Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Federal Judges and the Right Wing

I thought federal judges were supposed to be above the fray, so to speak; steeped in the law; neither conservative nor liberal; thoughtful; intelligent; and above all, upholders of the Constitution.

But I forgot. They're lawyers. Oops.

Sherwood Ross, writes at LA Progressive that some of our federal judges have been "Accepting All-Expense Paid Junkets to Right-Wing Conferences."

This, according to Lawrence Velvel, dean and cofounder of the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover.

Ross refers to Velvel's 2008 book of essays which describes how federal judges have attended "corporation-sponsored conferences at posh watering holes, at times on the very subjects of cases they have pending before them."

Velvel says that at these conferences, "judges not only hear right wing views propagandized to them, but also hobnob with, speak with, drink with, play golf with, and sometimes even meet on Boards with right wing figures, right wing lawyers, and others who have pronounced right wing views.

"The conferences are paid for by rich right wing foundations -- (Sarah) Scaife, of Pittsburgh, (Charles) Kock, of Arlington, Virginia etc. -- and by wealthy, powerful companies involved regularly in litigation where there side is, at minimum, the conservative side."

Not only so, but Velvel also charges that judges "have been known to go back home and alter rulings on cases on the issues discussed at a one-sided conference."

This is, of course, corruption, pure and simple. And it is just too damn sad. But it is not surprising. The country has been in a moral and ethical free-fall for the past eight years and that free-fall has had nothing to do with abortion or homosexuality. It has evolved out of pure, unadulterated greed and taken the shape of a war the rich have been waging, silently and behind the scenes, on the poor and the middle-class.

Sherwood Ross' entire article is here.

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