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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Bias on Bench: Memory Lane, Current Reality

Appellate Judge Troubled by “Insidious” If Well-Intended Bias on Bench
Inside Fordam Online -TOP STORY - by Victor M. Inzunza - January 19, 2007

The judiciary has an inherent and insidious bias in favor of legal procedures and solutions, said Chief Judge Dennis G. Jacobs of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York. Delivering his first speech since becoming chief judge as part of Fordham Law School’s John F. Sonnett Memorial Lecture in McNally Amphitheatre on Nov. 20, Jacobs said the bias has led to an expansion of judicial influence over nearly every sector of society from schools and prisons to religion and medicine. Chief Judge Dennis G. Jacobs of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals delivered the John F. Sonnett Memorial Lecture in McNally Amphitheatre. Jacobs made clear that the bias is not a political one, but one that places legal thought and solutions above all else in society.

“The tropism in favor of what lawyers do and the tendency to expand the spheres of activity in which lawyers act and control comes clothed in virtue,” Jacobs said. “It is seen by us mainly as respect for due process, as the open door to the courthouse, as a flower in the rule of law. So any excesses are viewed with indulgence as a Tocquevillian quirk of the American character. “But it is unbecoming of judges to dismiss this phenomenon. It matters that our conduct as judges is reinforced by the support and praise that we get from colleagues, lawyers, bar associations. … I think fair-minded people should recognize the dangers that arise when judges, as the final arbiters for allocating vast power, money and influence, are all members of the same, self-regulating profession and often the same professional groups and social environments.”

The “inbred” preference by judges to find solutions to public policy and other issues through the legal process is infused, he said, with a kind of smugness that such procedures “produce the best results.” For Jacobs, the end product of such a bias is the expansion of legal influence at the expense other professions. “When lawyers present big issues to courts, the judges receive the big issues with grateful hands, and tell the bar it has made inroads on jurisdiction and independence and praise the expansion of legal authority and together we smugly congratulate ourselves on expanding what we are pleased to call the rule of law,” he said. “Among the results is the displacement of legislative and executive power, the subordination of other disciplines and professions, and the reduction of whole enterprises and industries through damages.”

As to what can be done, Jacobs called on judges to exercise self-restraint and discipline in order to ward off a bias that he said has gone mostly overlooked in the legal profession. “The country could do worse than suffer rule by lawyers,” he said. “I would prefer a tyranny of law to life under a military regime. But outside our professional sphere, the dominance of law, the legal profession and the judiciary is resented more than we appreciate. As a matter of self-awareness and conscience, judges should accept that the legal mind is not the best policy instrument and that lawyer-driven processes and lawyer-centered solutions can be unwise, insufficient and unjust.… For the judiciary this would mean a reduced role, but not a diminished one.”


Anonymous said...

"The country could do worse than suffer rule by lawyers," Judge Jacobs said, well I very strongly disagree. The rule by lawyers of this country has sadly already begun and I believe that it will be our downfall if it is permitted to continue. Lawyers have imposed themselves in to every aspect of our society and look at the pathetic results. Further, they should be barred totally from holding public office as they once were along time ago.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone has been well aware of this real life intrusion by the legal and judiciary groups and I too disagree. The fact they we should have to choose between a horrible ruling government or the lawyers and judiciary in charge of all aspects of our existence is just outrageous and arrogant..but spoken by a true lawyer and judge in charge! I have personally viewed the corruption of the courts seeping into my ordinary life and realize that the courts manipulated this takeover. They have thusly influenced anyone, anywhere to accept whatever it is they choose to do to individuals and taxpayers, while violating their constitutional rights and the criminal procedure law, etc. to FORCE all victims into compliance! I say it is mandatory that we dis-mantle this entity immediately through federal intervention and anything but, is unacceptable!

Anonymous said...

the hubris of these Judges knows no bounds. Of course why should it? They are Judges and can and do whatever they want, they are untouchable.

Anonymous said...

these judges need to be fired now, theyare disgusting.

Anonymous said...

this dumbass Judge Dennis Jacobs should remove his head from is ass! This kind of talk hurts all attorneys including Judges, stupid!!!!!

Anonymous said...

what kind of drugs is this jerk on? The is a Judge? You have to be kidding.

Anonymous said...

Have you noticed that very few judicial positions have come up for election or re-election? What is happening is that in the early JUDY KAYE reign, mid1990's,someone in the court system determined that the courts with the speciality drug court and domestic violence, were being run exclusively by the LOWER courts, who cannot take felony dispositions, and to develop these courts at the higher level, would be redundant. So the term acting..supreme, county and city judiciary came about to handle higher level felonies in the lower court...supposedly to be exclusive in the high volume speciality courts only!
So with the passing of this order, no one in the judicairy, retires at age 70, either..they get re-certified and continue to work at their 'old" job..could be longer than their 14 yr term...county and supreme courts are filled with the "any" lower court(city) judges as acting higher court judges to fill in the gap that should have been filled through elections, and the lower court positions are being filled by town judges of the lawyer kind. Thus...we the taxpayer no longer get to vote for our choice to fill the judicial jobs, but are secretly forced by the judiciary and political bosses to accept WHOMEVER they have choosen to put in and keep in these long judicial positions. I am certain very few taxpayers are aware of this ...NEW JUDICIAL RAISE AND ELECTION SYSTEM! A judge just has to get in at any level and, he or she is promoted for life as a JUDGE in any court....using the ACTING AND CERTIFICATION DETERMINATIONS!

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See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
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