Monday, September 14, 2009

Post Caperton: Will Ohio supreme court hold public hearings in light of the U.S. Supreme Court Ruling?

A Significant Precedent Has Been Announced and Developed by the U.S. Supreme
Court Which Directly Relates to the Ohio Supreme Court and its Present ALL
Republican monopoly on our States Highest Court

The Ohio Supreme ought to announce and hold hearings now that the bellweather case Caperton v. Massey Energy Co has been decided in favor of recognizing a 14th Amendment Due Process violation did in fact, occur and can be found, when large campaign cash donations are made to a single judicial candidate and/or his /her campaign for high state judicial office

The State of Ohio's Supreme Court has a direct "tie" to the Caperton case's holding in that nearly all of the plaintiff's friendly amicus briefs, noted that the Ohio Supreme Court was one of the major cash donor systems that has flouted the idea that direct cash infusion to seated judicial officials from pending case party lawyers and/or party litigants themselves, 'doesn't matter'

[as impliedly the words of one of its own Ohio High Court Justices, who actually joined in filing a losing, oppositional brief against the plaintiff's argument in Caperton in favor of limiting such bad funding of high court races]

Now that the Ohio Supreme Court all republican court has lost its only amicus bid to prevent such a conservative, republican party favored ruling....

it ought to be forced, by the public of this state, to begin to schedule public hearings on when and how to decide, by codification of rules, exactly when is a judical officer capable of being found in trouble with the due process constitutional level violations that can be created by large donor interested, result oriented/driven outcomes involving campaign cash donors...and the purchase of decisions of state court elected judges by such high and powerful money interests.

This is a critical issue for the state's high courts and its critical in the context the case arose and in light of the national media coverage that was in large part generated by this case and how just about every major bar association group and memebership organization was clearly strongly supportive of finding that such a problem actually does exist in high state courts and called upon the nation's highest court, to make a decision disallowing and disavowing such large campaign cash contributions....

and in fact, encouraged the court to find the constitutional level violation that is attributed to these kinds of specific cash infusions, where and when justice is at 'stake'...

[NOTEWORTHY REFERENCE ITEM TO ALL MIDWEST MEMBERS: This very issue, was in part, briefed even before the Ohio Supreme Court by the Midwest Center for Constitutional Law Director, several years ago in his own related disciplinary case before the Ohio Supreme Court. His prescient brief contained, an ironic and uniquely similar legal argument and constitutional basis, as did the Caperton case's plaintiff brief and argument contain; i.e. that such large donor interest create a fundamental "appearance of impropriety" issue for any judicial process and officer and this conflict of interest, in itself, creates a 14th Amendment level question and issue, when such major funding issues are found to exist in any judicial campaign or hearing process, state high courts or otherwise.

In the Center's Director 2006 brief, before the Ohio Supreme Court, he also noted the 14th amendment due process argument over such conflicts of interests, that can arise when a part tiem judicial officer are on the recepient end, of a highly paid law firm retainer, which happens to oppose the kind of civil rights work specficially that the party [and respondent lawyer, inside a statewide disciplinary case] to such a hearing process, had been noted for and was practicing within at the same time, the hearing officer appointed by the Supreme Court itself, was a major interested law firm partner, which was on direct retainer to the entire Ohio and National FOP on various civil rights polic misconduct DOJ cases and which was actively representing the same FOP interests both here in Ohio and elsewhere around the nation, when this partner was deciding the MCCR Director's then related law license disciplinary case and outcome while the Director had numerous major civil rights cases pending across Ohio and elsewhere against various FOP member organizations and police departments, all of whom contributed heavily to the Ohio Supreme Court Republican party judicial candidates in that relevant period.

This argument was filed by Attorney Olivito, was createed and filed in the State Supreme Court, as stated, well before the Caperton amicus briefs.] He also relied upon the very same due process oriented, based case law and supreme court precedent that the plaintiffs and amicus briefs relied upon before the U.S. Supreme Court in Caperton]

NOw, given the major Caperton case decision, favor to plaintiffs and objective party litigants everywhere, especially with this unique constitutional ruling, in full view, the Supreme Court of Ohio ought to take immediate and obedient steps to deal with the moral, legal and ethical gap that is now left, in the Caperton case's aftermath; this is particularly true within the State of Ohio, where pay to play was practically first conceived and originated by this state's republican officer holders and court justices and their most infamous of all campaign donors, Tom the past several years and political cycles of Ohio

There is no doubt, there exists in Ohio a serious constitutional level question and issue that needs to be addressed by the state, the public [and even the legislature perhaps] Indeed, all interested citizens of this state ought to be aware and concerned of the same, when it comes to deciding what to do next, in light of the U.S Supreme Court's decision in Caperton and its impact on our own state judiciary.

Various states have taken some measures already, like Wisconsin, to begin to deal effectively with this high profile, big corporate money issue, as it affects and implicates a 'selling' of justice...and their state's public perception of how justice is dispensed in the modern era of big corporate and major interest group donors...

We need to begin to change this inside the heart of it all, Ohio and it ought to begin with the very few individuals who have benefited the most, from the status quo but now severely critiqued cash for judges program, that has caught the attention of all national media, and an equal number of important lawyer and judicial and bar association organizations from all sides of the political aisle and which has the support of even conservative former U.S. Supreme Court justice, Sandra Day OConner
who is calling for major state by state reforms in the area of money laundering activites thru the thin veil of state wide judidicial campaign donor systems, backed by serious money interests

Where is justice in America among the states according to many well documented publications and professional journals? Its increasingly and firmly in the hands of big business, on an ever widening scale, across America in both the federal and state courts, but especially the state's highest courts when they, like in OHio, are elected.

Now however, for the first time in U.S. legal history, we have a Supreme Court of the United States precedent stating, "enough is enough" and while its a split opinion, nonetheless, the majority found in fact, a constitutional level violation can be both found and stated, where and when such huge imbalanced and inappropriate cash flows are derived to make it appear, that justice is not so much disinterested and impartial, but rather is safely and securely in the hands of those who can and do, very often, buy it and own it outright, in its outward appearence, especially in such states as they done so obviously, as we have in Ohio.

In this decade in particular, in Ohio, under the firm financial leadership and political prowress of high Republican Party leaders, and its Court's Chief Justice Moyers, a major money machine was created between him, the Party and the state's chamber of commerce and several large commercial and insurance defense counsel law firms, that swelled the ranks of Ohio's republican numbers on the state's highest court, to absolute numbers; all this has happened, right here in Ohio,in the past seven years.

The name Tom Noe, not widely known outside of Ohio, is synomous with the phrase pay to play inside of Ohio and is doing big time in prison for just such activities; and its certainly, no coincidence, the Noe was Tom Moyers choice to be his party's Master of Ceremonies at the 2005 opening of the Supreme Court of Ohio's calender year docket, in the same year he would be indicted.

Due to this "pay to play", money no object system, for elections of statewide judicial candidates, in Ohio, led by CJ Moyers, we have one of most remarkable records of hugely lopsided, oneside, over balanced utilization, if not shake downs, of corporate and major special interests, as noted in Caperton by several corporate amicus briefs, including INTEL and WAllMart corporations referencing Texas and other states...Ohio's major money machine became second to none, to any, in the nation in finding "creative" ways to fund high court statewide elections.

[it was in part, also, the money machine/system that helped W to a second term, right here in the heart of it all...]

and again, it was one of the leading states, most frequently pointed out in amicus brief after amicus brief, inside this case's pre decision briefing by major legal organizations and scholarly study groups who were able to file timely and insightful briefs before the nation's highest court in Caperton case, earlier this year

Caperton was won by pro citizen, pro ordinary non monetary interested legal consumer groups and even some major interests, who sought to make it a test case for judicial balance, fairness and objectivity.

Now, its time, truly, if the law is to be both fair in its actions and deeds as it supposed to be, in its perception and public trust, for the lower courts to truly follow the U.S. Supreme Court's lead and do their duty, that they expect of every other government branch or agency and citizen and lawyer groups are to do; that is, genuinely follow their court "leader" in the legal field and make fundamental change, happen, NOW...and they can start by holding public hearings on the issue
right here in Ohio.

The all republican Ohio Supreme Court, must, in order for justice to be openly believed in, accepted and relied upon by all citizens rich or poor, in Ohio, for public trust to return to the public common and ordinary citizen good will ...

and its time, in states like West Virginia, Ohio and Texax to name a few, for the law itself, to begin to operate truly and openly under the law, not above it, once again...for the common person and among its ordinary citizens, and not have them come before such high courts, as only second class, economically inferior, subjects beholden to a statewide judiciary caught in a corporate confidence game.

The State Supreme Court needs to demonstrate, for once, on the popular level, that justice in Ohio, is no longer limited to, nor to be sold to the highest bidders of and by one party and/or most favored for and by those who exist among the corporate, insurance and special interest organizations and major donor law firms of this state.

[and we can name names here, if we wish to- its all a matter of public record, as those at public citizen and the Justice At Stake campaign did inside the Caperton case]

we need to prevent the kind of justice that allows the best seats and most preferred arguements, that can be best and most ably afforded by those capable of purchasing a seat on our state's high court, as if it were a seat on the new york stock exchange

so, its past time indeed, for change to come to Ohio's third branch and the for time such change, is now fact, its past due.

We just need however, for those who have benefitted the most from the past excesses, like those presently occupying high public positions of trust in this state, as addressed in this very powerful U.S. Supreme Court Caperton case, to believe in something called...

stare Decises to begin with, as it comes down from the nation's highest court

and...then, they need to truly begin to understand and believe in something else, even more distant from and seemingly difficult to comprehend, for this present all republican Ohio Supreme Court...

....the United State's 14th Amendment's Due Process Clause

and then, begin by a simple honest and transparent approach, taken in the way, they allow major corporate and law firm interests to openly sway their decisions and their choices for whom they choose to hear state disciplinary cases, and make other major public affecting decisions...and how they reach their very seats of such high authority, in this state, in the first instance.

they need to allow the people, all the people, to govern their dealings truthfully, and then allow themselves the necessary confidence of a level playing field, to change the way they are dispensing their high duty as our state's public government's third branch in both their elections and their high court decision making...

and with this in mind, we ought to remember, we ought to have a government as the one of the greatest original Republicans and lawyers of all time, Abe Lincoln stated it:

"a government by the people, for the people and of the people"...

right now, in good ol Ohio, its none of the three, when it comes to statewide judiciary judicial campaigns and choices of judicial candidates and hearing officers.

we as 'the consent of the governed' public, need to be watching that this fundamental new principle of change, indeed, comes to the State of Ohio, soon, as the Caperton majority said, ought to happen across America, in light of their recent powerful landmark decision dervied from the neighboring state of West Virginia itself.

We the people, only, however, can make this happen, if we are first aware of this major precedent setting decision and its relevance to our state's judiciary itself.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

The Caperton Case: The Supreme Court Finds A 14th Amendment Violation Exists; Is Moyers & Ohio's Chamber of Commerce Money Machined Court Days Over?

Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Massey Case Sends Powerful Message to Courts like Ohio's Republican and Special Donor Dominated High Court

The Massey Energy v Caperton case, is a significant Due Process and game changing case recently decided by the U.S. Supreme Court, in part, due to the award winning article written by Adam Liptak of the New York times regarding the Ohio Supremes.

Like most major impacting cases, affecting the state of the judiciary in states like Ohio and America in general, this case due to certain business ties, is being made all too soon, invisible, if not, safely, forgotten by most major media in the State of Ohio and beyond. Perhaps, it may be they just don't wish to face the stark reality that justice in America, for some time, now, has not been the thing of what most American's are led to believe by various sectors including the media and by some measure of expense, the high court's themselves often portray and try to make people still believe what it isn't.

In part, it may be also, major media corporate interests don't want to turn a true investigative eye on the serious corrupting and affecting interests who hold such all too obvious sway over the present Supreme Court of Ohio and numerous other states high courts, even when a paper like the New Times and well documented evidence, from judicial Center's are willing to put some substance to the issue and to provide at least, some political cover over any would be true investigative effort about the serious bad influence and bribery of high court officials in Ohio and elsewhere by large donor law firms, chamber of commerce interests and other significant special interests with business to get done at this level of operations and government.

The Caperton/Massey Case indicates, there may be an end point at which major donor funding for major supreme court races, like those in Ohio for the past eight years, is to be perceived within the context of a Constitutional level violation terms. In fact, such a violation of major donor special interest funding over such high courts and their actions and decisions, is truly a civil rights type of 14th Amendment Due Process violation as per the arguments for the Caperton side has argued, for those affected citizens and individuals and party litigants who have been so adversely impacted by powerful donor groups and interests who have conspired with the republican party across the State of Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana and others to ensure justice is always firmly dispensed, in a "philosophical" favor or "bent" towards those interests who have the deepest pockets, both on the bench and those who are willing to fill those pockets of those whom serve on the bench...again, both here in Ohio as it has been for the past eight years and among numerous other states.

NOW, in light of Caperton, we need as individuals and groups to not allow the elites of a particular legal profession, or subgroup such as judiciary formed committees who already are all too well entrenched to begin to make the new rules regarding when a justice must recuse themselves given the corporate or major donor special interests are helping to pave the way for a results oriented "philosophical" outcome based series of decisions.

What instead, is needed and required, is an independent, objective "policy" for the various states when such decision, that will be responsive to the will of the people, given such a set of rules, will clearly directly affect every citizen and ordinary individual who may appear before such courts and whom, least we forget, are by definition, the true power of this supposed democratic experiment we refer to as the United States of America.

In one way, we need to immediately ask of ourselves, why do the people of our nation, continually default their rights and their voice and power to the special interests and those who are most closely aligned with the same over the most basic functions of a governmental branch as critical as the judicary?

Could it be, at least, in part, because the media in affected states, like Ohio and elsewhere, don't truly wish to report the impact and the possibilites of what can change if we would educate our common populations and the people across such states and America itself, on the impact and the consequence of major donor money
on today's various high courts? Could it also be reported that the people's courts, are not exactly run for and by the people, today, if in fact, they ever truly were in the past 120 years.

To this end, the Midwest Center is focusing its immediate attention on making known the strong message of the recent Massey v. Caperton decision and the unique status now left to the states, the various courts in the wake of Massey and to assist to raise awareness, that the people of the states are to have a key and strong voice, in recreating the standards and 'floor' for when and whether a justice can be perceived as being someone overinvolved in less than an objective impartial form of justice, and/or is in fact, engaging, individually or as a whole in nothing but crass political and personal 'self dealing' ...when it comes to serving on the high courts, and deriding, the interests of the people and those ordinary citizens, and advocates, who often, have to appear in front of them.

We need to stay engaged even with the solid positive result of the Caperton case. Its not as complete as nor an absolute clear victory for those of us who have been watching and dealing with the issue for the past three or more years.

Yet, it will be a solid guide, even as we think it not as strong as we believe it ought to have been, given the four republican conserivate major [major donor] votes on the Supreme Court. Given Justice Kennedy's and the more moderate to liberal four others willingness to shift the paradigm of major donor interests among state high courts, in terms of viewing such a challenge as one clearly implying a Constitutional Due Process clause level violation, if even ever so slightly, the basic hands off or 'laize faire' approach of a former finanicial capitalistic approach to electing overly biased state supreme court justices, as happened in the West Virginia based Caperton case's purchasing of a seat, to get "results driven" outcomes, is probably a thing of the past.

Furthermore, advocates, court watchers and the citizens of our states, have to make it clear that the Court's recent decision has in fact, changed the rules of game, when it comes to the major donor funding of courts like Ohio's all republican major money bought and conglomerate mobbed up Court has itself, been found so emeshed within.

Our present state court is an all republican court, in a state which that has no other major state elected officials either retaining or obtaining state office or power, in the past four years; this political fact, in itself, bespeaks of corrupting influence of the same kinds of special interest who created the problem in West Virginia that formed the basis of the Caperton decision as having a very firm root on the Court system in Ohio.

Post Caperton, it is now no longer assumed that such endless amounts of cash, given to a particular 'cause' candidate or silent candidacy like those in Ohio, all too often, will NOT then, be subjected to a serious constitutional challenge, if its done in the manner its been orchestrated by certain special interests in Ohio and elsewhere this past decade.

This decision, in effect, should affect the hedgemony of the powerful money driven well honed, business/insurance/republican Supreme Court campaigns in Ohio. Such efforts in Ohio, have been aided by and/or directly funded by various major Columbus, Cleveland and major city insurance defense industry law firms and the sizable chamber of commerce pacfunds and related municipality /business insurers interests as well as particularly strong politically sensitive interest groups like the influencial State FOP.

The issue, in light of Massey v Caperton opens quite a gap in fact, for the states to act, in good faith manner, consistent with the spirit of the case's holding; it has left to the people and interested parties of the various states and concerned citizens and affected advocates to make clear this change is to be both sincere and thorough one and one, hopefully, not controlled or cleverly concealed by either the same special interests or store bought justices and the biased media that helped to create such major funding issue in the first instance, within our recent American experience, with our Third Branch of our state and federal government.

Again, the Caperton holding may not have been as clear as some would have liked, including this author, but it is a true, significant start and a strong first step in the right direction to curb the serious abuse of power and influence of such groups, as we find them in Ohio under Justice Moyers and his less than honest Tom Noe like major conservative major politicl donor 'system' i.e. was it not a form of bribery for such statewide judiciary candidates to take in over 11 million dollars ? {yet, this same chief justice then makes it an ethical issue based on the same idea of conflict of interest, to have any attorney or party, to give the smallest christmas gift to a single judge, no matter how small the gift or donation, in the name of a pharisical sense of 'judicial ethics'....]

We, who have been engaged in this fight and realistic assessment of the state of our judiciary, for some time, and who have as lawyers, gone up against such major special interest influcences, inside this state's high and federal courts, needed just such a win; In Caperton, as slender as Kennedy's opinion maybe, we, nonetheless, clearly obtained one.

Perhaps, there just may be hope for justice in Ohio and elsewhere across this nation, just yet.
Posted by Minneapolis Falling at 9:36 AM