The Battle Lines are Drawn: J.A.I.L. versus The Foreign Power
A Power Foreign to Our Constitution
Understanding Justice O'Connor's Interpretation of "Judicial Independence"
By Barbie, National J.A.I.L.
Former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor has shown herself to be quite concerned with the precept of JAIL4judges, especially as it pertains to judicial independence.
Judicial independence is the doctrine that decisions of the judiciary should be impartial and not subject to influence from the other branches of government or from private or political interests. ... There are two types of Judicial independence. Institutional independence and decisional independence. Institutional independence means the judicial branch is independent from the executive and legislative branches. Decisional independence is the idea that judges should be able to decide cases solely based on the law and facts, without letting the media, politics or other things sway their decisions. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Judicial_independence
We have been countering O'Connor's propaganda against J.A.I.L. for some time, most recently on July 25, 2007 "The Nation's Unaccountable Judiciary Is At Risk"
http://www.jail4judges.org/JNJ_Library/2007/2007-07-25.html. That posting contains several links to other refutations of O'Connor's irresponsible claims against the J.A.I.L. Amendment, all made without any direct reference to what the Amendment itself provides. Her remarks have been arbitrary, without any proof whatsoever.
For example, the crux of the J.A.I.L. Amendment is ¶2. "Exclusions of immunity. Notwithstanding common law or any other provision to the contrary, no immunities shielding a judge from frivolous and harassing actions shall be construed to extend to
The foregoing judicial misconduct shall not be construed to mean court decisions made within the authorized capacity of a judge."
Does holding judges accountable to the People for any of the above acts interfere with judicial independence? Are judges to be independent and free to commit any of them? Judges take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution. Does judicial independence mean that judges can violate the Constitution without "interference"?
Apparently that's what O'Connor means when she tells people that by the J.A.I.L. Amendment, judges will be "punished" for decisions they make --for carrying out their judicial responsibilities. Is any of the above-listed seven acts --any one of them-- part of the responsibilities of judges? Apparently O'Connor thinks so, because she doesn't want any "interference" by any other branch of government, or by the People pursuant to J.A.I.L. What O'Connor means by the doctrine "judicial independence" is really judicial autonomy. If judges aren't to be held accountable for the above-listed acts, then they are above the law! Is there any other conclusion to be reached on that basis?
It should be noted that not even those seven alleged violations can come before the J.A.I.L. Special Grand Jury until all judicial proceedings are exhausted, including all appeals. In other words, J.A.I.L. takes a "hands off" position and cannot interfere in any way with the judiciary.
Justice O'Connor suggests that students be taught about judicial independence in schools. Our comment is, make sure when teaching students and adults about the judiciary, that they are taught that judges are NOT above the law; that when judges take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution, they are expected by the People to obey it! Make sure that "civics classes" teach the truth.
Toledoblade.com Toledo, Ohio
Article published Sunday, July 29,
Back to civics class
RETIRED U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor spoke to the nation's governors in Michigan about the vital role education plays in maintaining our independent judiciary. She is certainly right that students need to better appreciate the separation of powers. But what she could have added was that this is a lesson most adults, members of Congress, occupants of the White House, and the very judiciary itself also need to review.
Students today know more about Hollywood and technology than they know about government. Justice O'Connor admits to the "guilty pleasure" of enjoying the Three Stooges. But we join her in mourning recent survey findings that U.S. teenagers are more likely to know the Stooges' names than the three branches of government.
Frankly, we're afraid that the same goes for their parents. Schools do little to teach civics, and civic responsibility, anymore. All lessons about their government are packed into a single semester rather than built upon and reinforced over the years. What was once a thorough grounding in citizenship has evolved into "social studies" that do little to prepare students for the real world, or the responsibilities of citizenship.
Justice O'Connor's remarks in Michigan were directed against the failings of public education. But we also need to be concerned about the continuing education of us all. Specifically, it would be a good idea for some members of the Bush Administration to better understand the importance of the separation of powers and of judicial independence.
Since the 1960s, there have been a number of movements against judges, and especially against those judges accused of trying to "legislate from the bench." Some movements include attempts to oversee rulings and to do away with judicial immunity.
Justice O'Connor, the high court's first female justice, was appointed in 1981 by President Reagan. Not surprisingly, she has no use for those who would attack or even clip the wings of the judiciary. She denounced the "JAIL 4 Judges" movement in a Wall Street Journal commentary in September. A "judicial accountability initiative law" failed last fall in South Dakota.
But the issue has not gone away. And the cause of judicial independence hasn't been helped by the high court's newest members. Chief Justice John Roberts and Justice Samuel Alito - both Bush appointees - took their court seats with an apparently unabashed determination to reshape society into their own, far-right image.
Judges must be allowed to do their jobs without fear of retribution from the legislative or executive branches of government, and without fear of intimidation or influence from any individual or political, corporate, or interest group. And everyone in this nation should understand that by the time they leave the sixth grade.
Frightened judges can't properly do their jobs. "In these challenging and difficult times, we must recommit ourselves to maintaining the independent judiciary that the Framers sought to establish," Justice O'Connor commented last fall.
A lot more of us need to understand that. Democracy, as Winston Churchill said, is the worst form of government - save for all the others that have ever been tried. That applies to an independent judiciary.
"What kind of government have you given us?" Benjamin Franklin was asked when the Constitution was being written. "A republic, if you can keep it," he reportedly replied. Keeping citizens educated and judges truly independent is the best way to ensure that what the Founding Fathers gave us is never really lost.
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He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to
our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his assent to
their acts of pretended legislation.
Declaration of Independence
"..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 ><)))'>