Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Ninth Circuit Court Attempts Coup of U.S. Supreme Court?

Rogue Court Ignores 82 Years of Legal Precedent in Protecting Unindicted Felons on the Bench

By Savannah S. Winslow

LOS ANGELES, CA:  The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has thumbed its figurative nose at basic precedent law by wholly ignoring the authority painstakingly established by the U.S. Supreme Court since 1927.  These laws had been protected by the loss of the lives of millions of U.S. soldiers over the years who died guarding Americans’ freedom from oppressors.  What has the Ninth Circuit done?

Rather than confront the problems created by the revelation of bribed judges remaining on the bench, Ninth Circuit judges Schroeder, Kleinfeld, Tashima and N.R. Smith launched more salvos against whistle-blower taxpayers' advocate attorney Dr. Richard I. Fine while attempting to prevent the criminal prosecution of LA County Superior Court Judge David P. Yaffe, Supervisor Michael D. Antonovich and many others.

Why might the Ninth Circuit choose a shameful path rather than the honorable one?  Because some of its members were formerly judges in Los Angeles County’s Superior Court who also secretly and illegally took huge amounts of money from County Supervisors while always ruling in the County’s favor in lawsuits where the County was a party.  Now, they all find themselves cornered, desperate people trying to escape the consequences of crimes they thought they’d long since gotten away with.   (In outrageously bold moves, they’ve even hidden several documents, keeping them out of the courts’ official files and their contents away from the public's view.)

Put on the spot to release Dr. Fine, who was incarcerated on a phony contempt charge (which they're calling "coercive confinement") by the lower-court judge he caught in the act, certain Ninth Circuit judges will also eventually face multi-count indictments for bribery, obstruction of justice, misappropriation of funds and more, according to Penal Code Sections 92-94, 146(a), 153 and 424, if the rule of law means anything at all anymore.  When did it become preferable for our judiciary to protect criminals rather than confront and expel them?  This case is certain to become a featured element in future law school "Ethics" courses if we are to survive as a nation of laws.  (Judging by our website traffic coming from major institutions nationwide (including several mainstream news outlets and even the Administrative Office of the Courts in Washington, D.C.), interest, concern and condemnation are rapidly mounting.)

Using a tactic which has no value other than continuing to delay the inevitable, the Ninth Circuit judges have turned their backs on the sacred guarantee of “due process” (i.e., a fair legal process) and have ordered that Dr. Fine again prove what they already know … that Judge David P. Yaffe was required to “recuse” (i.e., disqualify) himself from presiding over a case in which LA County was a defendant.  Dr. Fine, a 70-year-old taxpayers’ advocate attorney who, over the life of his distinguished career has forced the return to taxpayers of over $1 billion misspent dollars, followed his oath to protect and defend the Constitution by requesting Judge Yaffe’s recusal because of the clear conflict of interest created by the judge’s having illegally taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from the County while at the same time hearing a case in which the County was a party.  (Unsurprisingly, Judge Yaffe ultimately gave LA County everything it wanted, as he had in virtually all previous cases.  Plaintiffs, meanwhile, got only the shaft.)

Courtroom observers report that Judge Yaffe, clearly enraged, and yet apparently also terrified at being caught out (so much so that he was seen to be trembling during the last confrontational hearing), jailed Dr. Fine on a trumped-up contempt charge, hoping that other judges would provide cover for him, rather than recuse himself from the case.  Dr. Fine has been kept in isolation in the LA County Men’s Central Jail since March 4th, purposefully and maliciously denied access to a law library and basic materials with which to defend himself.  (Every brief he has filed, all statutes and cases cited, were written from memory.)  Entering his seventh month behind bars though he’s committed no crime, Dr. Fine’s mortgage has fallen into default and foreclosure is imminent.  Because of the unsanitary conditions, he’s also contracted a deadly staph infection as a result of being locked down in the hospital wing of the jail.

In a surprising break from the pack, one seemingly courageous Ninth Circuit judge, Andrew J. Kleinfeld, has at least been willing to go on the record in recognizing that Judge Yaffe’s behavior was questionable and granted Fine the right to appeal on the issue of whether Judge Yaffe should have recused himself.  However, other Ninth Circuit judges continue to block Fine’s release pending the outcome of his appeal  ... despite the complete lack of opposition to every motion filed of late ... egregiously compounding the serious financial harm begun by Judge Yaffe.  Fine remains in jail even though the laws and precedent cases have always been clear ... absolutely crystal clear ... that Judge Yaffe was required to recuse himself, up front, for numerous reasons.  Is this a man of unstellar integrity?  Or a pawn (and, quite likely, soon-to-be a scapegoat) of the powerful County politicians?  California Supreme Court Chief Justice Ronald M. George’s role in this whole vendetta must also be thoroughly investigated.  Why are the courts insistent upon keeping Dr. Fine in jail while having no legal leg upon which to stand and refusing to give any reason or cite any precedent law which might support their actions?  (The fact that there is no such precedent has presented quite a problem.)

How intense is the pressure on the Ninth Circuit coming down from on high?  Surely they would not be doing this, which is against all the principles and judicial philosophy of the “honorable” members of the court, for no better reason than to attempt to obtain hefty raises for themselves, using the ill-gotten gains that County judges received as a basis?  So who is it, really, that is orchestrating the campaign to try and break Dr. Fine and save Judge Yaffe and his cohorts?  Those are both lost causes because it is well known by now that Dr. Fine’s personal convictions prevent him from capitulating and turning to the dark side with them; doing so would allow the corruption to continue … as will the mugging of we taxpayers who have been tricked into financing the opulent lifestyles of these judges who, thanks to the illegal County payments of $57,000 per year in addition to their $179,000 state salaries and $30,000 benefit packages, are getting far more than even the Chief Justice of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Did these judges all have their fingers crossed behind their backs when they took their own oaths?

There was NOTHING to be gained by Judge Yaffe's remaining on the case other than someone's need to control the outcome.  Given that the developer and the Supervisors involved had great interest in the outcome, the list of candidates is pretty short.

"Veritas vos Liberabit" means "The Truth Shall Set You Free".  Here’s hoping that we decent Americans will be able to find an honest and honorable judge … is there one left in California? … with the courage to do what needs to be done:  deal with the corrupt judges and politicians and stop punishing Richard Fine for being the rare, decent man having the courage to do the right thing.

“Let every American... swear … never to violate ... the laws ...
and never to tolerate their violation by others.  …
Let us have faith that right makes might,
and in that faith, let us, to the end,
dare to do our duty as we understand it.” 
~Abraham Lincoln

For the whole story, see:

NBC Report
Full Disclosure Network
Free Richard Fine website
Right Trumps Might blog

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