old Mr Kavanaugh after a reality-show style build-up in which three less decorated contenders—including Thomas Hardiman, the runner-up when Mr Trump chose Neil Gorsuch for the late Antonin Scalia’s seat in 2017—were dispatched behind the scenes. Aside from the Trumpian presentation, the pick is an unremarkable choice for a Republican president. Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio might easily have made the same choice. But for Mr Trump, who has departed from so many presidential norms, to have picked someone with close ties to the Washington, DC establishment, may seem surprising for its utter conventionality.

There is method to this. Mr Kavanaugh has been vetted and vaunted by the Federalist Society, the conservative legal organisation that has approved Mr Trump’s picks for his Supreme Court and lower-court appointments. The nearly 300 opinions Mr Kavanaugh wrote as an appellate judge place him as a solid and reliable conservative, but few of them give Democrats obvious points of attack. Since the Washington, DC circuit court hears mainly regulatory and separation-of-powers cases that tend not to make headlines, Mr Kavanaugh has authored relatively few rulings touching on divisive political questions.

But the Supreme Court hopeful has issued conservative rulings on religious liberty and guns. And in a recent case that touches on one of the biggest concerns about a post-Kennedy court—the future of abortion rights—Mr Kavanaugh’s opinion included a telling line. Garza v Hargan did not involve a state law limiting abortion access; it was not an outright challenge to Roe v Wade, the 1973 ruling that Mr Trump pledged would “automatically” be overturned when his Supreme Court picks took the bench. It was the case of a 17-year-old girl who was pregnant when she arrived illegally in America in October 2017. When she sought an abortion, the girl’s guardians, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), balked, saying it felt a duty to protect “all children and their babies in our facilities”. A panel of the DC Circuit Court of Appeals voted 2-1 to set aside a district-court judge’s order permitting the girl to have an abortion, but when the entire court re-heard the case, it sided with the girl.

That provoked a dissent from Mr Kavanaugh. He said the decision to permit the girl to have the abortion was “based on a constitutional principle as novel as it is wrong”. His colleagues had, he wrote, wrongly invented “a new right for unlawful immigrant minors in US government detention to obtain immediate abortion on demand”. By reciting a scare-phrase familiar in anti-abortion rhetoric (“abortion on demand”), Mr Kavanaugh sent an unsubtle message that he may not be Roe’s best friend. And by arguing that it is no “undue burden” to require a girl who is 16 weeks pregnant to wait another fortnight for an abortion, he signalled he had interpreted Planned Parenthood v Casey, the 1992 follow-up to Roe, to permit rather onerous regulations on the right to choose.

Yet Mr Kavanaugh did not take the more radical move of declaring, as one of fellow dissenters did, that undocumented immigrants, as non-citizens, have no abortion rights at all. This may owe something to Mr Kavanaugh’s relative moderation. It may also be an indication of how a judge behaves when he knows he is up for a Supreme Court seat and understands that a coded message to pro-lifers raises fewer red flags for pro-choice Republican senators in a confirmation hearing. If Democrats are to have a hope of defeating the Kavanaugh nomination, they will have to achieve unanimity in their 49-senator caucus (no easy feat) and persuade at least one of those two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine or Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, to defect.

Abortion is not the only issue that should concern Democratic senators about Mr Trump’s pick. In his dozen years as an appellate judge, Mr Kavanaugh has shown a willingness to curtail and even undermine federal agencies that regulate the economy and the environment. He has been a consistent vote to rein in the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) authority, for example. In 2012, he wrote that the EPA had exceeded its charge in policing greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act. Two years later he said the agency had erred in failing to consider costs when regulating power plants. Earlier this year, Mr Kavanaugh wrote that because the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau had a single director shielded from at-will removal, it unconstitutionally interfered with the president’s power. Independent agencies, he wrote, exert “massive power” in the “absence of presidential supervision” and thus “pose a significant threat to individual liberty”.

Mr Kavanaugh’s views on the structure of government and the powers of presidents may have led Mr Trump to give the late addition to his shortlist a closer look. With Robert Mueller’s special-counsel investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and Russia inching toward a conclusion, the Supreme Court could be called upon to resolve several critical questions in the coming months. Can a president be indicted while in office? Can he be tried for a crime? After playing an integral role in drafting the articles of impeachment for Bill Clinton, Mr Kavanaugh had a change of heart. A 1998 law review article had him mulling “whether the constitution allows indictment of a sitting president”. That question is “debatable”, he wrote. Eleven years later, he implored Congress to consider “exempting a president—while in office—from criminal prosecution and investigation, including from questioning by criminal prosecutors or defense counsel”. It can be “time-consuming and distracting”, he wrote, for presidents to deal with legal troubles while trying to lead the free world. “[A] president who is concerned about an ongoing criminal investigation”, he concluded, “is almost inevitably going to do a worse job”.

See https://www.economist.com/democracy-in-america/2018/07/10/brett-kavanaugh-is-donald-trumps-new-pick-for-the-supreme-court (“Brett Kavanaugh is Donald Trump’s new pick for the Supreme Court“) (emphasis added); see also https://www.c-span.org/video/?192420-1/brett-kavanaugh-testifies-dc-circuit-confirmation-hearing-2006 (Watch Brett Kavanaugh’s 2006 Judicial Nomination Hearing on C-SPAN) and https://www.nysun.com/foreign/trumps-best-bet-in-europe-is-elizabeth/90324/ (“Kavanaugh . . . is unlikely to be seriously damaged by the Democratic kamikaze attacks, which did not await the banal formality of having the name of the justice-designate before hurling themselves at the unnamed choice“)

To its credit, the Economist editorial seems accurate in most if not all respects.

What it neglects to mention, however, is that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit—which is reputedly the second highest and most prestigious court in the nation, and the court on which Kavanaugh serves presently—is one of America’s most lawless courts. It does not follow binding precedents of the U.S. Supreme Court, or even previous decisions that the court has issued itself.

See, e.g., The Bremen v. Zapata Off-Shore Co., 407 U.S. 1 (1972), Carnival Cruise Lines, Inc. v. Shute, 499 U.S. 585 (1991), Pelleport Investors, Inc. v. Budco Quality Theatres, Inc., 741 F.2d 273 (9th Cir. 1984), Overseas Partners, Inc. v. Progen Musavirlik Ve Yonetim Hizmetleri, Ltd., Sikerti, 15 F.Supp.2d 47 (D.D.C. 1998), Smith, Valentino & Smith, Inc. v. Superior Court, 17 Cal.3d 491 (1976) and Marra v. Papandreou, 216 F.3d. 1119, 1124 (D.C. Cir. 2000) (referred to collectively as “The Bremen and its progeny”).

Merrick Garland, its chief judge, was nominated to the Supreme Court by Barack Obama to fill the vacancy created by the death of Justice Antonin Scalia. However, his nomination was allowed to die, without any action being taken by the Congress.

To elevate a judge from the D.C. Circuit to our highest court would be a monumental travesty, and an affront to fundamental notions of justice. While Kavanaugh may be the exception, only time will tell.

If he is instrumental in shutting down the treasonous Mueller witch hunt, and putting the “Deep State” conspirators in prison, then his elevation to the Supreme Court will have been monumental.

See, e.g., https://www.nysun.com/editorials/kavanaughs-finest-hour/90323/ (“Kavanaugh’s Finest Hour“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/06/15/the-department-of-injustices-inspector-general-is-complicit-in-the-deep-state-cover-up/ (“The Department Of Injustice’s Inspector General Is Complicit In The Deep-State Cover-Up!“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/should-barack-obama-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Should Barack Obama Be Executed For Treason?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/06/what-atrocities-did-robert-mueller-commit-in-vietnam/ (“What Atrocities Did Robert Mueller Commit In Vietnam?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/11/robert-mueller-should-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Robert Mueller Should Be Executed For Treason“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/the-real-russian-conspiracy-barack-obama-the-clintons-and-the-sale-of-americas-uranium-to-russias-killer-putin/ (“The Real Russian Conspiracy: Barack Obama, The Clintons, And The Sale Of America’s Uranium To Russia’s Killer Putin“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/11/29/the-death-of-putin-and-russia-the-final-chapter-of-the-cold-war/ (“The Death Of Putin And Russia: The Final Chapter Of The Cold War“)


19 02 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

The Leftist Wall Street Journal Discriminates, And Engages In Censorship To Protect America’s Worst Judge [UPDATED]

Wall Street Journal

It is not unreasonable or beyond the pale to suggest that Amy Berman Jackson is the worst judge in our federal system, or certainly among the very worst. She ignores the applicable law; she twists the facts and the law before her; and she is the inheritor of Judge Roy Bean’s lawless mantle.

Jackson is not fit to serve as a district judge, or a judge of any American court or tribunal. She is a disgrace to our legal system, and a “poster child” for what is wrong with America’s judiciary. She is the worst of the worst, in a system that is already unfair, unjust and corrupt.

She is the Harvey Weinstein of the judiciary: despicable.

Indeed, as stated previously:

For those of us who served in the U.S. military, she is an affront to everything that is sacred. Veterans’ groups must rise up against her, and smite her down.

See, e.g., Zechariah 9:4 (King James Bible) (“Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea. . . .”)

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/#comment-10099 (“Despicable Benghazi Death’s Judge Must Be Targeted For Removal”)

Yet, the fallen Wall Street Journal has published an article essentially praising her actions vis-a-vis Paul Manafort.

See https://www.wsj.com/articles/judge-rules-paul-manafort-made-false-statements-in-violation-of-plea-agreement-11550101738 (“Judge Rules Paul Manafort Lied in Violation of Plea Deal“); see also http://news.trust.org/item/20190219160255-wegx7 (“Former Trump adviser Stone ordered to appear in court over Instagram posts“) and
https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-6729819/Roger-Stone-beg-bail-posting-image-rifle-crosshairs.html (“‘I’m not giving you another chance!’ Judge imposes total GAG on Roger Stone“)

Shame is among the adjectives that describe the once-lauded and respected Journal. Indeed, comments at its Web site are overseen, “cherrypicked” and censored by a Brit and his staff in the UK—shades of Nazi Germany, not America—which is in disarray as a result of Brexit chaos.

Surely, few if any Brits can comprehend the political fissures that exist in the United States today, as its radical Left seeks to destroy the Trump presidency and bring about a socialist “Venezuela in America.” Civil war may be steps away in our great nation too.

At the very least, the Wall Street Journal must be boycotted. Will it ever return to its roots and political sensibilities, and purge those in its ranks—such as the Brit—who have little or no understanding of the anti-American, Godless and anti-Christian political forces afoot in the United States, which can only be described as treasonous?

See also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2012/04/25/is-google-becoming-microsoft-or-worse/#comment-15829 (“Boycott The Leftist Wall Street Journal“)

Amy Berman Jackson


22 06 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

The Worst Federal Judge Must Be Removed Before She Can Do More Damage [UPDATED]

Amy Berman Jackson

There are zero doubts that Amy Berman Jackson is the most despicable judge in our federal legal system, and an affront to everything that is sacred about it.

As I have written previously:

She is evil, personified; her words are pure tripe; and there is little or nothing fair or caring about anything she does.

She must be targeted for removal.

. . .

Indeed, she is a “poster child” for what is wrong with America’s judiciary and our profoundly rotten legal system. She is the worst of the worst, in a system that is already unfair, unjust and corrupt.

She is the Harvey Weinstein of the judiciary: despicable.

. . .

For those of us who served in the U.S. military, she is an affront to everything that is sacred. Veterans’ groups must rise up against her, and smite her down.

See, e.g., Zechariah 9:4 (King James Bible) (“Behold, the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea. . . .”)

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/#comment-10099 (“Despicable Benghazi Deaths’ Judge Must Be Targeted For Removal“)

Her latest actions involve Paul Manafort and Roger Stone.

Jennie Taer has reported at saraacarter.com:

Text messages sent between Fox News host Sean Hannity and former Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort have been released, showing the two expressing outrage over the Russia probe and concern for the direction of the country.

The 56 pages of messages, which were sent in 2017 and 2018, were made public by U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson.

Hannity, in a statement, said the text messages reveal nothing he hasn’t said on air.

“My view of the special counsel investigation and the treatment of Paul Manafort were made clear every day to anyone who listens to my radio show or watches my TV show,” Hannity said.

In one of the text message exchanges Manafort mentions that Sara Carter was contacted by a representative regarding a story.

Carter issued the following statement for SaraACarter.com regarding the texts that make reference to her:

“I contacted Paul Manafort’s lawyers and team for fair comment on a story last year. I asked if I could speak to Manafort, whom I have never met and the request was declined. I did speak to a representative briefly for fair comment regarding the complaint Manafort’s lawyers filed with the court. The complaint filed by Manafort’s lawyers was based in part on my original story in January, 2018 regarding then Special Counsel prosecutor Andrew Weissman’s meeting with reporters from the Associated Press. That is the extent of my contact with Manafort’s team.”

See https://saraacarter.com/judge-jackson-releases-texts-between-hannity-manafort/ (“Judge Jackson Releases Texts Between Hannity-Manafort“) (emphasis added; text messages omitted)

Similarly, Chris Sommerfeldt has reported for the Leftist New York Daily News:

Roger Stone may be in deep trouble — again.

The self-proclaimed political trickster and longtime Trump confidante has made a string of social media posts in violation of a gag order imposed by a federal judge who threatened to throw him in jail over any further infractions, prosecutors said Thursday.

Feds from the U.S. Attorney’s office in Washington, D.C., alleged in a court filing that Stone has continued to “fan the flames” by making politically-charged posts on Instagram — even though U.S. District Court Judge Amy Berman Jackson explicitly barred him from doing so in February.

“The government accordingly requests that the Court order Stone to show cause why his conditions of release should not be modified,” the feds said, requesting a hearing on the matter.

As a condition of his release on bail, Berman Jackson slapped Stone with a strict gag order in February that prohibited him from making any public statements about special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, his own case “or any of the participants in the investigation or the case.”

Stone, 66, was indicted by Mueller in January on charges that he lied under oath and tried to obstruct the special counsel’s investigation into possible coordination between Russia and President Trump’s 2016 campaign.

Berman Jackson put the gag order in place after Stone had posted a photo on Instagram of her face next to what appeared to be a rifle crosshairs. In imposing the restrictions, the judge specifically warned Stone that she’d be inclined to revoke his bail and have him await trial behind bars, saying that, unlike in baseball, “there will be no third chance.”

But despite those dramatic warnings, prosecutors said in the Thursday filing that Stone has kept posting messages over Instagram casting doubt about whether Russia was responsible for hacking into the Democratic National Committee — a finding backed up by Mueller’s investigation and unanimously asserted by the U.S. intelligence community.

Stone has also shared various news articles about his own case and posted a photo of former CIA Director John Brennan accompanied by the highly inflammatory caption, “This psycho must be charged, tried, convicted and hung for treason.”

Stone, who has pleaded not guilty to all charges, referred to his attorney, Bruce Rogow, who blasted the latest allegations as “ill advised.”

“We are disappointed in, and surprised by, the Government’s unrealized fears,” Rogow told the Daily News in a statement. “Mr. Stone has limited his comments to matters widely reported in the news or public court filings. The Government’s motion is ill advised and an astonishing overreaction.”

See https://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/ny-feds-roger-stone-gag-order-jail-20190620-ca4lolldgbc3fa4yp7dnujmfve-story.html (“Feds say Roger Stone has violated gag order imposed by judge who threatened to throw him in jail over any more slip-ups“) (emphasis added)

Jackson is an Obama appointee; and there is every reason to believe that Barack Obama must spend the rest of his life in prison, at the very least.

Jackson should join him—where both would likely receive the “Whitey Bulger treatment” from their fellow inmates.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/06/14/the-chicken-hearted-neanderthals-in-the-gop/#comment-17680 (“The Traitor Obama Frolicks In France While His Role In Trying To Destroy Trump Is Investigated“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2017/10/20/the-real-russian-conspiracy-barack-obama-the-clintons-and-the-sale-of-americas-uranium-to-russias-killer-putin/#comment-16195 (“The Rat: Straight To Prison And The Whitey Bulger Treatment?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/05/24/should-barack-obama-be-executed-for-treason/ (“Should Barack Obama Be Executed For Treason?“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/03/11/robert-mueller-should-be-executed-for-treason/#comment-15311 (“The Trials For Treason Must Begin With Robert Mueller“)


25 06 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Should Another Judicial Hack Be Removed?

Andrew M. Harris has written for Bloomberg:

Donald Trump lost a bid to halt a lawsuit brought by 201 Congressional Democrats who want a Washington federal court to require that the president seek approval from lawmakers before he accepts any financial benefits from foreign governments.

In a pair of orders issued Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan denied Trump’s request to halt the lawsuit so he could immediately appeal Sullivan’s earlier refusals to dismiss the case. The decision means the 2017 lawsuit led by U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut can proceed.

In a separate order, the judge said lawmakers can begin collecting evidence to support their claims on June 28, but must wrap up that process by Sept. 27.

The legislators assert Trump’s receipt of benefits through his far-flung business holdings — including his luxury hotel just blocks from the White House — violates a U.S. constitutional provision barring American presidents from accepting so-called emoluments from foreign governments without the prior permission of Congress. The Democrats previously told the court they want to look at the president’s finances and revenue sources.

The president’s lawyers say money flows into his businesses legally. The judge has not yet made a final determination on that issue.

Noting the lawmakers told him they can quickly gather evidence and that both sides say final briefs can be submitted within six months, Sullivan ruled that Trump’s lawyers hadn’t met their burden of showing a mid-case appeal would significantly speed up resolution of the case.

The case is Blumenthal v. Trump, 17-cv-1154, U.S. District Court, District of Columbia (Washington).

See https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-25/democrats-get-go-ahead-to-probe-president-s-finances-in-lawsuit (“Democrats Get Go-Ahead to Probe President’s Finances in Lawsuit“) (emphasis added); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/#comment-17773 (“The Worst Federal Judge Must Be Removed Before She Can Do More Damage“) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emmet_G._Sullivan (“Emmet G. Sullivan“) and https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2019/jun/25/emmet-sullivan-federal-judge-rules-donald-trump-em/ (“Federal judge rules Trump emoluments lawsuit can proceed”—”Sullivan . . . ruled against Justice Department lawyers who sought a mid-case appeal to a higher court and a stay on proceedings. . . . The judge’s decision clears the way for the lawmakers to begin subpoenas for information“)

First, Sullivan is a “stable mate” in the District of Columbia of the very worst judge in the federal system, Amy Berman Jackson.

Second, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut is a liar and a fraud. He too must be removed. Among other things, he lied repeatedly that he served with our military in Vietnam. Vets should be up in arms, demanding his removal.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/04/18/the-mueller-report-a-monumental-travesty/#comment-16944 (“The Thread That Runs Through Trump Opponents: Vicious Societal Misfits“)

Now that Russia collusion is a proven lie, when do the trials for treason begin? Is Sullivan part of the solution, or the problem; and should he be prosecuted for obstruction, along with Jackson?


30 06 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Another Hack Activist Obama Judge Must Be Removed

Haywood Gilliam and Obama

Zachary Halaschak and Ellie Bufkin have written for The Washington Examiner:

A California federal judge issued a ruling blocking President Trump from using $2.5 billion in military funds to build a wall along the southern border.

The ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Haywood Gilliam, who is an appointee of former President Barack Obama, ruled to permanently block the $2.5 billion after issuing a temporary injunction in May to stop the administration’s use of the funds. The ruling stymies several construction projects in California, Arizona, and New Mexico.

Gilliam ruled in two lawsuits on Friday. The first, brought by the American Civil Liberties Union on behalf of the Sierra Club and the Southern Border Communities Coalition, came in response to Trump’s national emergency declaration transferring $6.7 billion in military funds to border wall construction. Gilliam’s decision halted the use of funds meant for Defense Department counter-drug activities.

In May, upon issuing the temporary injunction on border wall funding, Gilliam noted that the partial government shutdown earlier in the year represented an improper balance of power between lawmakers and the president. He stated, “The position that when Congress declines the Executive’s request to appropriate funds, the Executive nonetheless may simply find a way to spend those funds ‘without Congress’ does not square with fundamental separation of powers principles dating back to the earliest days of our Republic.”

Attorneys for the ACLU and the Justice Department notified Gilliam on Friday the government intended to begin construction on border projects in El Centro and Tucson by Monday and inquired whether he intended to issue his ruling before that time. His ruling later in the day removed the need for attorneys to file emergency motions over the weekend.

“We applaud the court’s decision to protect our Constitution, communities, and the environment today,” Gloria Smith, an attorney for the Sierra Club, said of the ruling. “Walls divide neighborhoods, worsen dangerous flooding, destroy lands and wildlife, and waste resources that should instead be used on the infrastructure these communities truly need.”

Gilliam’s also ruled in a separate lawsuit filed by the State of California and 19 other states, stopping the Trump administration from going forward with multiple border wall construction in New Mexico and California while the case plays out.

The matter is expected to be quickly taken up by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit.

In Japan, where he had attended the G-20 Summit in Osaka, Trump vowed to appeal the judge’s ruling. “We’re immediately appealing it and we think we’ll win the appeal . . . there was no reason that that should have happened,” he said at a press conference.

Trump also threatened to reengage his plan to crack down on illegal immigrants in the near future, saying, “We will be removing large numbers of people . . . starting in a week after, you know, sometime after July 4.” Last weekend, Trump said he was delaying plans for federal officials to conduct mass raids to arrest illegal immigrants who violated deportation orders in order to give lawmakers two weeks to come up with an agreement on immigration issues. “If not, Deportations start!” Trump said at the time.

See https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/federal-judge-blocks-trump-from-using-2-5b-in-military-funds-for-border-wall (“Federal judge blocks Trump from using $2.5B in military funds for border wall“) (emphasis added); see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Haywood_Gilliam (“Haywood Gilliam“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2013/07/15/justice-and-the-law-do-not-mix/#comment-17811 (“Should Another Judicial Hack Be Removed?“)

Also, the Sierra Club outlived its usefulness years ago, and is comprised of eco-Nazis today. It must be boycotted.


11 07 2019
Timothy D. Naegele

Judges Blocked From Post-Retirement Benefits

Justice and the law do not mix

With few exceptions, judges are the very worst of the legal profession. Many could not make it in the private practice of law, so they become judges.

Once on the bench, in courtrooms around the United States, they abuse their powers endlessly, and “legislate” from the bench—which is not their role.

One federal appellate judge had the gall to state candidly:

[J]udges do more than just call balls and strikes: ‘Frequently, we also have to define the strike zone.’

See https://law.stanford.edu/stanford-lawyer/articles/judge-raymond-c-fisher/; see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/07/30/illegal-immigration-the-solution-is-simple/#comment-16942 (“The Ninth Circuit Court Is A Total Disgrace And Lawless“)

Judges like this should be removed summarily from the judiciary—or never appointed in the first place.

Ross Todd has written at Law.com:

Eight retired state court judges who sued the Judicial Council of California and the state’s chief justice face an uphill battle in their attempt to block a new policy capping the total amount of days they can fill temporary openings on the state court bench.

San Francisco Superior Court Judge Ethan Schulman issued a tentative order Monday indicating he was apt to deny the retired judges’ request for a preliminary injunction barring the state from applying a 1,320-day service limit for the assigned judges program, which uses retired jurists to fill temporary judicial needs across the state.

Schulman indicated at a hearing on the injunction request Tuesday that he thinks changes to the state’s assigned judges program implemented by the Judicial Council of California amounted to “legislative” action. Schulman said he was inclined to find that Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye and the Judicial Council were immune from the retired judge’s claims of age discrimination. He said the change in policy came after many meetings and considerable discussion within the Judicial Council.

“It’s not as if [the chief justice] was sitting in her chambers and came up with it on her own,” Schulman said. “She has better things to do than that.”

However, at the end of Tuesday’s hearing, Schulman stopped short of ruling on the judges’ injunction bid, took the matter under submission, and said that he’d issue a written order “relatively soon.”

The plaintiffs sued the Judicial Council of California and Cantil-Sakauye in May challenging recent changes to the assigned judges program. The retired judges claim that the changes, including the 1,320-day service cap, amount to age discrimination. The retired judge’s lawyers at Furth Salem Mason & Li were in court Tuesday seeking an injunction to block the retroactive effect of the new eligibility requirements, but their lawsuit aims to bar the changes altogether.

Name partner Daniel Mason said Tuesday that any presiding judge interested in using one of his clients to fill a temporary opening must exhaust all other possibilities, including judges from neighboring counties and younger judges who haven’t hit the lifetime limits, before asking the chief justice to make an exception to the service limits. “Our clients simply want to work more, and they want to be put on the list. That’s all,” Mason said.

The Judicial Council’s lawyers at Jones Day have claimed that its members were acting in a “legislative” capacity in May 2018 when they placed the lifetime cap on retired judges serving as judicial substitutes around the state. The long-standing program assigns retired judges to courts with temporary vacancies due to vacations, training, illnesses and other reasons. A 2017 internal review of the program found judges were being assigned to courts that statistics suggested had the internal capacity to cover temporary openings. The review also found some assigned judges had served more than 120 days in a year and, in some cases, longer than the six-year equivalent of an active judge’s term.

Jones Day’s Robert A. Naeve said Tuesday that an appointment in the program was “never meant to be a job.”

“It was never meant to be anything other than a stopgap” to help the courts serve their communities, Naeve said. Naeve, however, didn’t immediately offer a clear answer to the judge’s question about what harm the Judicial Council would face if he were to bar the 1,320-day service limit for the plaintiffs until the case can go to trial.

See https://www.law.com/therecorder/2019/07/09/ex-judges-face-skeptical-questions-in-bid-to-block-limits-on-postretirement-appointments/ (“Ex-Judges Face Skeptical Questions in Bid to Block Limits on Postretirement Appointments“) (emphasis added)

Judges should be banned from “double-dipping,” inter alia, by becoming arbitrators after they retire.

In the case above, the San Francisco Superior Court judge turned back the request from the eight retired judges to block changes to the state’s assigned judges program, which limit lifetime service to 1,320 days—the equivalent of a full-time six-year elected term in the state’s trial courts.

They should be barred completely. They are leeches feeding at the government’s trough.

See https://www.law.com/therecorder/2019/07/11/retired-judges-strike-out-in-bid-to-block-change-in-post-retirement-appointments/ (“Retired Judges Strike Out in Bid to Block Change in Post-Retirement Appointments“)


25 04 2020
Timothy D. Naegele

The U.S. Legal System Is Broken, And Most Americans Know That

WND has reported:

A judge in Florida has rejected the city of Dunedin’s motion to throw out a lawsuit over its fining of a homeowner $500 a day for having long grass.

The Institute for Justice is defending Jim Ficken, who faces $30,000 in fines or even foreclosure.

But a judge in the Middle District of Florida denied the city’s motion to dismiss his lawsuit, which argues the fines are excessive under both the U.S. and Florida Constitutions.

“Nobody should incur tens of thousands of dollars in fines and risk losing their property because their grass grew too long,” IJ Attorney Ari Bargil said. “The constitution expressly protects against fines that are excessive—and excessive is precisely what these penalties are. No one should have to pay $30,000 for tall grass.”

“Yesterday’s decision takes us one step closer to vindicating Jim’s constitutional rights in court.”

The grass got long during a two-month period in 2018 when Ficken was in South Carolina tending to his late mother’s estate.

“While Jim was out of town, the man he had hired to tend to his lawn passed away unexpectedly and the grass was left to grow unabated. Jim eventually cut the grass himself after he returned home, but by then it was already too late. Dunedin had been fining Jim $500 per day for months, starting when he was out of the state,” the institute explained.

“Dunedin made regular visits to Jim’s property to check for noncompliance, but never once tried to tell Jim that he was under investigation or that he was racking up violations,” IJ Attorney Andrew Ward said. “But the government is supposed to provide reasonable notice. The city’s treatment of Jim violated his right to due process, and we look forward to showing just that in court.”

When the homeowner told city officials he did not have $30,000 to pay the fines, the city foreclosed on the home.

“When I found out how much Dunedin said I owed in fines, I was stunned,” said Ficken. “They never even told me that I was going to be fined until I already owed them almost $30,000. I’m willing to pay a fine for violating the ordinance, but the punishment should fit the offense.”

“Losing your home because you inadvertently let your grass get too long is the very definition of an excessive fine,” said Ari Bargil, an attorney for the Institute for Justice. “No one should face crippling fines, let alone foreclosure, for trivial code violations. Dunedin’s Code Enforcement Board operates like a nightmarish homeowners association, but as a public board, it cannot rule with an iron fist. Rather, it must abide by state laws, as well as the state and federal constitutions.”

See https://www.wnd.com/2020/04/city-fines-homeowner-30000-long-grass/ (“City fines homeowner $30,000 for long grass“) (emphasis added)


1 10 2021
Timothy D. Naegele

See https://www.cnbc.com/2021/10/01/carlos-ghosn-says-german-automakers-best-poised-to-take-on-tesla.html (“Carlos Ghosn says German automakers best poised to take on Tesla”)

What is most important in this article, and in the video interview with Ghosn, is that Japan appears to be lawless — like the United States.

This should not surprise anyone, anywhere, since it has never taken responsibility for the “comfort women” or sexual slaves who traveled with and “serviced” its military forces during World War II.

This was in addition to the terrible and unspeakable atrocities committed by the Japanese during that war.

See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2009/12/28/human-trafficking/ (“Human Trafficking”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2018/10/25/remembering-the-comfort-women-victims-of-human-trafficking-and-slavery/ (“Remembering The Comfort Women, Victims Of Human Trafficking And Slavery”) (see also the comments beneath each of these articles)


11 10 2021
Timothy D. Naegele

https://dnyuz.com/2021/10/11/inside-rikers-dysfunction-lawlessness-and-detainees-in-control/ (“Inside Rikers: Dysfunction, Lawlessness and Detainees in Control”)



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