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Should this be a sanctionable offense?

middleagedgamer

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Judges are legally required to obey binding precedent. To disobey binding precedent is a offense sanctionable by a variety of punishments, including fines and suspensions. To repeatedly disregard binding precedent is grounds for impeachment. It has never happened before, in American history, but largely because judges who blatantly disregard binding precedent typically clean up their act, after the lesser sanctions, before it reaches that point.

Should the same apply to judges who blatantly disregard unambiguous statute?

Let me give you a few examples of the kinds of "blatantly disregarding unambiguous statute" that I'm talking about.

In the 2nd Circuit, a series of New York restaurants had discriminated against a blind girl by refusing to read the menus for her, since they lacked braille menus, and reading them to her was the only way for her to know what the menus said. The district judge threw the case out because he said that there was no requirement to provide these accommodations. Here is proof of that case:

The Fast Food Menu And A Restaurant's Duty To A Legally Blind Patron Under The ADA

No requirement to accommodate? THE HELL, THERE ISN'T?! What the F*CK do you think Section 302 of the Americans with Disabilities Act says? It specifically defines "discrimination" as, among other things, "a failure to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures, when such modifications are necessary to afford such goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to individuals with disabilities, unless the entity can demonstrate that making such modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of such goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations;"

How can you POSSIBLY misinterpret that paragraph? There is no excuse for that! That should be a sanctionable offense, the likes of blatantly disregarding binding precedent. Short of the law being unconstitutional, there is no excuse for a judge being aware of it, and not adhering to it, to the letter. Judges can interpret vague statute however they see fit, but only up to the point that it is actually ambiguous.

That's just one example. I can provide more, but it's late, and I'm tired.

Anyway, do you think blatantly ignoring unambiguous statute like that should be a sanctionable - and even impeachable - offense?
 

RightinNYC

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No requirement to accommodate? THE HELL, THERE ISN'T?! What the F*CK do you think Section 302 of the Americans with Disabilities Act says? It specifically defines "discrimination" as, among other things, "a failure to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures, when such modifications are necessary to afford such goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to individuals with disabilities, unless the entity can demonstrate that making such modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of such goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations;"

How can you POSSIBLY misinterpret that paragraph? There is no excuse for that! That should be a sanctionable offense, the likes of blatantly disregarding binding precedent. Short of the law being unconstitutional, there is no excuse for a judge being aware of it, and not adhering to it, to the letter. Judges can interpret vague statute however they see fit, but only up to the point that it is actually ambiguous.

That's just one example. I can provide more, but it's late, and I'm tired.

Anyway, do you think blatantly ignoring unambiguous statute like that should be a sanctionable - and even impeachable - offense?

Believe it or not, it's possible for two honest people to look at a set of facts and disagree about whether or not someone's actions were "reasonable."

To answer your question, no, I'm not in favor of punishing judges because they happen to disagree with your understanding and application of the law.
 

TurtleDude

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The justices who allowed the FDR new deal to remain in place all blatantly violated standing precedent

yeah we would have been better off if those justices had been impeached
 

mac

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The justices who allowed the FDR new deal to remain in place all blatantly violated standing precedent

yeah we would have been better off if those justices had been impeached

Not to mention getting Social Security passed by threatening to expand the Supreme Court with Justices that would support it....

Judges are legally required to obey binding precedent. To disobey binding precedent is a offense sanctionable by a variety of punishments, including fines and suspensions. To repeatedly disregard binding precedent is grounds for impeachment. It has never happened before, in American history, but largely because judges who blatantly disregard binding precedent typically clean up their act, after the lesser sanctions, before it reaches that point.

Should the same apply to judges who blatantly disregard unambiguous statute?

Let me give you a few examples of the kinds of "blatantly disregarding unambiguous statute" that I'm talking about.

In the 2nd Circuit, a series of New York restaurants had discriminated against a blind girl by refusing to read the menus for her, since they lacked braille menus, and reading them to her was the only way for her to know what the menus said. The district judge threw the case out because he said that there was no requirement to provide these accommodations. Here is proof of that case:

The Fast Food Menu And A Restaurant's Duty To A Legally Blind Patron Under The ADA

No requirement to accommodate? THE HELL, THERE ISN'T?! What the F*CK do you think Section 302 of the Americans with Disabilities Act says? It specifically defines "discrimination" as, among other things, "a failure to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures, when such modifications are necessary to afford such goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to individuals with disabilities, unless the entity can demonstrate that making such modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of such goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations;"

How can you POSSIBLY misinterpret that paragraph? There is no excuse for that! That should be a sanctionable offense, the likes of blatantly disregarding binding precedent. Short of the law being unconstitutional, there is no excuse for a judge being aware of it, and not adhering to it, to the letter. Judges can interpret vague statute however they see fit, but only up to the point that it is actually ambiguous.

That's just one example. I can provide more, but it's late, and I'm tired.

Anyway, do you think blatantly ignoring unambiguous statute like that should be a sanctionable - and even impeachable - offense?

Legal precedent has limitations. It is not necessarily law and is only binding on lower (subordinate) courts than that court that set the precedent. For example, district courts in Arkansas are not bound by the precedent set by a California Supreme court ruling. At least that's how I understand it. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
 
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middleagedgamer

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Believe it or not, it's possible for two honest people to look at a set of facts and disagree about whether or not someone's actions were "reasonable."

To answer your question, no, I'm not in favor of punishing judges because they happen to disagree with your understanding and application of the law.
Ok, how, exactly, do you justify your claim that THIS portion fo the law is unambiguous?

Again, I have other examples; it's just taking me too damned long to find citations for them. Would you be content if I just gave the example, with citation coming later?
 

middleagedgamer

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The justices who allowed the FDR new deal to remain in place all blatantly violated standing precedent

yeah we would have been better off if those justices had been impeached
What binding precedents are you talking about?
 

Aunt Spiker

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Judges are legally required to obey binding precedent. To disobey binding precedent is a offense sanctionable by a variety of punishments, including fines and suspensions. To repeatedly disregard binding precedent is grounds for impeachment. It has never happened before, in American history, but largely because judges who blatantly disregard binding precedent typically clean up their act, after the lesser sanctions, before it reaches that point.

Should the same apply to judges who blatantly disregard unambiguous statute?

Let me give you a few examples of the kinds of "blatantly disregarding unambiguous statute" that I'm talking about.

In the 2nd Circuit, a series of New York restaurants had discriminated against a blind girl by refusing to read the menus for her, since they lacked braille menus, and reading them to her was the only way for her to know what the menus said. The district judge threw the case out because he said that there was no requirement to provide these accommodations. Here is proof of that case:

The Fast Food Menu And A Restaurant's Duty To A Legally Blind Patron Under The ADA

No requirement to accommodate? THE HELL, THERE ISN'T?! What the F*CK do you think Section 302 of the Americans with Disabilities Act says? It specifically defines "discrimination" as, among other things, "a failure to make reasonable modifications in policies, practices, or procedures, when such modifications are necessary to afford such goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations to individuals with disabilities, unless the entity can demonstrate that making such modifications would fundamentally alter the nature of such goods, services, facilities, privileges, advantages, or accommodations;"

How can you POSSIBLY misinterpret that paragraph? There is no excuse for that! That should be a sanctionable offense, the likes of blatantly disregarding binding precedent. Short of the law being unconstitutional, there is no excuse for a judge being aware of it, and not adhering to it, to the letter. Judges can interpret vague statute however they see fit, but only up to the point that it is actually ambiguous.

That's just one example. I can provide more, but it's late, and I'm tired.

Anyway, do you think blatantly ignoring unambiguous statute like that should be a sanctionable - and even impeachable - offense?

That's not an issue of 'binding precedent' or even just 'precedent.' Precedent is based on the decisions of the court from previous court cases.

If someone has a case and it's the FIRST time in that district that *that* type of case has ever been heard then there is no precedent of that court to follow - and thus the ruling is *setting* the precedent.

It would then be the following rulings in future cases/trials to consider that newly set precedent in future cases but *it does not always have to be followed* - it can be overlooked or ruled in opposition depending on a variety of other things - but often, to overlook it or to rule away from it, there must be a clear and specific reason.

So - per your op situation - that would be a clash of *interpretation* or *application* of law - not a violation of stare decisis. Grounds for appeal (maybe) but *not* a violation of Precedent.
 
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middleagedgamer

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Legal precedent has limitations. It is not necessarily law and is only binding on lower (subordinate) courts than that court that set the precedent. For example, district courts in Arkansas are not bound by the precedent set by a California Supreme court ruling. At least that's how I understand it. Someone correct me if I'm wrong.
Well, this is a classic example of strawmanning. You understand the system just fine, but misunderstand the actual point I'm trying to make.
 

middleagedgamer

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That's not an issue of 'binding precedent' or even just 'precedent.' Precedent is based on the decisions of the court from previous court cases.

If someone has a case and it's the FIRST time in that district that *that* type of case has ever been heard then there is no precedent of that court to follow - and thus the ruling is *setting* the precedent.
Tell me something I don't know.

It would then be the following rulings in future cases/trials to consider that newly set precedent in future cases but *it does not always have to be followed*
Boolsheet!

There's a reason it's called BINDING precedent!

it can be overlooked or ruled in opposition depending on a variety of other things - but often, to overlook it or to rule away from it, there must be a clear and specific reason.
If there is clear and specific reason, then they are not violating binding precedent; they are merely finding a factual difference in the binding precedent and the case before them.

So - per your op situation - that would be a clash of *interpretation* or *appliation* of law - not a violation of stare decisis. Grounds for appeal but *not* a violation of Precedent.
Would you PLEASE stop strawmanning!
 

Aunt Spiker

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What's your deal?
There are *already* means to deal with judges who blatantly ignore the written laws/codes/acts and so forth.
In the court system it's called 'the appeals process' - and other things :shrug:
 
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mac

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Well, this is a classic example of strawmanning. You understand the system just fine, but misunderstand the actual point I'm trying to make.

Well, I wasn't attempting to throw out a straw man, I was explaining precedent. As Aunt Spiker pointed out, your example isn't a matter of violating precedent. It was, perhaps, an unconstitutional ruling.
 

Aunt Spiker

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After rereading the OP I realized I misread your point, sorry.

You brought up Precedent - and *then* said "if they respond to violating precedent by A-B . . . then why don't they do the same for judges who ignore law, etc. . ." - and *then* gave a case in which you felt the judge ruled horribly out of line and "blatantly disregard unambiguous statute."

Which is why they have the appeals process and other venues to take in those situations and sometimes judges ARE strictly dealt with and sometimes can be disbarred, etc.
 
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middleagedgamer

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What's your deal?
There are *already* means to deal with judges who blatantly ignore the written laws/codes/acts and so forth.
In the court system it's called 'the appeals process' - and other things :shrug:
Appeals cost money, money that you can't recover, because judges have judicial immunity.

Also, it's a matter of principal; they shouldn't be blatantly ignoring unambiguous law in the first place!
 

middleagedgamer

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After rereading the OP I realized I misread your point, sorry.

You brought up Precedent - and *then* said "if they respond to violating precedent by A-B . . . then why don't they do the same for judges who ignore law, etc. . ." - and *then* gave a case in which you felt the judge ruled horribly out of line and "blatantly disregard unambiguous statute."
Strawmanning should be a bannable offense on message boards. You should take greater care to understand what you are responding to, just out of sheer respect for an otherwise mature conversation.

Which is why they have the appeals process and other venues to take in those situations and sometimes judges ARE strictly dealt with and sometimes can be disbarred, etc.
Cite your source!
 

Aunt Spiker

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Appeals cost money, money that you can't recover, because judges have judicial immunity.

Also, it's a matter of principal; they shouldn't be blatantly ignoring unambiguous law in the first place!

Most cases don't even go to court - only a small percentage end up in litigation. Most are settled in negotiation, mediation or arbitration, all non-court arenas - for one thing. . .and ususally the reasons for this is *cost.*
If someone is *so* worried about money that they aren't willing to challenge a *ruling* that *went all the way to court* then *why* bother with litigation at all?
So - I'm assuming that if someone takes their case to trial and goes through all that drama to see it to finality then - YES - they will also pursue an unfair or unjust ruling by ANY means possible.

It's complicated
There's the issue of judicial immunity:
Judicial Immunity legal definition of Judicial Immunity. Judicial Immunity synonyms by the Free Online Law Dictionary.

But - you can file a civil complaint against a judge.
Civil Complaint legal definition of Civil Complaint. Civil Complaint synonyms by the Free Online Law Dictionary.

And other means of raising eyebrows and bringing up concerns: publicity over a judge's questionable rulings - and so on.

But I agree with you - it *shouldn't* be ridiculously complicated or impossible to bring around scrutiny on a judge or lawyer, etc if they often pass extreme, arbitrary or unusual judgment which, to me, would show a blatant disregard or ignorance of the law and this should be more easily questioned and investigated.

To me it's just common sense.

But it should be done separately than a court-ruling as it's own issue. Rather than coupled in with an appeal. The appeal focus is limited - very narrow in focus.
 

Aunt Spiker

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Strawmanning should be a bannable offense on message boards. You should take greater care to understand what you are responding to, just out of sheer respect for an otherwise mature conversation.


Cite your source!

I found, recognized, appologized and corrected my error. :shrug:

I could have been a bitch about it :)
 

Geo Patric

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The justices who allowed the FDR new deal to remain in place all blatantly violated standing precedent

would you care to demonstrate your sterling legal and constitutional skills in showing that statement to be true? or are you happy chewing 70 year old cud?

geo.
 

b.larset

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Peckin order.
1. Political class ( They staff government and run the election system and pick the members of the legal system)
2. legal class( They work for the political class to maintain order and keep control )
3. Business class ( creates the wealth needed to maintain the political class)
4. Citizen class ( Works for the business class to maintain the other two classes )
 

middleagedgamer

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Most cases don't even go to court - only a small percentage end up in litigation. Most are settled in negotiation, mediation or arbitration, all non-court arenas - for one thing. . .and ususally the reasons for this is *cost.*
Still, there is no excuse for unnecessary cost. The fact that a question of this calibur even ended up before an appellate court in the first place is appalling.

If someone is *so* worried about money that they aren't willing to challenge a *ruling* that *went all the way to court* then *why* bother with litigation at all?
Do I really need to answer that?

So - I'm assuming that if someone takes their case to trial and goes through all that drama to see it to finality then - YES - they will also pursue an unfair or unjust ruling by ANY means possible.
That doesn't mean it's fair to the people. Questions of unambiguous law - unless it is a question of whether they are unconstitutional or not - should not bear the expense of appeal in the first place.

It's complicated
Yes, I understand that. The law is complicated.

I am not going to click on that link, as I already understand judicial immunity a lot more than you give me credit for.

I am merely suggesting that, in an event such as this, judicial immunity should be changed from a form of absolute immunity, to a form of qualified immunity, because an atrosity such as this is the epitome of "violation of clearly established law."

Now, I think that your the one who doesn't understand how the system works.

Yes, I can file a civil complaint (also known as simply "a complaint") against a judge; I can file a civil complaint against anyone I want for any reason I want. I can file a civil complaint against Tony Blair, even though I've never met him or seen him before, because I think his last name violates the copyright to the Blair Witch Project, and I own stock in that show's parent company, which gives me partial rights to it.

But, if I file a civil complaint against a judge, it will be dismissed instantly, due to the absolute defense of judicial immunity.

And other means of raising eyebrows and bringing up concerns: publicity over a judge's questionable rulings - and so on.
If you've got the money to make a public scandal out of it, go ahead.

But, if you've got the disposable coin to publish this scandal all over the nation, the cost of appealing is probably the least of your worries.

Even then, there is no guarantee of results, like a legal requirement for Congress to impeach a insubordinate judge - and a right to an injunction if they don't - would be.

But I agree with you - it *shouldn't* be ridiculously complicated or impossible to bring around scrutiny on a judge or lawyer, etc if they often pass extreme, arbitrary or unusual judgment which, to me, would show a blatant disregard or ignorance of the law and this should be more easily questioned and investigated.

To me it's just common sense.
When was the last time "common sense" applied to anything in the government?

It's like this: Sovereign immunity (whether judicial, prosecutorial, legislative, etc.) is evil; it basically makes the government above the law, which is a grade A sign of an oppressive, "Big Brother" regime. It needs to be revoked, and not just judicial immunity, but legal immunity across the board.

But it should be done separately than a court-ruling as it's own issue. Rather than coupled in with an appeal. The appeal focus is limited - very narrow in focus.
What we need is an act of Congress, specifying the following:

Section 1. It shall be unlawful for any judge to violate clearly established law.
Section 2. The Congress shall impeach any judge who violates the provisions of Section 1 of this act.
Section 3. If Congress does not adhere to the provisions of Section 2 of this act, a private citizen who is harmed by a violation of Section 1 of this act may obtain injunctive relief to force compliance with Section 2 of this act.

It then sets up an independent court - similar to the U.S. Court of Federal Claims - to hear cases brought under Section 3, regarding whether or not Congress had a duty to impeach the judge in question. Claims brought against that court can be heard in regular district court, so as to not put the fox in charge of the hen house.

Thoughts?
 

RightinNYC

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Ok, how, exactly, do you justify your claim that THIS portion fo the law is unambiguous?

There's a fundamental confusion here. This judge came out one way on a question of fact. You're arguing that he should have come out the other way. Question of fact =/= question of law. Factual issues do not have precedent in the same way as legal issues.

Moreover, I don't know why you're so convinced that you know more about the law or the facts than the judges who are actually experienced with it and have looked at the actual record. This is probably the 20th thread where you've demonstrated little more than a passing familiarity with legal reasoning, yet have demanded monumental changes in the legal system.

Again, I have other examples; it's just taking me too damned long to find citations for them. Would you be content if I just gave the example, with citation coming later?

No, as I am not confident that you will be correctly characterizing the situation.
 

middleagedgamer

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There's a fundamental confusion here. This judge came out one way on a question of fact. You're arguing that he should have come out the other way. Question of fact =/= question of law. Factual issues do not have precedent in the same way as legal issues.
No, he made a statement of law. He claimed that there is no legal requirement (emphasis on those last two words) to accommodate a disability, and then, used that interpretation of law to reach the conclusion he did.

Stop... ****ing... STRAWMANNING!

Moreover, I don't know why you're so convinced that you know more about the law or the facts than the judges who are actually experienced with it and have looked at the actual record.
I can give an explanation for that one; if I do, do you promise to actually hear me out?

This is probably the 20th thread where you've demonstrated little more than a passing familiarity with legal reasoning, yet have demanded monumental changes in the legal system.
**sigh**

No, as I am not confident that you will be correctly characterizing the situation.
That just goes to show how little you know about me.
 

RightinNYC

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No, he made a statement of law. He claimed that there is no legal requirement (emphasis on those last two words) to accommodate a disability, and then, used that interpretation of law to reach the conclusion he did.

Link me to where he actually said that. I've had enough of your "paraphrasing."

I can give an explanation for that one; if I do, do you promise to actually hear me out?

I'd love to hear the explanation for why you're a misunderstood legal scholar.


Solid rebuttal.
 

RightinNYC

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I already have provided a link.

I'm talking about a link to the ****ing quote where the judge said that, not a link to a few paragraphs summarizing the appellate court decision and mentioning the district court decision in passing. As I've stated already, I don't think you're accurately describing what happened and nothing in your link contradicts that.

If you're going to say that the judge said X, show me where the judge said X.

Stop strawmanning.

You're the one who offered to provide an explanation for why you know more about the law than judges do. Go ahead, tell us about your legal background and what makes you so qualified.
 
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