Federal judges with life-tenure are
the Establishment by definition
Will President-elect Trump
drain the judicial swamp
let it fester
on the advice of the Establishment insiders that
he is bringing into the White House and his cabinet and
to avoid judges’ retaliation against
his 70 pending business lawsuits,
thus leaving exposed to judges’ continued abuse
The Dissatisfied With The Establishment and
the rest of We the People?
Ph.D., University of Cambridge, England
M.B.A., University of Michigan Business School
D.E.A., La Sorbonne, Paris
Judicial Discipline Reform
New York City
This article may be republished and redistributed non-commercially, provided it is in its entirety and without any addition, deletion, or modification, and credit is given to its author, Dr. Richard Cordero, Esq.
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1. President-elect Trump has stated that what follows in importance a president’s declaration of war is a Supreme Court nomination.
2. Indeed, until the Court upholds the constitutionality of a law, it is little more than a set of wishful guidelines envisaged by the 535 members of Congress and the president and expressed in black ink on white paper. Where would Obamacare be today if the Court had held it unconstitutional? In a footnote in the chronicles of the Obama presidency.
3. P-e Trump also campaigned on the promise “to drain the swamp of corruption of Washington insiders”. The latter constitute the Establishment. He accused Sec. Clinton of being its representative so that if she won the presidential election, she would protect the swamp and its corruption would continue festering.
4. It stills festers although in 2006, Democratic Representative Nancy Pelosi, before becoming Speaker of the House, famously declared that “Washington is dominated by the culture of corruption” and vowed “to drain the swamp”(*>jur:23fn16). She miserably failed to do so because she was part of the Establishment.
5. By contrast, P-e Trump is an outsider. He is not tied, and does not owe his election, to Establishment members. Far from it, those who got him elected are precisely The Dissatisfied With The Establishment.
6. However, in light of his nomination of Washington insiders for his White House and cabinet, how concerned should The Dissatisfied be about his becoming domesticated on those insiders’ advice to the Washington ways so as to become used to the continued festering of the swamp, in general, and its most harmful portion, the judicial swamp, in particular?
A. The abused powers that generate the judicial swamp
“Power corrupts, and absolute power corrupts absolutely”. Lord Acton, Letter to Bishop Mandell Creighton, April 3, 1887.
7. The status of unaccountability is at the source of the capacity to turn power into absolute power that ends up forming a swamp of corruption.
1. Judges’ power to stay established: life-appointment and irremovability in practice
8. Federal judges are appointed for life. Worse yet, they are irremovable in effect: While 2,293 federal judges were in office on 30sep15, in the last 227 years since the creation of the Federal Judiciary in 1789, the number of them impeached and removed is 8!(*>jur:21§1).
The above statistics originate in the official ones that the Federal Judiciary must submit by law(28 USC §604(d)(3); (h)(2); *>jur:26fn23a) , to Congress every year. They are analyzed in my study of judges’ performance in practice as opposed to as prescribed on rules printed on paper. It is titled and downloadable thus:
Exposing Judges’ Unaccountability and Consequent Riskless Wrongdoing: Pioneering the news and publishing field of
judicial unaccountability reporting. *†
* Vol. 1: http://Judicial-Discipline-Reform.org/OL/DrRCordero-Honest_Jud_Advocates.pdf all prefixes:page# up to ol:393
† Vol. 2: http://Judicial-Discipline-Reform.org/OL2/DrRCordero-Honest_Jud_Advocates.pdf >from ol2:394
All the materials corresponding to the (blue text references) herein are found in that study.
9. Several justices have been on the Supreme Court for around 25 years, such as JJ. Thomas (29), Kennedy (28), Ginsburg (23), and Breyer (22). J. Scalia was in office for 30 years. That does not count at all the years that they spent in the circuit and district courts.
10. For instance, while J. Sotomayor has been on the Supreme Court only since 2009, she has been in the Federal Judiciary since 1992, when she was appointed a federal district court, followed by her appointment in 1998 to the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Hence, she has already been in the judicial Establishment for 24 years.
11. As a matter of fact, the Federal Judiciary is the quintessential Establishment. Its judges are established in power forever no matter the quality or quantity of their performance or conduct.
2. The power of connivance between appointing-politicians and their appointed judges
12. Federal judges are recommended, endorsed, nominated, and confirmed by politicians. For the latter, judges are “our men and women on the bench”. They stand in an appointer-appointee relation(ol2:488¶¶3-6).
13. Politicians hold judges unaccountable in the expectation that they will hold the laws of their legislative agenda constitutional(jur:23fn17a) and not retaliate(Lsch:17§C) against the thousands of lawsuits that the government files every year.
14. The relation of power between these branches is out of balance, but only due to pragmatic considerations, not because the Constitution holds the Judiciary superior to the other branches. Far from it. Nevertheless, the result is that judges neither fear nor respect politicians.
3. Judges’ vast power of the office
15. Judges act as a standing constitutional convention, for they give content to the mere labels of the Constitution(jur:22fn12b), such as “freedom of speech, freedom of the press”, “due process”, “equal protection of the law”. They even read into it new rights never imagined hundreds of years ago by a rural, religious, and mostly illiterate society and even diametrically opposite to its beliefs.
16. Judges interpret the meaning and scope of application of every law. By exercising that power in its many forms(ol:267§4), they dispose of the property, liberty, life, and all the rights and duties that shape what people can and cannot do from before their birth, throughout their lives, and after their death(jur:25fn25, 26).
17. Judges abuse their power by the way they make decisions: The analysis of their official statistics shows that the 12 federal regional circuit courts dispose of 93% of appeals in decisions “on procedural grounds, by consolidation, unpublished, unsigned, without comment”. They are so perfunctory that the majority of them are issued on a 5¢ summary order form and/or marked “not precedential”(ol2:453), mere ad hoc, arbitrary, reasonless fiats of the judicial swamp.
18. There can be no doubt that individually and collectively judges wield the broadest, farthest-reach-ing, and most substantial power of any public officer, including the most corruptive: the power ‘to tell what is good and evil’ in the contemplation of the law, that is, what is legal and illegal.
4. Judges’ power to grab benefits
19. Judges abuse their power to grab the social, material, and personal benefits within their reach(ol:173¶93) and for sheer convenience.
20. The opportunity to use power to grab can hardly be passed up under the influence of the most insidious corruptor: money!, lots of money! In the calendar year 2010, the bankruptcy judges alone ruled on the $373 billion at stake in only personal bankruptcies(jur:27§2). The only ones watching with power to do anything about its disposition were the circuit judges who had appointed them and they and the district judges who could remove them(jur:43fn61a). With them as their overseers, bankruptcy judges could do just about anything, except being too greedy and ungrateful.
21. In addition, there is all the money subject to judges’ decisions in probate matters, contracts, alimony, mergers & acquisition, taxes, product liability, initial public offers, etc.
5. Judges’ power to grow well-connected
22. The arguments that militate in support of the two-term limit for holding the presidency, and of P-e Trump’s promise to push for legislation limiting the number of terms for members of Congress apply to judges too: The longer a person serves in public office, the more entitled they feel and the more their public office becomes their personal one.
23. That feeling of entitlement is exacerbated for federal judges, who do not have to run for reelection and need not fear in reality being removed. They and their public office become one and the same.
24. Moreover, as public officers deal with ever more people, they become ever more powerful through the IOUs that they have collected from people who needed their help; and the more indebted they become to others whose help they needed to get their way. Hence, to an ever greater extent they move from doing the public’s business to ‘dealing for their own account’.
6. Judges’ power of camaraderie
25. To be in good standing with the other judges, a judge only needs to engage in knowing indifference and willful ignorance or blindness, which are forms of culpably looking the other way(jur:88§§a-c) and carrying on as if nothing had happened or will happen.
‘Keep your mouth shut about what I and the other judges did or are about to do, and you can enjoy our friendship.’
‘I will protect you today against this complaint and tomorrow you will protect me or my friends when we are the target of a complaint’.
26. That is how judges implicitly or explicitly ensure for decades their social acceptance and their self-preservation through reciprocal protection. They know from the historical record that nobody will charge them with accessorial liability after the fact that they kept quiet about or covered up, and before the fact of the next wrongful act that they encouraged others to do with their promise of passive silence or active cover-up.
27. By contrast, a judge who dared expose another judge’s wrongdoing would be deemed by all the other judges an unreliable traitor and cast out their social circle and activities as a pariah.
28. Such interdependent security(Lsch:16§1) gives rise to the judicial class mentality. It is similar to that found among police officers, doctors, priests, sports teams, sororities and fraternities, etc. It trades integrity for the benefits of membership.
29. The more time judges spend in the Judiciary, the more they transition from peers to colleagues, to members, to friends, and to co-conspirators(ol:166§§C, D). So instead of administering justice to We the People, they run their swamp as a private enterprise to make it ever more profitable, efficient, and secure for themselves.
7. Judges’ power to self-discipline
30. In its Article III, the Constitution only creates the Supreme Court. All lower courts thereunder are created by Congress, which can also create tribunal-like administrative agencies under Art. II, Sec. 8; and appoint judges directly or by delegation under Art. II, Sec. 2.
31. The Constitution does not grant judges, not even those of the Supreme Court, the power to determine themselves what constitutes “good Behaviour” during which they can “hold their Offices”. Yet, politicians have relinquished that significant ‘check and balance’ to the judges by allowing them to exercise the power of self-disciplining(jur:21§1).
32. With the connivance of politicians, judges abuse that power by dismissing 99.82%(jur:10-14) of complaints against them filed by parties to cases and any other members of the People, as well as denying up to 100% of petitions to review those dismissals(jur:24§§b-d).
33. The relation of political protectors-judicial protégés is anathema to the objective analysis of complaints against judges and the fair and impartial treatment of complainants. That is why judges have no inhibitions about abusing their self-disciplining power to arrogate to themselves self-exemption from liability.
34. Complainants have no other source of relief. They are left to bob with their complained about harm in the middle of the swamp.
8. Judges’ power to show contempt for We the People and our representatives
35. We the People, the masters in “government of, by, and for the people”(jur:82fn172), hired judges as their public servants to deliver the service of administering justice according to the rule of law.
36. But judges need not serve the People to stay established in office. Voters neither elect nor reelect federal judges. Judges stay even when they disserve the People. There is no downside to disservice, for they can neither be demoted nor have their salary reduced.
37. To enjoy their lifelong stay on the bench, judges only need to serve their constituency: each other. If they stand together, nobody can bring them down…unless their swamp is drained through exposure, as proposed below.
9. The power to retaliate
38. Judges’ power to retaliate is not limited to declaring each of the pieces of a president’s or party’s legislative agenda unconstitutional.
39. Judges have a panoply of ways to engage in chicanery: They can:
a. sign search and seizure warrants broader than they should be, narrow them or refuse to sign them altogether;
b. grant, deny, or impose punitive, bail;
c. admit or exclude evidence, evidentiary and expert witnesses, and their testimony;
d. uphold or overrule objections and raise others on their own motion;
e. cause documents’ docket entry dates to be moved forward or backward;
f. lose and misplace documents and make them reappear at will;
g. meet with some parties in the absence of other parties;
h. grant or deny the sealing and unsealing of documents and leak, or profit from, sealed information;
i. grant or deny hearings and leave to appeal;
j. ignore or grant more or less than the relief requested;
k. enter judgment consonant with or notwithstanding the verdict;
j. grant a reduction or increase in the amount of compensation; etc.(Lsch:17§C)
40. But judges’ power of retaliation has one important limit: They cannot retaliate simultaneously against a large number of professional and citizen journalists participating in a concerted effort to drain their swamp through investigation and exposure, especially if the effort was launched by the president to deliver on a campaign promise. Such massive retaliation would unmask their actions as coordinated abuse of power to conceal their liability for, and preserve, their swamp benefits.
B. Judges unaccountability is the key corruptive component of the judicial swamp
41. Unaccountability is the attribute that distinguishes judges individually as public officers and collectively as a class, the judicial class, a privileged one. Their privilege is at once the source and the result of their powers, which they leverage to preserve and exploit their privilege by adopting a black robe first mentality and letting it guide their professional and personal “Behaviour”.
42. Judges’ privilege is the product of corruptive components:
a. a sense of entitlement to their office for life;
b. the assurance of being held unaccountable by others and the capacity to assure themselves their self-exemption from discipline, never mind liability to others, which give rise to a sense and the reality of impunity; and
c. the most corruptive of all powers: the power to decide what is lawful or unlawful and thereby make anything either right or wrong…or simply go away.
43. People are not merely elevated to the federal bench. Because they are allowed, and manage, to do from there whatever they want without being worried about its adverse consequences regardless of the nature and quality of their behavior and performance, they are given access to a status that no person is entitled to receive or grab in ‘government, not of men and women, but by the rule of law’(ol:5fn6): Public Servants Above their Masters –We the People- and their Law.
44. Conferring a federal judgeship amounts to issuing a license to engage in wrongdoing for profit as a member of an independent, sovereign, and most powerful corrupt organization. Since P-e Trump wants to drain the Establishment swamp, he must begin by draining the one that dominates it: the judicial swamp.
C. P-e Trump’s first step: a press conference to call on the public and the media to expose the corruptive judicial powers and the resulting swamp
45. P-e Trump can call a press conference(ol2:489¶¶10-11) to declare that the system of justice that he accused of being rigged in favor of Sec. Clinton is actually rigged against We the People(ol2: 437¶4), constituting a key portion of the Establishment swamp, so that as a prerequisite to nominating J. Scalia’s successor and ushering in a fair and impartial system, the depth of its corruption must be plumbed. He can thus become the People’s Champion of Justice.
46. In that vein, P-e Trump can:
a. make an Emile Zola-like I accuse!(jur:98§2) denunciation of politicians/judges’ connivance;
b. ask the public to submit their judicial complaints(ol:311¶2; 362¶4) and the decisions of the judges in their cases(ol:274, 304) to his website for the public to examine them in search of the most persuasive evidence: commonalities forming patterns of wrongdoing;
c. call on professional and citizen journalists to investigate the two unique national stories(ol2:440, 480¶¶2-3) of President Obama-Justice Sotomayor and Federal Judiciary-NSA.
1) Judges are required by their own Code of Conduct to “avoid even the appearance of impropriety”(jur:68fn123a). Therefore, journalists only have to show, rather than prove, that judges appear to engage in improprieties, never mind criminal conduct, such as concealing assets to evade taxes and launder them of the taint of unlawful origin(jur:65fn107a,c). Such showing will cause outrage so intense in the public(ol2:461§G) as to provoke resignations among judges(jur:92§d);
d. announce nationally televised hearings on judges’ wrongdoing to be conducted by the Department of Justice with the assistance of the FBI to expose the corruption’s nature, extent, and gravity, and determine the scope of the needed reform(jur:158§6-7)
1) This is as unrealistic and improbable as other millenial impossibles were that have become everyday realities, e.g.:
(a) public education for the boys of the poor, even their daughters;
(b) the extension of voting to unlanded men and even women;
(c) the abolition of slavery;
(d) labor unions and the right to strike;
(e) the right to paid holidays;
(f) limitations on the workweek;
(g) public assistance;
(h) maternity leave;
(i) the rights of the disabled;
(j) abortion rights;
(k) gay marriage;
(l) universal health care;
e. demand that Congress convene the constitutional convention that 34 states have formally called, thus satisfying the constitutional requirement of Article V for amending the Constitution, and advocate the adoption of term-limits for judges and the establishment of citizen boards of judicial accountability and liability(jur:160§8);
f. encourage top universities to join forces with the national media and journalism schools, advocates of honest judiciaries, and groups of victims of wrongdoing judges to:
1) organize a national conference on judges’ unaccountability and riskless wrongdoing (jur:97§1), and statistical, linguistic, and literary auditing techniques(jur:131§b);
2) publish print and/or digital journals on judicial unaccountability and wrongdoing(jur:97§1) with articles for scholarly and general audiences;
3) devise and disseminate templates for the public to report judicial wrongdoing as one of the sources together with other techniques(ol:42, 60) for compiling the Annual Report on Judicial Unaccountability and Wrongdoing in America(jur:126§3);
4) create an institute(jur:130§5) of judicial accountability and reform advocacy.
D. Action that you can take to ensure that the judicial swamp is drained
47. You too can contribute to draining the swamp by calling on P-e Trump, the anti-Trump movement, the Sen. Sanders’ revolution, and local and national media to demand that the judicial swamp be drained.
48. To that end, you can share and post this article in its entirety as widely as possible (if you are a commercial publisher, first ask Dr. Cordero for permission), and forward it to the following bloc of email addresses:
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49. I offer to make a presentation of this article in person or by video conference upon request. Contact me through this bloc of email addresses:
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