Sullivan’s article about the New York State Commission on
Judicial Conduct [“Who’s To Judge?,” Feb. 28] identifies
that as far back as 1989 the state comptroller was stymied
as he attempted to “judge” whether the commission was “wrongfully
dismissing complaints against judges without cause and justification.”
This, because the commission’s operations are cloaked in confidentiality.
Yet Sullivan does not identify that the Center for Judicial
Accountability, Inc., a nonprofit, nonpartisan citizens’ organization,
has pierced the confidentiality that has insulated the commission
from scrutiny by collecting, directly from complainants,
copies of their dismissed complaints. In so doing, CJA has
been proving, for over a decade, what the state comptroller
could not: that the commission is unlawfully dismissing, without
investigation, serious complaints of judicial misconduct—particularly
when the complained-against judges are powerful and politically
Sullivan does not identify that CJA has been endeavoring,
singlehandedly, to secure legislative-oversight hearings based
on three categories of evidence of the commission’s corruption.
What are these categories of evidence—all readily verifiable?
Beyond copies of dismissed complaints from CJA’s archive,
is the law pertaining to the commission. Most important is
Judiciary Law §44.1, requiring the commission to investigate
every facially-meritorious complaints it receives.
Yet, as I showed Sullivan, the commission has promulgated
a rule, 22 NYCRR §7000.3, giving itself complete discretion
to do anything or nothing with complaints.
The third category of evidence are files of lawsuits brought
by complainants whose facially meritorious complaints
were dismissed by the Commission, without investigation.
I discussed with Sullivan three such lawsuits—each evidencing
the identical pattern, to wit, the commission had NO
legitimate defense; corrupted the judicial process with litigation
misconduct of its attorney, the state attorney general; and
was rewarded by a series of FIVE fraudulent judicial decisions—without
which it would not have survived.
The first fraudulent decision was in a 1995 lawsuit brought
by CJA’s cofounder, Doris L. Sassower, to strike down §7000.3.
A judge “protected” the commission by concocting an argument
purporting to reconcile §7000.3 and Judiciary Law §44.1. In
fact, his argument is an utter hoax, as Sullivan was able
to swiftly recognize. The second fraudulent decision was in
a 1999 lawsuit brought by attorney Michael Mantell, where
a second judge “protected” the commission by concocting another
argument, also completely bogus. The third fraudulent decision,
in my 1999 lawsuit, is a “no brainer” as it rests, exclusively
on the other two fraudulent decisions. From these, it was
a small step for Sullivan to recognize that the appellate
affirmances in Mantell’s lawsuit and my own are necessarily
fraudulent. Indeed, from these affirmances—each only a few
sentences long—Sullivan could also see that the appellate
court had taken a dramatic step to further “protect” the commission:
adding a single sentence, unsupported by any factual findings
or discussion of any legal authority, that complainants whose
complaints the commission dismisses lack “standing” to sue.
Sullivan has yet to “put flesh” on my important lawsuit against
the commission, now headed to the Court of Appeals. Had she
done so, Metroland readers would understand how explosive
my six claims for relief are—and that it is for this reason
that she could find no one in “leadership” positions to comment.
Indeed, the judicial misconduct complaint, whose dismissal
by the commission triggered my lawsuit is no ordinary complaint.
It involves the believed perjury of now Court of Appeals Judge
Albert Rosenblatt on his publicly inaccessible application
for appointment to that court, our state’s highest. In 1998,
the commission “sat” on the complaint while Gov. Pataki, who
knew of it, appointed Rosenblatt. The commission then continued
to “sit” on it as the Senate Judiciary Committee rammed through
Rosenblatt’s confirmation by an unprecedented no-notice,
by-invitation-only confirmation “hearing”—at which
no opposition testimony was permitted. Only then did the
commission dismiss the complaint—without investigation
and without reasons. It is this resulting lawsuit that
State Bar President Steven Krane, who clerked for Chief Judge
Kaye at the Court of Appeals, pretends does not involve “matters
of statewide significance.”
Sullivan must continue to search among “leaders”, in government
and out, for comment on the important evidentiary issues my
lawsuit presents. Their refusal to comment is itself a mighty
story. Yet, she need not be stymied in verifying the file
evidence that the commission is corrupt and has been “protected”
by a corrupted judicial process. Among this state’s 137,994
lawyers are surely a few willing to volunteer to review the
case file and provide their professional opinion. Some of
these lawyers may themselves be Metroland readers.
I invite them to come forward in answer to Sullivan’s unanswered
question, “Who’s to Judge?”
Center for Judicial Accountability
judicial gadfly Ron Loeber’s take on the local judicial system
is as flawed
as his understanding of English history, he is best ignored
[“Who’s To Judge?,” Feb. 28].
Every single thing he said about King John and the Magna Carta
is wrong. The Great Charter was not procured at swordpoint.
John had an army, too, and it had been winning the war with
the rebel barons. It did not provide for “the first oath of
office.” Every English king, from William the Conqueror on,
took an oath to respect established laws and liberties. John
“called himself a king,” but so did most of his subjects;
he was not a usurper, although he became unpopular.
The baronial grievances had nothing to do with royal absolutism
or the “divine right of kings,” a notion which would have
been unthinkable at the time. No English monarch was ever
absolute, not even Henry VIII, who came a lot closer to it
than the hapless King John. John acknowledged constitutional
limitations and, for the most part, respected them, although
he tried to push his prerogatives to the limit, and this was
indeed one of the things the barons sought to check.
The Magna Carta (obviously Loeber has never read it) did not
create a new judicial system. Nor had John modified the existing
system in any way. In fact, he took great interest in it,
and he was unusually learned in the law for an English king.
England was not to have anything that might be called a new
judicial system until the 19th century.
If you actually read the charter, you would find that it is
almost entirely concerned with feudal privileges, which are
today almost incomprehensible except to specialists. The charter
is, in fact, reactionary. You will also find that almost none
of its provisions do anything for the common people. Nobody
cared about them. I am a little amused that only one of its
provisions is still the law in England—something about what
kind of nets fishermen can use on the Thames.
The Magna Carta is only important because 17th-century opponents
of Stuart pretensions to absolutism deployed a mythologized
version of it. It was this mythical charter that American
revolutionaries invoked. So-called constitutionalists, so-called
patriots, many libertarians, and some anarchists and leftists
swear by the mythical charter (and also a mythical Constitution).
Ron Loeber is one of these delusives. Fortunately, the cause
of judicial reform does not depend on inaccurate and eccentric
views of legal history, and if Loeber is trying to use them
for that, he should desist because they can only discredit
what is worthwhile in his crusade.
The theory that the Magna Carta was forcibly signed at swordpoint
may not be historical fact; however the account that the dissatisfied
barons of England threatened to skewer King John is a common
one that has been cited in such early American publications
as Alexander Hamilton’s Federalist Papers (also known
as The Federalist), No. 84.
Although the charter may seem of only minor significance in
that its provisions are particular to feudal rights and dues,
its importance lies in that it implied that royal subjects’
rights were protected by laws the king was bound to observe.
In doing so, the Magna Carta was said to have protected individuals
from arbitrary justice and excessive use of royal power (and
yes, until the Glorious Revolution in 1688, it was commonly
believed that the monarchy was a divine institution and many
kings believed they were chosen by God). In essence, it stressed
three main points: that the Church was free to make ecclesiastical
appointments; that the king could not collect significantly
large sums of money from his tenants without consulting the
feudal barons; and finally, that no subjects could be punished
outside of the constraints of the law of the land.
Although the Magna Carta certainly did not establish a “new
judicial system” in England, it did make the following
claims, which lay the groundwork for modern court systems:
“No freeman shall be arrested or imprisoned or [dispossessed]
or outlawed or exiled or in any other way harmed. Nor will
we [the king] proceed against him, or send others to do so,
except according to the lawful sentence of his peers and according
to the Common Law.
no one will we sell, to no one will we refuse or delay, right
Of course, the original Magna Carta was drawn up in Latin;
as a result, interpretations of the document vary.
Than the Sum of Its Parking Lots
chops and parking lots. I wish your restaurant reviewer B.A.
Nilsson would open his eyes and stop salivating, even if it’s
just for a minute. The best thing to happen to the village
of Round Lake is not SUVs looking for parking spaces, $50
dinners or a restaurant where a person with disability can’t
even use the bathroom [Food, Feb. 7].
I know Metroland is a progressive newspaper that cares
about things like the environment, discrimination, community
and quality-of-life issues which affect most people. The gadfly,
we should say gadflies, also care about the same stuff. We
care about community, the environment, we like safe streets,
streets that are pedestrian and bike friendly. We don’t like
pollution, discrimination and
corruption, which come in many forms and create dysfunctional
communities. The best thing to happen in Round Lake is the
new grandchild, the people, the families.
our review of Alien Ant Farm’s show at Northern Lights [Live,
Feb. 28], the owner of a radio station that copromoted the
show was misidentified. The Edge (WQBK/WQBJ, 103.5/103.9 FM)
is owned by Regent Communications.