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Wednesday, January 14, 2009

NY Post and NY Daily News on Paterson Lippman Pick

Sheldon Silver pal gets court nod from Gov. Paterson
The New York Daily News by KENNETH LOVETT - January 13,2009

ALBANY - Gov. Paterson on Tuesday nominated a childhood friend of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver as chief judge of the state's highest court. Paterson picked Jonathan Lippman, presiding justice of the First Department of the Appellate Division of the state Supreme Court, from a list of seven finalists to head the Court of Appeals. "Judge Lippman led the implementation of nationally significant reforms, including jury reform, contributed to the creation of problem-solving courts, such as special drug courts and domestic violence courts, and played an integral role in keeping the courts open after the attacks on Sept. 11," Paterson said. The nomination goes to the state Senate for approval. "It's certainly an unusual pick even if it's not a surprising one," said Vincent Bonventre, an Albany Law School professor and Court of Appeals expert.

Besides his friendship with Silver, Lippman is also close to Judith Kaye, the longtime chief judge who was required to retire at the end of last year after turning 70. Between 1996 and May 2007, Lippman was Kaye's right-hand man administering the state's vast court system. Lippman is the first non-Court of Appeals judge to become its chief since Alton Parker in 1898, Bonventre said. While Lippman, 63, was always considered a front-runner, some were surprised Paterson did not choose one of two sitting Court of Appeals associate judges on the list of finalists - Theodore Jones and Eugene Pigott. Jones would have been the first black chief justice, but he was the judge who heavily sanctioned the city transit workers union for its illegal strike in 2006. One of the union's lawyers is Basil Paterson, the governor's father.

Choosing Jones or Pigott as chief judge would have meant creating a vacancy on the court, giving Paterson an immediate chance to select a second member of the seven-judge body, court observers said. Paterson last month complained angrily about the lack of diversity on the list of finalists he received from the Commission on Judicial Nomination, noting there were no women or Hispanics. "I would think that, politically, it would have made more sense for him to pick someonbdy on the court so he would have been creating another vacancy," Bonventre said. "He would then have had two opportunities to put his imprint on the Court of Appeals." A Manhattan native, Lippman received his undergraduate degree in 1965 and a law degree in 1968 from New York University. He has been a member of the state bar since 1968.

The New York Post - January 14, 2009 

ALBANY - Jonathan Lippman, who presides over the intermediate appellate court in Manhattan, has been named New York's next chief judge by Gov. Paterson. Lippman will succeed Judge Judith Kaye, who retired last year, after reaching the age limit of 70. Kaye headed the Court of Appeals for 15 years. The nomination must be approved by the state Senate.


Anonymous said...

Hopefully the report by the Judiciary Committee below by John Conyers will include a similar one for the financial scams of this sordid administration of terror and their grip on the US Courts. Note, many attorneys are named in this report as the true terrorists, hopefully ny will get some trickle down justice.

Conyers Calls for Criminal Probe Into Bush Administration Abuses

Written by Jason Leopold
Tuesday, 13 January 2009 13:56
By Jason Leopold This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

House Judiciary Committee Chairman John Conyers issued a report Tuesday documenting what he says are extraordinary claims of executive power during President George W. Bush’s eight years in office. Conyers said disturbing evidence his committee has gathered begs for an independent criminal investigation into controversial and possibly illegal policies sanctioned by the White House, including torture, and domestic surveillance, and the politicization of the Department of Justice.

The scathing 486-page report is the clearest sign yet that the 111th Congress plans to probe the depths of the Bush administration’s most controversial policies. Last week, The Public Record was the first to report that Conyers proposed legislation to create a blue-ribbon panel of outside experts to probe the “broad range” of policies pursued by the Bush administration “under claims of unreviewable war powers,” including torture of detainees and warrantless wiretaps.

Tuesday’s report is aimed at providing lawmakers in Congress the documentary evidence needed to support the bill, which currently has 10 sponsors.

The report, "Reining in the Imperial Presidency: Lessons and Recommendations Relating to the presidency of George W. Bush," contains 47 separate recommendations that includes continued investigations into the Bush administration’s “excesses and abuses”, a blue ribbon commission to fully investigate administration activities, and independent criminal probes.

It was released on the same day that the Justice Department's inspector general released a report that found Bradley Schlozman, the former head of the agency's civil rights division, used a political litmus test to hire and fire staffers in violation of federal law and then lied to a Senate committee about it.

Conyers said the recommendations contained in his report to continue probing the Bush administration's policies are not intended as political payback, rather the goal is to “restore the traditional checks and balances of our constitutional system.”

"Even after scores of hearings, investigations, and reports, we still do not have answers to some of the most fundamental questions left in the wake of Bush’s Imperial Presidency," Conyers said, using allegations of torture, extraordinary rendition, warrantless domestic surveillance, the Valerie Plame Wilson-leak, and the U.S. attorney scandal as examples. "Investigations are not a matter of payback or political revenge – it is our responsibility to examine what has occurred and to set an appropriate baseline of conduct for future administrations.

“The Bush Administration’s approach to power is, at its core, little more than a restatement of Mr. Nixon’s famous rationalization of presidential misdeeds: “When the president does it, that means it’s not illegal,” Conyers said in a foreword included in the report. “Under this view, laws that forbid torturing or degrading prisoners cannot constrain the president because, if the president ordered such acts as Commander in Chief, “that means it’s not illegal.” Under this view, it is not the courts that decide the reach of the law – it is the president – and neither the judiciary nor Congress can constrain him.

Conyers has been one of the fiercest critics of the Bush administration’s extraordinary claims of executive powers. His committee has probed numerous scandals that unfolded over the years, including the politicization of the Department of Justice, the leak of covert CIA operative Valerie Plame Wilson, and prewar Iraq intelligence.

Last year, Conyers called on Attorney General Michael Mukasey to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate whether the Bush administration committed war crimes. Conyers was criticized, however, late last year when he refused to allow his committee to vote on Articles of Impeachment presented against Bush by Rep. Dennis Kucinich, D-Ohio fearing such a move would hurt Democrats’ chances of securing a larger majority of Congress and could hinder Barack Obama’s chances of being elected president. Instead, Conyers’ committee held an impeachment substitute of sorts; a one-day hearing devoted to testimony by Bush’s critics about the administration’s alleged abuses of power.

In the report, Conyers said he believes that the Bush administration’s abuses warranted impeachment hearings and acknowledged that “some ardent advocates of impeachment have labeled me a traitor – or worse – for declining to begin a formal impeachment inquiry in the House Judiciary Committee.”

“Many think these acts rise to the level of impeachable conduct. I agree,” Conyers wrote in the report’s foreword. “I have never wavered in my belief that this President and Vice-President are among the most impeachable officials in our Nation’s history, and the more we learn the truer that becomes.”

“While I reject particular criticism [that he refused to take up impeachment], I want to make clear how much I respect those who have given so much time and energy to the cause of fighting for the impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney. While we may not agree on the best path forward, I know they are acting on the basis of our shared love of this country. These citizens are not fringe radicals, and they are obviously not motivated simply by personal feelings about President Bush, however strong those feelings may be at times. They are individuals who care deeply about our Constitution and our Nation, and who have stood up to fight for the democracy they love, often at great personal cost.

“However, as I have said, while President Bush and Vice President Cheney have earned the dishonorable eligibility to be impeached, I do not believe that would have been the appropriate step at this time in our history, and I would like again to briefly explain why that is the case. Contrary to assertions by some advocates, the predecessor to this Report – the Judiciary Committee then-Minority staff’s “Constitution in Crisis” – did not call for impeachment. Rather, it concluded that there was substantial evidence of impeachable misconduct and that there should be a full investigation by a select Committee armed with subpoena power.”

The new report Conyers prepared signals that the Michigan Democrat is not inclined to immediately “move forward” now that Obama has been elected. In fact, Conyers said he firmly rejects “the notion that we should move on from these matters simply because a new Administration is set to take office.”

On Sunday, Obama signaled in an interview on ABC’s “This Week With George Stephanopoulus,” that he will not likely recommend that his Justice Department launch a criminal probe into the Bush administration’s past practices, particularly policies that authorized torture.

Obama told Stephanopolous that he held “a belief that we need to look forward as opposed to looking backward.”

But Conyers has made three major recommendations that stand in contrast with Obama’s philosophy:

First, that the Judiciary Committee pursue its document requests and subpoenas pending at the end of the 110th Congress.
Second, that Congress create an independent blue ribbon commission or similar body to investigate the host of previously unreviewable activities of the Bush Administration, including detention, enhanced interrogation, extraordinary rendition, ghosting and black sites, and warrantless domestic electronic surveillance.
Third, that the new Administration conduct an independent criminal inquiry into whether any laws were broken in connection with these activities...there never has been an independent, comprehensive review of these very serious allegations with a full report to the American public. The investigations to date have either been limited in scope or authority, hidden from the public and the Congress, or stonewalled or obstructed by the outgoing Administration behind impenetrable walls of classification and privilege. The purpose of the above-described investigations is not payback, but to uphold the rule of law, allow us to learn from our national mistakes, and prevent them from recurring. Such an effort would be a welcome sign to our friends, and a warning to our foes, that this Nation can indeed serve as a beacon of liberty and freedom without weakening our ability to combat terrorism or other threats. The Report makes clear that even after scores of hearings, investigations, and reports, Congress and the American public still do not have answers to some of the most fundamental questions concerning the Bush Imperial Presidency.
On Tuesday, a federal judge ruled that the Bush administration must turn to President-elect Barack Obama’s staff documents it has been withholding from Congress related to the White House’s role in the firing of the nine U.S. Attorneys.

Conyers’ committee has been pursuing testimony and documents from White House Chief of Staff Josh Bolten and former White House Counsel Harriet Miers about their involvement in the decision to fire the federal prosecutors. President George W. Bush has asserted executive privilege in blocking Bolten and Miers, who were both subpoenaed, from testifying before Congress. Last week, a new set of House rules were passed that revived subpoenas issued during the 110th Congress. In addition to Miers, Conyers’ committee subpoenaed former White House political adviser Karl Rove.

Conyers said unanswered questions revolving around the U.S. Attorney firings, such as the individual responsible for creating the list of federal prosecutors to fire, calls for aggressive an investigation. He said other matters that still need to be investigated by Congress and perhaps a criminal probe include whether any laws were broken as a result of the administration’s authorization that tactics such as waterboarding could be used to interrogate suspected terrorists, extraordinary rendition, and domestic surveillance.

Additionally, Conyers wants to find out “to what extent were President Bush and Vice President Cheney involved in the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson and its aftermath.”

“There is considerable evidence that culpability for the outing of Valerie Plame Wilson and subsequent obstruction goes above and beyond Scooter Libby,” Cheney’s former chief of staff who was convicted last year of obstruction of justice and perjury.

“While...evidence strongly suggests vice presidential and/or presidential involvement, complete understanding of this matter has been obstructed by both the President’s assertion of executive privilege and threatened assertion to deny the Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Judiciary Committee access to relevant information, and by Mr. Libby’s lies to FBI interviewers and the grand jury convened to investigate the leak,” the report says. “As Special Counsel [Patrick] Fitzgerald emphasized during his closing argument, Mr. Libby’s lies put a “cloud over what the Vice President did.”

Conyers subpoenaed documents last year related to the Plame leak, including testimony Bush and Cheney gave to Fitzgerald, but the Justice Department refused to turn over the materials.

“Given that so many significant questions remain unanswered relating to these core constitutional and legal matters, many of which implicate basic premises of our national honor, it seems clear that our country cannot simply move on. As easy or convenient as it would be to turn the page, our Nation’s respect for the rule of law and its role as a moral leader in the world demand that we finally and without obstruction conduct and complete these inquiries. This can and should be done without rancor or partisanship.”

Best ~ Eliot Bernstein - put a stop to the coup on the united states

Anonymous said...

The full Conyers report at

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

Maybe some people on this blog will wake up now. The fact that the Governor happens to be black does not mean he is going to change anything or look out for the people. He would not have been in the position to take over as Governor if he didn`t play the game.

Anonymous said...

Boy, the Daily News and The Post are besides themselves with joy at this nomination. Have you ever read such jubilant praise????

Especially the Post.

There will be dancing in the streets when Lippman gets confirmed.

Anonymous said...

Well, ya know, this website is replete with outrages, protests, claims that this and that IS the last straw, [this time I mean it] and essentially 'I'm mad as Hell and I aint gonna take it no more' etc. etc........
but this, like everything else, will eventually pass and we'll all go about our raped and oppressive lives under the oligarchy of our alleged honorable third branch.


How many bloggers here have been wrongfully convicted ??

How many have lost everything to this hopelessly incompetent and dysfunctional judiciary?

Oppressed and Inquiring minds wish to know.

Anonymous said...


How many pro se litigants/bloggers have come to the indisputable realization that COURTS NEVER EVEN READ OUR PAPERS before denying the relief we ask for ??

Anonymous said...

You've got that right.

Anonymous said...

It is common knowledge the appellate courts ordinarily don't read the briefs in full. Most leave it to their 50K a year just out of law school clerks to read it for them. Rare is the judge that takes a hands on approach and reviews and questions the findings of their law clerks. Everybody knows that.

Some of those goof balls hand out decisions that are factually incorrect as to the charges and the rule of law. You then have to ask relief by the Court of Appeals. That court only takes on 1% of those cases for review.

Rare is the judge that says BS to the rule of law that is written by some dumb azz legislators and put procedural considerations aside and rule in the Interests of Justice doctrine. It is easier for a judge or a panel of appellate judges to wash their hands of it all and blame it on the jury as the jury is the keeper of the Holy Grail.

When you have as a Dean of Law that would write an Op-Ed piece stating that the criminal justice system works for Marty Tankleff, then you have a bunch of idiots in charge of the insane asylum.

How does it work, Dean of Touro Law when a man does 17 years in jail for a crime he didn' commit?

A Chief Judge doesn't need to be an administrator, he/she needs to be a scholar of the law. A person that holds fast to their convictions, and not the poltical wind that blows from the polticians to make their rulings.

Anonymous said...

Does our newly nominated CJ rise to the level of 'A person that holds fast to their convictions, and not the poltical wind that blows from the polticians to make their rulings?

Anonymous said...

If thought that the NY Judicial System was corrupt you haven't seen anything yet! Give Jonathan Lippman a chance! Sheldon Silver created this nothing! God help us all!

Anonymous said...

With the rapidliy growing Latino
and African American population are going to take this as a slap in the face.
The courts need to be more diversified.
if he pick pollitical hacks
he will not get support from minoritys come election time.

Anonymous said...

What happened to Judge Theoodore Jones? I thought he was going to be our next Chief Judge!!!!I'd rather have Donald Duck as our next Chief Judge than LIPPMANN!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

This is what the NY Post says today on the selection of Lippman:

Anonymous said...

Eliot Bernstein - can you be a little less verbose and boring in your next comment? Stick to the topic -- which is Lippman as Chief Judge.!!!

Anonymous said...

eliot bernstein says bme

Anonymous said...

eliot bernstein says bme

Anonymous said...

Corrupt Courts Administrator: Please censure Eliot Bernstein from this blog for the use of profanity.

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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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