Judge not, lest ye be judged

Got this from The Poor Man and thought it was worth passing on:

The Southern California-based sponsors of the Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (JAIL) have taken aim at what they call “black-collar crime” across the country. They already have their sights set on the 2006 ballot in Nevada, and they report related efforts in Idaho and New Mexico.

They hope to start the ball rolling on a path that will lead to California.

The South Dakota initiative would create a special grand jury to hear complaints against judges based on an open-ended list of possible grievances. The list specifically includes not only crimes such as graft but certain flaws in reasoning, such as ignoring evidence and “sophistry.”

The grand jury would have power to set aside judges’ immunity from civil suits by the people they rule against. It also could levy fines or hand down indictments, subjecting judges to criminal proceedings before special trial juries with the power to sentence as well as convict. After three missteps, a judge would be disqualified from holding office.

The initiative author is Ron Branson, a Baptist minister, a former minor Republican party official in Los Angeles County and a frequent unsuccessful litigator in the state and federal courts.

The original link is www.sacbee.com/content/politics/story/13870095p-14709539c.html . However, if you click on that you are taken to one of those truly aggravating registration pages, so my quote is pulled from The Poor Man's page instead.

Obviously, given the origination of this, it's a move intended to reign in so called liberal activist judges. There are, however, quite a few conservative activist judges out there as well, passing down boneheaded sentences in which some kind of consensual but unconventional sexual offense is given more jail time than murder, or Wiccan parents are prohibited from raising their child in their chosen religion. So I'm thinking that even if this does get some traction, it could end up backfiring badly against its initiators. It will mostly depend on who ends up prosecuting in front of these 'special grand juries' and, of course, the make up of the 'special grand juries' themselves.

Still, it's certainly a big swing at removing the general independence of the judiciary and bringing them firmly under the thumb of King Mob. But on the flip side of that, it's also a very large sign of just how desperate the right is becoming, with more and more of their poster boys starting to fall afoul of the legal system as the Republican machine's rampant corruption and cronyism finally starts to take its toll.

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