Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fraud Inquiry Looks At
Lawyers In Diet-Drug Case

by Adam Liptak - March 24th, 2007 - The New York Times

[This article requires a login to see it: user = with password easy1234 will get you in]

W. L. Carter knew there was something fishy going on when he went to his lawyers’ office a few years ago to pick up his settlement check for the heart damage he had sustained from taking the diet drug combination fen-phen.

The check was, for starters, much smaller than he had expected. And his own lawyers threatened to retaliate against him if he ever told anyone, including his family, how much he had been paid. “You will be fined $100,000, you will go to jail and you will be sued,” Mr. Carter recalled them saying.

Mr. Carter was right to have been suspicious. The lawyers defrauded their clients, a state judge has ruled in a civil case, when they settled fen-phen lawsuits on behalf of 440 of them for $200 million but kept the bulk of the money for themselves. Legal experts said the fraud might be one of the biggest and most brazen in legal history.

Notice the disclaimer "might be". Even lawyers are not willing to say it is more brazen than is common. Actually it is hard to claim this is more brazen than standard practice by most lawyers. All you have to do is investigate almost any probate case to see massive fraud is the rule of the day. There is a reason the following is a well known joke: "A man asked his attorney how much it would cost to get 3 simple questions answered. The lawyer said '$150'. He asked 'Isn't that a little high?' The lawyer, answered 'No, what is your last question?'"

Greed is what our current court system is all about. The "rule of judges" has become common due to the arrogant belief by attorneys and judges that law is their domain and the people have no say. It is time to end this fraud, and I don't just mean the single example in the article above. It is time to end the standard practice of fraud in our courts.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Can Commas Shoot Down Gun Control?

by Dennis Baron - March 22nd, 2007 - Lost Angeles Times

This is the first time a federal appeals court used the 2nd Amendment to strike down a gun law, and legal experts say the issue could wind up in the Supreme Court.

While the D.C. Circuit Court focused only on the second comma, the 2nd Amendment to the Constitution actually has three: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed." The 2-1 majority of judges held that the meaning turns on the second comma, which "divides the Amendment into two clauses; the first is prefatory, and the second operative."

The court dismissed the prefatory clause about militias as not central to the amendment and concluded that the operative clause prevents the government from interfering with an individual's right to tote a gun. Needless to say, the National Rifle Assn. is very happy with this interpretation. But I dissent. Strict constructionists, such as the majority on the appeals court, might do better to interpret the 2nd Amendment based not on what they learned about commas in college but on what the framers actually thought about commas in the 18th century.

This is an interesting article. A writer who supports the revisionist view that the Constitution cannot be interpreted by what the writers meant at the time they wrote it . . who believes in a living Constitution which allows new interpretations based on modern interpretations of the words of the Constitution . . . argues that we can reject modern grammatical rules for clarification of what the words mean . . . . and only use grammatical rules from the time it was written. This is his argument even though it conflicts with his rejection of the conversations of the time which indicate exactly what the writers meant. We can't pay attention to the writers of the Constitution because it is a living document and we must use modern theories of government needs to "interpret" the Constitution . . . . however we can't use modern grammar but must use one set of historical rules that support the revised meaning they want. [There is a great Internet abbreviation that is appropriate here. ROTFL]

The writer above is using a highly selective choice of how to interpret the Constitution. In essence this writer will use anything to change the meaning of the 2nd Amendment to what he wants it to say. The hypocrisy of this position is obvious. The "Bill of Rights" is a list of limitations on government granting rights to individuals for the purpose of limiting government power. However 2nd Amendment deniers chose to believe that this one Amendment grants rights to government and not to "the people". This is the only Amendment they insist gives rights to government.

This would imply that the problem is that government might not otherwise take on the power to arm their enforcers of laws they pass. Since this has never occurred in the history of the earth, how 2nd Amendment Deniers can argue this with a straight face is the key to this discussion.

I don't have any great confidence that our courts will ever return to the "rule of law". However it is amusing to watch those who want to rewrite the Constitution produce arguments that are so clearly duplicitous.

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Judicial Contempt For Biological Parents

by Alan Sears - March 4th, 2007 -

Until the Utah Supreme Court stepped forward on Friday with its merciful breath of sanity, the best Cheryl Barlow had to hope for was a kind of "Sophie’s Choice."

According to incredible rulings of the state’s lower courts, she could either let her five-year-old daughter stay overnight alone with a woman who causes the child severe emotional distress and exposes her to attitudes and behavior that violate Barlow’s core faith beliefs … or go to jail.

That any caring mother should be placed in such a dilemma tells us just how serious things have become for conscientious moms and dads in a judicial system often more preoccupied with political correctness than parental rights.

As much as this seems to be a victory for some commonsense, the reality is that our courts are still awash in contradictory rulings where parental rights are concerned. I was involved in a case in California where a man was held to be responsible for child support for a boy that his wife had conceived with her lover while she was still living with her husband. The husband did not find out until after the divorce that he was not the father.

However the courts held him responsible for child support while stripping him of his visitation. Having raised the child for 7 years the husband was willing to continue child support if he could have part time custody so he could see the boy. However he did not understand how the real father could have custody with the mother while the ex-husband paid child support and didn't get to see the child. Neither do I.

Judges have an arrogant ability to make insane rulings and unless you have a fortune to hire lawyers no one cares. Another equally insane ruling I observed was the man who had paid child support to his former girl friend for years while she was receiving welfare. She lied and said he was not paying her the court ordered child support so she would qualify for the welfare. The welfare department was misled by the former girlfriend about where the father lived when they went after him to recover the money. She was lying about him not paying her (he had cancelled checks to show he had paid) and she lied about where he lived. The welfare department obtained default service on the father by publishing the judgment in a city where the father did not live.

However the judge in the case awarded the judgment against the father in favor of the welfare department even after seeing the cancelled checks, on the logic that even though he had already paid the support to the mother, someone owed the welfare department and he had not responded to the service. Therefore the judge ruled return of the money she had swindled was still his responsibility. The judge simply ignored that he would never have seen the newpaper service since he did not live where it had been published. According to the judge, the father had to sue the mother to get the duplicate payment of support back even though she was the one who had lied. Since she had no money this would have been a farce.

Everyone kept saying that he would absolutely win if he appealed the judge's verdict. The problem was that the wage garnishment from the welfare agency had cost him his job. He had no money. What good is a court system that is only accessible to those who have money? The courts ruined this man's life and everyone said what a shame. However no one in the system did anything to stop it. This one judge (who knew he was wrong in his ruling) destroyed this man just because he could. Without money . . . no one would lift a finger to help.

I think the problem is more than contempt for biological parents. I think our courts have contempt for us all.

Saturday, March 03, 2007

God Save The United States
And This Honorable Court

by Jay Sekulow - March 3rd, 2007 -

Earlier this week, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in a case brought by the Freedom From Religion Foundation. The Supreme Court has an important opportunity to put an end to federal taxpayer lawsuits by church-state separationists that is long overdue.

The level of corruption in our court system is significantly increased by the hypocrisy described here. Laywers in the legislatures pass legal permission for the taxpayers to be required to support lawsuits against our government that the majority of the nation opposes. Sometimes the lawyers don't even pass it. The judges simply deem it a perogative of this third branch of government. This is democracy?

What this does is support the ability of judges to write laws that are opposed by our citizens, while steering huge legal fees to favored socialist and progressive lawyers that could never get elected to the legislatures to get these same laws passed. It is the basis behind the reality that "the rule of law" has long since been replaced by "the rule of judges". Our courts are corrupt.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

High Court And Low Politics

by Thomas Sowell - Completed March 1st, 2007 -

Thomas Sowell remains the leading libertarian / conservative intellectual in our nation. Many think Sowell is the smartest man in America. I am one of those. Like intellectual giants of the past (people who changed the world) like Thomas Aquinas and Aristotle, Thomas Sowell is consistently honest and brilliantly logical.

Sowell is the man who convinced me that our courts are evil. He has long written about the judicial contempt for the meaning of words and tyrannical lust for "the rule of judges" by those who are truly unfit to serve on our courts.

This is a three part series of articles (so far . . . Sowell has a habit of coming back and adding other thoughts later . . . . we will see if it stays 3 parts) about one of the prevailing problems of our courts. The issue is the inability of second rate justices to resist the corroding effect of public criticism by liberal university and media forces.

Here are links to all three parts:

High Court And Low Politics - Part One

A recent book on the Supreme Court in general has a chapter on Justice Thomas that devastates what has been said about him in the media. That book is "Supreme Conflict" by Jan Crawford Greenburg.

What will come as a shock to many who read this fact-filled book is that the picture of Justice Thomas as a blind follower of Justice Antonin Scalia, with whom he often votes, is completely different from the reality.

Notes made by Justice Harry Blackmun during discussions of issues among the justices make it clear that from day one Clarence Thomas staked out his own position on issues, even when all eight of his senior colleagues took the opposite position.

High Court And Low Politics - Part Two

It is understandable that liberal Democratic presidents, beginning with Franklin D. Roosevelt, loaded the Supreme Court with liberal, Democratic justices.

What is far harder to understand is how a whole succession of conservative Republican presidents -- Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush 41 -- managed to appoint so many liberals to the Supreme Court.

All these presidents ran on the idea that what courts in general, and the Supreme Court in particular, needed were judges who followed the law instead of making up their own new laws.

High Court And Low Politics - Part Three

While there is a tendency to label judges "liberal" or "conservative" -- and the labels may fit, even if somewhat loosely -- the real puzzle are judges who start out one way and move the other way over time.

In the population at large, and even among the intelligentsia, the usual movement over the years has been from left to right. The phrase "radical at twenty and conservative at forty" has been true enough, often enough, to become a cliché.

Most of the leading conservative intellectuals were at least liberal, and often radical, in their youth. That includes Milton Friedman, Friedrich Hayek and the whole neo-conservative movement. In politics, the leading conservative figure of the 20th century -- Ronald Reagan -- was a liberal in his early years.

On the Supreme Court of the United States, however, the movement has been in the opposite direction.

This series of articles make an excellent read for two reasons. You will learn about the basic problem with the courts of our nation and why they are slowly destroying respect for "the rule of judges", and if not already a Thomas Sowell fan, show you a little of the compelling logic which makes Thomas Sowell a great leader of our nation.