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.