By Richard Fine
As of September 7-11, 2016 a Gallup Poll showed only 12% of those polled had a “great deal” of trust in the Judicial Branch, 37% had “none at all” or “not very much” and only 49% had a “fair amount.”
The Judicial Branch functions on the public’s perception of its integrity and freedom from corruption.
Lack of Integrity and Judicial Corruption manifest through bias, “bribery”, conflicts of interest, financial investments or transactions, undisclosed campaign contributions or loans to a judge’s judicial campaign by a party to the litigation, and other violations of law or Canons of Judicial Ethics.
The underlying issue of the 2016 election is lack of integrity, judicial corruption and its effect on each and every voter. Each party platform spoke of changing the criminal justice system, but neither attacked the cause for change, i.e. lack of judicial integrity and judicial corruption.
Sooner or later, almost all of the issues discussed in the 2016 election campaign will be before either the federal or a state Judicial Branch. Unless the Judicial Branch is perceived to possess integrity and be free of corruption, the issues and promises of the 2016 election will be meaningless.
Selecting Supreme Court nominees for political beliefs was discussed in the 2016 campaigns, but once selected, the Supreme Court justices continue to be able to avoid disqualifying themselves when a conflict of interest arises, neither the parties or the country will receive a fair hearing.
Political campaigns at the Presidential, Senate, House of Representatives, state and municipal levels ignored the underlying problem of lack of integrity and judicial corruption.
With a close election and candidates needing every vote, voters have the power to demand judicial integrity be restored and judicial corruption end.
Before November 8, 2016, voters demand by e-mail, letter, petition, telephone and at each candidate speech or gathering, each Presidential, Senate, House and state candidate pledge to introduce and support legislation to:
- end judicial corruption;
- restore judicial integrity by restricting absolute judicial immunity to be available only to the judge’s legal reasoning of the judge’s decision being appealed and removing all other functions or collateral circumstances such as malice or bias which contributed to such decision;
- restore judicial integrity by ending quasi judicial immunity; and
- restore judicial integrity by removing judges from deciding their own or other judges’ disqualification motions.
Together, voters will restore judicial integrity and end judicial corruption with the 2016 election.
Richard I. Fine, Ph.D.; Strategic Consultant and Mediator; Chmn., Campaign for Judicial Integrity; Co-Chmn., Judicial Reform Comm., DivorceCorp.
Richard Fine Oct 27 · 12:00:53 AM
The original concept of absolute judicial immunity was to protect the integrity of the judicial system and not the individual judge. The immunity exists to protect the decision making process which in its true form does not include bias, malice, bribery or corruption.
At present judges are not immune from suit for performing administrative functions while judges. Nor are they immune from suit for criminal acts or acts where the court did not have jurisdiction.
A litigant can appeal a judge’s legal reasoning to a court of appeal. However, if the judge decided the case because he/she was biased agains the party, such decision was not made with legal reasoning. Yet, under the present case law of absolute judicial immunity developed by judges, the judge is protected from suit.
This protection does not engender the integrity of the judicial system for which the judges claimed absolute judicial immunity was necessary. Restricting absolute judicial immunity to its original purpose will not engender any greater number of lawsuits than presently exist against judges, as most lawsuits are brought because bias or some other reason beyond the purity of the judge’s legal reasoning exists.