We all would like to believe that, as when we were children in a family, there is in our society a final authority to whom we can turn in case we are seriously wronged. We are not predisposed to believe the accusers of the judicial process any more than the detractors of Santa Claus. Perhaps critics are merely sore losers or angry convicts, and perhaps judicial misconduct would be exposed by appeals courts or the mass media, and corrected. Why guess our way without the facts? Such pre-dispositions held by many otherwise educated adults allow pervasive institutional corruption of the judicial branch to remain hidden.
Judicial corruption is invisible to citizens, because lawyers are trained and motivated to deny and cannot safely speak of it, because mass media corporations agree with judicial prejudice and live in fear of judicial whims, because non-lawyers cannot obtain the facts without prohibitive cost and effort, and because the infantile myth of judicial salvation has broad appeal and is propagated as an opiate by the mass media. Judicial corruption is discovered by those of its victims willing to do years of tedious research, and only they will speak of it.
Lawyers do not speak against judges, on whom they depend for income stability and success, and often aspire to be judges. They do not criticize law practice and precedent, which they are selected and trained to accept regardless of validity, and which they could not otherwise use successfully. The mass media are silent because they and their advertisers are big businesses in agreement with judicial prejudice, advised by lawyers, and dependent upon judicial whim for protection from libel suits. They do not investigate judicial corruption.
The persistent citizen can only see judgments written by the selected winner to sound plausible. The other facts and argument are costly to obtain, and mountains of cases must be studied in each area to see how rules are misapplied and facts fabricated, and how false “principles of law” are abstracted from bad precedents. So we are dependent for information upon rare lawyers like Gerry Spence and the few independent citizens with persistent involvement in federal cases.
I had once sponsored a dozen orphans in Latin America, and had acquired the campus of the former Nasson College in Maine to establish an independent nonsectarian coeducational school, whose students would sponsor about 2000 orphans in developing nations to teach responsibility to the less fortunate, using my engineering income and extensive study of the founding and administration of schools. After twenty years of planning and renovating buildings, all this was destroyed by the nearby town encouraging the racing of ATVs on an abandoned railroad bed alongside the school. Many ignorant villagers had long harbored malice against the middle class, outsiders, and the former college, which they transferred to our school to preserve their devil. Dozens and later hundreds of them created an intolerable noise nuisance (92 to 112 dBA at the center of the campus) and committed hundreds of crimes annually large and small, including murder attempts, arson, ransacking our buildings, rifle fire into the campus, destroying all of our vehicles, and grand theft, to prevent us from using our facilities, with the enthusiastic help of their town government. The causes named were “elitism”, “outsiders”, and conflation with the hated college, but the motives were the local recreation of bullying, harassment, vandalism, and gang activity. After several years of social amelioration, political efforts, and enforcement, matters had only become worse. All laws and sensible precedents were on our side. Any honorable court would have jumped at the opportunity to defend a charity from such obvious wrongdoing.
But there were no honorable courts. I discovered in the eight-year legal battle to defend the school’s right to use its facilities, that the judiciary is utterly corrupt from bottom to top, so completely that I would not have undertaken the defense, or my life-long effort to found the charity, if I had suspected the staggering corruption exposed. I had been deceived by popular myth and my belief that wrongs would be corrected where there was great gain to society and no significant cost. The experience of defending Springvale School against the hoodlums and town government of Sanford, Maine, and researching and fighting the legal cases all the way to the supreme court of Maine, and three times to the US Supreme Court, taught me not only the relevant law and procedure, but more about the corruption of the judicial branch than most want to know. The pervasiveness of such corruption had been invisible to me throughout my life and these efforts of so many years.
The Motives of Judicial Corruption
The motives of judicial corruption are the prejudices of wealth and power shared by judges, lawyers, and favored parties; the concealed economy of favors between lawyers and judges; and actual bribes by indirect cashflows.
The prejudices common among judges and lawyers favor interests and parties with whom they share beliefs, circumstances of ethnicity, sex, or income, and aspirations of wealth, power, and prestige. Most struggle for upper class luxuries to measure up and overcome guilt: the grand residence, Mercedes, second homes and finest restaurant meals. Rejecting as unprofitable the moral dedication which deserves respect, they pretend that money and power measure respectability, that people without those merit contempt, that their duty is to trash cases without lawyers, and see that big businesses, wealthy persons, and sometimes government agencies (in that order) win their cases regardless of the facts. They do not criticize judges without major public pressure, and they do not defend constitutional rights against government or business unless the public is in rebellion. The many ordinary cases which do not trigger judicial prejudice conceal an underground river of prejudice. Law firms must match lawyers to the ethnicity and sex of the judge, and often try to match physiognomy, personality, and preferred style.
There is a concealed economy of favors and intangible benefits which influences judgments either through the judge or between opposing lawyers. This is apparent with long observation of the conduct of lawyers and judges. Lawyer favors to throw the case include technical mistakes, poor arguments, concessions, and omissions. Judge favors include the means of corrupt judgment stated. Lawyers and judges often “owe you one” and pay up invisibly.
The least quantifiable corruptions are bribes by indirect cashflows via law firms, relatives, and seemingly unrelated transactions. Judges, lawyers, law partners, and their relatives and agents have many investments which may be more or less favorable if someone “owes one”, before or after a case has been thrown. A simple case is the judge’s relative with high-profit speculations such as land, art, or securities. Smaller cashflows buy false transcripts and critical secretarial errors such as lost evidence and delays.
The Hypocrisy of the Judiciary
Although the middle class is threatened primarily by subsidies of the wealthy like wars, financial scams, inflated healthcare, and lawsuits, many are recruited to serve their exploiters by promises of wealth, and hypothetical threats like terrorists, communists, fair taxation, and social welfare programs. Within the judiciary and among lawyers, as within large business corporations, middle class aspirants see the path to wealth and power impaired by virtue and cleared by hypocrisy, and become evangelists for their overlords, despite their own middle class status and prospects. Most judges and lawyers seek to please and protect the wealthy and powerful, and will betray every moral code and public duty to humanity, in hope of advancement and indirect bribes. Most pretend to believe, and religiously ensure, that wealth and power to help or harm themselves should decide all legal contests.
There is a natural hierarchy of contempt among those who have earned little, but hold wealth or power by accidents of birth and business, or by collusion and scheming. Throughout history wealth and power have concealed their true sources, seeking to sanctify themselves by acquiring symbols of respectability, and creating myths of superiority of race or class. If wealth and power are the measure of respectability, then less is less respectable, and little is contemptible, unless in the service of wealth and power. And so most judges and lawyers believe that those who do not have the wealth and power to help or harm them deserve to lose their rights.
The Means Of Corrupt Judgment
It is usually a simple matter for a judge to choose the most wealthy or powerful party in a legal case, or the outcome which serves himself, and to allow or dismiss the case, corrupt the facts, and instruct the preferred side to write a judgment within the pseudo-law of precedents and rationalizations favorable to the wealthy, which is the chief product of lawyers.
The simplest corruption is systematic abuse of procedure rules to allow or dismiss cases. For example, a judge claims format defects, demands removal of the critical claims, facts and arguments, and dismisses the case as too lengthy if the plaintiffs refuse, or for insufficient fact if they comply. The judiciary does not allow appeals of fact judgments or dismissals for format issues, so as to establish themselves as an unconstitutional aristocracy, and outsiders cannot find the truth.
The next stage of judicial corruption is false statement of the facts. The judge simply states a false set of “facts” which would lead any other court to the desired conclusion, and the resulting judgment not only looks plausible but cannot be appealed. The corrupt side submits the judgment you will be allowed to see, which is rubberstamped without effort or risk of appeal. Any case not favored by the judiciary requires a jury trial and an intense battle over evidence, but the judge simply refuses to admit evidence which contradicts his prejudice. If enough facts are deleted, the case is given his “summary judgment” without trial. If tried, the outcome is determined by the false picture of fact.
Any cases remaining to be thrown are corrupted by false legal arguments. Judges and most lawyers spend their lives creating and searching for plausible deceptions and rationales for the most selfish and wrongful acts, which they celebrate as a professional skill. These are concealed by stating and misapplying corrupt “principles of law” from prior inadequate, irrelevant, and corrupt judgments. Threads of bad precedents form a fabric of false legal “principle” leading to any result desired, just as better precedents form reasonable legal arguments. So the resulting corrupt judgment seems logical and in accord with tradition despite irrational results, and reinforces the bad precedents. As “case law” accumulates to favor wealth and oppose the rights of citizens, the whole body of legal precedent becomes irreparable, and ever more defended by its adherents.
Corrupt Judges Destroy the Lives of Thousands
The legal contest between my charity school, Springvale School, and a small town in Maine went on for eight years, one case to the Maine supreme court and three cases all the way to the US supreme court, but none of the civil rights issues ever emerged in court, due to judicial prejudice that towns (and the US) beat charities regardless of the facts. “They’re just going to dismiss it anyway” said the clerk of the federal court. Civil rights complaints were systematically dismissed, ordered to delete fact or argument until insufficient, or falsely claimed to be identical to prior cases. Nearly every statement by the many judges and lawyers involved was an astounding lie about the facts or the arguments, excuse after cover-up after excuse, the principal life skill of the judges and lawyers. The evidence is conclusive in case after case after case: corruption and only corruption drove the process. The result of this corruption was that the school could not be opened, even as its facilities were becoming ready for use.
The denial of fundamental rights to a charity is the lowest form of hypocrisy. The searching for pretexts to do so proves the intent of vindictive hypocritical attack upon the foundations of civilization. Such intent on the part of a judge indicates the most extreme abuse of public trust, and is grounds for removal and barring from any position of responsibility. The judiciary has established an hypocrisy and arrogance so extreme, that to spare themselves one second of work they would destroy the life of an orphan.
This is an utter disgrace to the judiciary, the cold-blooded destruction of lives like our own, for no gain and no principle of justice, at a rate seven times the murder rate for the entire state of Maine, which will now continue forever. Ten thousand children’s lives every fifty years. There is nothing more I can do to save these children; the judiciary has destroyed them. There is no particle of honor nor decency in the being of any of the numerous judges and lawyers; their hypocrisy, corruption and wickedness are absolute. Be proud, America: neither I, my school, nor any citizen can defend civil rights unless the denial of defense threatens the wealthy.
The Myth of Judicial Defense of Constitutional Rights
A first look at the failure of the federal government to enforce the constitutional rights of individuals suggests that the political will disappeared after the early federal era, with the transition from farming to trade, industrialism, and the lead-up to the Civil War. But the Bill of Rights was an afterthought tacked on to the Constitution to keep the more principled and educated delegates in the fold. To the majority who wanted the military security and economic gains of union, it was a pleasant declaration of noble sentiments, with little risk of actual enforcement.
The Constitution specified no means of enforce the Bill of Rights, and federal courts denied for almost a century that they had that power without specific federal laws, and then refused to enforce the Civil Rights Act of 1872 for almost another century. When they did enforce, they were motivated solely by the fear of increasing riots in the streets, rebellion threatening the wealthy and powerful. And they promptly afterward eviscerated the principle in those decisions to prevent less powerful minorities from enforcing the same general rights.
The wealthy and powerful of industrial democracies have little need for individual rights, a costly inconvenience in business: they can buy influence and respect, and their interests are granted as needed by sympathetic judges. Judges loudly declare their defenses of constitutional rights for the rich and powerful, and for others only when they are sufficiently numerous and angry that judges must appease them, but scorn the same rights when asserted by the poor, the few, or those without a voice.
Unfortunately, the Constitutional Convention also neglected to provide significant checks and balances upon the judicial branch. There were to be only 12 federal judges then versus about 900 today, and the much greater numbers of the Legislative and Executive branches, who controlled judicial pay, suggested to the delegates that the Judicial branch had better behave. The Constitution provides only that “judges shall serve during good behavior” without providing a definition or specifying who would exercise that power. So the judicial branch created a Judicial Conference in judgment of itself, denies that any other branch may provide checks and balances of itself, and claims privately to be an aristocracy prohibited by the Constitution and serving only themselves. Nothing could be further from the intent of the framers of the Constitution.
What Reforms Are Needed?
Numerous problems have emerged with the judicial branch of the federal government since its formation under the Constitution, some dealt with by legislation such as 28 USC. But fewfundamental reforms have been made to meet its many deficiencies. Law is now the only profession subject to no effective standard of performance, no reporting or monitoring to prevent corrupt practices, and no effective recourse for its malpractice victims. Fundamental reforms are long overdue.
There are inherent problems with any justice system regardless of reforms, such as problems of evidence quality, and conflicting principles of justice in complex situations, where any solution may seem arbitrary. Reform cannot change the fact that one side wins and the other loses. But many serious problems can be solved by well
proven methods to improve the quality of justice.
Citizens, lawyers and courts must have access to a federal Legal Advisory Service, to provide mandatory guidelines for conduct and judgment, both in general and for any specific case, based upon multi-partisan research and reports compiled by a College of Legal Advisors in the legislative branch, structured to guarantee diversity of opinion. Judges and lawyers must be strictly monitored for compliance with the guidelines for judgment, and their financial and all other transactions reported and monitored for corrupt influence. Procedures must eliminate the ability of lawyers, police officers, and crime labs to influence evidence according to their prejudices. Citizens must be enabled to conduct actions without a lawyer by procedures ensuring that the best professional advice is available and that no tricks or penalties can be imposed, with a lawyer assigned at public expense when meritorious. No lawyers may be required for small or nonprofit corporations or class actions. Maximum lawyer fees must be regulated by type of case, service performed, and quality of work. No action should be dismissed without judgment on the merits. Appeal of any judgment including findings of fact should be allowed at least twice with judges of distinct legal philosophy, with or without new evidence or legal theory.
Except during public emergency, any government entity must be allowed to be sued without its consent and without recourse to any immunity statute or special procedures, for all offenses including negligence, failure to enforce and selective enforcement. By a new form of action, limited only to prevent redundancy, a citizen should be allowed to sue any government entity including the judicial branch for noncompliance with law, without its consent and regardless of any involvement of the party bringing suit, and no judgment thereunder in favor of government should be final.
In addition, the personnel of the judiciary, lawyers, and the instructors and administrators of law schools must be thoroughly cleansed. Most are just the wrong people with the wrong motives to perform these functions. They have selected their careers and have caused these problems for personal gain, and have mastered skills which would enable them to ruin any reform and to restore their corrupt aristocracy. Their complete removal and replacement, regardless of the delays involved, would not cause significant injustice in comparison with the existing system in operation. The reforms of legal education and judge selection recommended by Gerry Spence in With Justice For None are good starting points.
Most of the existing body of “case law” must be discarded as the foundation of judicially fabricated “principles” on which corruption is based. The process of deciding cases on the basis of precedents is poor because Congress has legislated few guidelines. That situation can be corrected by the College of Legal Advisors, using the best legal precedents as the basis for legislated principles of law.
If these reforms are done well, the judicial branch could begin to serve the people rather than the wealthy and itself.
JOHN BARTH, Jr. lives in Maine.