J.A.I.L. News Journal
Los Angeles, California                             November 2, 2006
The Inherent Right of ALL People to Alter or Reform
Government. The Right Upon Which All Other Rights Depend

"Who stands to be hurt if Amendment E is not passed?"
Would it be the South Dakota Bar Association and lawyers? NO!
Would it be the South Dakota Legislature? NO!
Would it be the insurance companies and agencies?  NO!
Vote YES on Amendment E for your future and your own good!
Voting for Judicial Independence
New York Times
Published: November 2, 2006

Nearly obscured by the struggle for control of Congress, there is another important battle in a handful of states over measures aimed at punishing judges for their official rulings and making them more captive to prevailing political winds. These measures all hide behind the superficially appealing but profoundly misleading banner of judicial accountability. And, taken together, they add up to an assault on a fair and independent judiciary.

In Colorado, voters will decide the fate of a far-reaching state constitutional amendment designed to kick a huge percentage of top sitting judges off the bench by setting a term limit of 10 years and applying the cap retroactively. A measure on the ballot in Oregon would create new geographic districts from which appellate judges could run, as a backdoor way to oust judges from the Portland area.

In Montana, conservative groups tried to force voters to confront Constitutional Initiative 98, an attempt to “rein in” judges by establishing new recall elections and making it easier to remove judges for specific rulings. Fortunately, the state's high court ruled this misbegotten initiative invalid because of what it called “pervasive fraud” by out-of-state paid gatherers of signatures.

But the wackiest and potentially most far-reaching of the judge-bashing schemes is still on the ballot, South Dakota's Jail 4 Judges initiative. The brainchild of Ronald Branson, an antigovernment activist from California operating at the political fringe, this reckless exercise seeks to keep judges in line by amending the state Constitution to eliminate judicial immunity from lawsuits by disgruntled plaintiffs and others. Immunity is a time-honored way of preserving an independent judiciary.

This radical measure would create a special grand jury with a rotating membership and loose rules — in effect, a fourth branch of government. This new entity would be vested with the power to punish judges for their decisions, or, for that matter, school board members or any other local public official who had the bad luck to fit under the amendment's broad definition of judicial power. Writing in The Wall Street Journal, the former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor correctly blasted the initiative as a bald attempt at judicial intimidation.

By rejecting Jail 4 Judges, South Dakota voters can send a message of support for a strong and independent judicial system — without which democracy cannot function — that will resound nationwide.

Ron Branson's Response:
Taking the above arguments as true, one would necessarily have to believe that all justice must be sacrificed upon the altar of "Independence." Obviously, by whatever name one might wish to call it, if it gets in the way of justice, then it does so despite the very purpose of it's very existence -- "justice." Certainly, if arriving at the truth is not the objective of the judiciary, then why have a judiciary at all? Might makes right, and thus, may the strongest survive.
I am not against true "judicial independence." We need an independent judiciary that rises above politics and human emotions. But if "judicial independence" means independent of the Constitution which they have sworn to uphold, then mark me down as opposed judicial independence.
A runaway "independent" judiciary that makes up and enforces its own laws as it goes, is certain to bring the entire judiciary into contempt and disrepute, causing the judiciary to have to publicly defend themselves at every stage while descending into their own quagmire and destruction.
The truth is that JAIL4Judges is the best thing that could ever happen to the judiciary to protect it from its own demise. Only God Himself is immune from having to answer to any authority.
Like a broken record, I hear the same old line, namely that under J.A.I.L. disgruntled litigants will be able to go after judges, and that "judges" include "jurors, school board members," etc., etc., etc.
Despite that I have pulled apart all of these hog-wash arguments on our website, www.sd-jail4judges.org, they ignore our irrefutable arguments, and continue to repeat the same old arguments. (See "Confronting, Head-On, The No-On-E Club.") This is intellectual dishonesty. The feel that as long as they have money and a tongue or means to disseminate their lies, they will do so, not considering that they too will one day have to give an account. Be not deceived, God is not mocked.
-Ron Branson
Webmaster's Note:  
For more refutations concerning whether "school board members or any other local public official who had the bad luck to fit under the amendment's broad definition of judicial power," are affected by this amendment, besides the South Dakota Site, please see in our FAQ file "Will J.A.I.L. expose county commissioners, city council members, and school board members to lawsuit by people upset with their decisions?"
J.A.I.L.- Judicial Accountability Initiative Law - href="../../State_Chapters/dc/DC_initiative.doc">www.jail4judges.org
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Contribute to J.A.I.L. at P.O. Box 207, N. Hollywood, CA 91603
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JAIL is a unique addition to our form of gov't. heretofore unrealized.
JAIL is powerful! JAIL is dynamic! JAIL is America's ONLY hope!
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"..it does not require a majority to prevail, but rather an irate, tireless minority keen to set brush fires in people's minds.." - Samuel Adams
"There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is
striking at the root." -- Henry David Thoreau

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