Thursday, December 17, 2009

Did Ninth Circuit's Turn to the Dark Side Cost Americans Their Republic?

The Ninth Circuit today issued a "Memorandum" denying Richard Fine's appeal.  The decision may be read in its entirety here.  Additional documents filed recently may be viewed at this link.

Commentary to follow.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Chief Judge Agrees With Richard Fine Concerning Conflict Created By Income Source

[Judge Adrienne Grover, left, Monterey County Superior Court]

In discussing the constitutional prohibition against a judge's salary being reduced during his/her term in office:
"Adrienne Grover, presiding judge of the Monterey County Superior Court, said the provision ensures the independence of the judiciary. Judges might hesitate to rule against a law passed by the Legislature and signed by the governor if they felt their salaries could be cut in retaliation.  [Judge] Maldonado said the protection is so central to American values that it was one of 64 grounds cited in the Declaration of Independence." 
So reported the Monterey Herald on Monday.

This is exactly Richard Fine's argument with respect to the LA County judges receiving payments from LA County ... they might hesitate to rule against the County if they felt the payments could be cut in retaliation.  And since the payments never were legal in the first place, they could have been cut at any time.

"So central to American values that it was one of 64 grounds cited in the Declaration of Independence"??  Hmmm.  From California Superior Court judges' lips to God's/the Ninth Circuit's ears, one hopes, inasmuch as LA Superior Court Judge David P. Yaffe clearly should have recused himself automatically from all cases in which LA County was a party.  Any other conclusion is farcical and is highly offensive in its presumption that the public lacks any intelligence whatsoever.

The Declaration of Independence cited the colonists' reasons for revolution against King George III's abuses of power, including:  "He has made Judges dependent on his will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries."

King Ronald George I exercises much the same power over California judges today, and it's equally as reprehensible now as it was 233 years ago.  In fact, in 1776, it was so wrong, it was worth starting a trans-Atlantic war over.  We escaped tyranny then; do today's Americans' have the same fortitude?  The efforts of the volunteer team supporting Richard Fine are welcome evidence that we do indeed.

We await now the Ninth Circuit's decision in Fine's appeal.  Do Justices Reinhardt, Trott and Wardlaw possess the integrity and bravery needed to act at this historical nexus?  Here's hoping that the hero worship that would follow a righteous decision will be a more attractive choice than the revilement that will follow a decision providing yet another coat of transparent paint atop the on-going cover-up.

Saturday, December 05, 2009


Finally found some free time to calculate an approximation of the number of criminal acts forgiven by California Senate Bill SBX2-11 concerning payments received by state superior court judges from county supervisors: 

Wikipedia reports that there are presently 431 judges in LA County, and 140 Commissioners.

          571       LA Judges / Commissioners receiving payments
x          12       Payments per year

 x         22       Number of years (since early 1988*)

 x          6       Number of persons involved per payment 
   904,464          (1 recipient, 5 supervisors authorizing each)

 x          3       Number of acts per payment (bribery?,
2,713,392          misappropriation of funds?, obstruction of justice?)

That's almost . THREE . MILLION . FELONIES . ... we could be talking about here ... just in LA County alone.

At his State of the Judiciary speech in September 2009, Ronald George mentioned that there are “more than 1600” California judges who’ve agreed to the one-day-per-month salary waiver (for which they had about a 98% sign-up rate) during the budget “crisis”.  Therefore, there are approx. 1,632 judges in California.

If the same ratio of judges to commissioners in LA County applies across the state (33%), we have a total of about 528 commissioners in the state.

Now we must subtract the judges and commissioners in San Francisco County, Mendocino County, and Yolo County who’ve never received any payments.  The 2009 Court Statistics Report (pg 42) states that there are a total of 92 judges and commissioners in those counties.  (70 judges and commissioners reported for San Francisco County seems awfully low.)

Back to the math:

      1,632        Estimated total number of California judges
+       528        Commissioners

-         92        San Fran / Mendocino / Yolo judiciary

x        12          Payments per year

x         22         Number of years (since early 1988*)

x           6         Number of persons involved per payment  
3,275,712           (1 recipient, 5 supervisors authorizing each)

x           3         Number of crimes per payment (bribery?,
9,827,136           misappropriation of funds?, obstruction of justice?)

That's almost . TEN . MILLION . FELONIES .

We also really have to wonder if the following, who’ve refused to help in any way, have been knowingly aiding and abetting the payment scheme:

* CA Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (who signed off on SBX2-11)
* CA Attorney General Jerry Brown (gubernatorial candidate)
* CA Fair Political Practices Commission                           
* CA Commission on Judicial Performance (ordered by Jerry Brown to cease investigation)
* American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) (CEO married to 9th Circuit Judge Reinhardt)
* Conference of Chief Justices (CCJ), state supreme courts  (colleagues of Ronald M. George, Chief Justice of CA Supreme Court, co-author of SBX2-11)

* Unconfirmed and not included are possible payments made as far back as early 1987.

UPDATE:  Retired Perdue Mathematics Professor Emeritus Daniel H. Gottlieb's review and finding of the above calculation as an acceptable approximation is welcome news ... despite the fact that it has substantiated our fears of the magnitude of the situation. 

UPDATE:  A number of our readers have asked whether the judges who failed to disclose the payments on the mandatory financial disclosure forms (Form 700, Statement of Economic Interests) acted legally.  Many are also questioning whether the payments were paid as taxable income to the judges.  Due to the sheer volume of inquiries on these subjects, we will endeavor to determine the answers as soon as possible.  Stay tuned.

CHIEF JUSTICE of Ninth Circuit Fails to Recuse, Executes Power Grab

Alex Kozinski, Chief Justice of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, did not recuse himself from an appeal brought by a member of his own staff, a Ninth Circuit attorney.  TIME Magazine has the report.

Kozinski's move was a blatant power grab.  It'll be interesting to see how the Obama Administration responds.

UPDATE:  Kozinksi has influence over the Los Angeles Times?  Hmmm.

UPDATE 2:  Obama Administration slaps down Kozinski as the Office of Personnel Management concludes that Kozinski's order was only an "administrative" ruling, trumped by the DOMA.

Alex Kozinski, Chief Judge of Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals

Friday, December 04, 2009

Professor Prepares Amicus in Support of Fine Appeal

Daniel Gottlieb, a retired math professor with an exemplary career, has prepared an amicus curiae brief for filing in support of Richard Fine's appeal before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal.

Professer Gottlieb studied Fine's disbarment, and identified numerous troubling activities.

We leave it to the reader to decide whether California's State Bar acted honorably.

The WORLD Is Watching (Even Iran)

The "Free Richard Fine" websites have received multiple visits from these cities across the world.  Click here for LARGE map.   (This map represents about 50% of our traffic; additional cities will be added as we find time.)  (Try "refreshing" the map; sometimes not all the flags appear.)