Tuesday, January 29, 2008

NY Times On Correlation Between Judges' Votes and Campaign Contributions

Posted by Alan Childress

Great story this morning in the New York Times, Looking Anew at Campaign Cash and Elected Judges, by Adam Liptak in his Tuesday column on legal matters.  This one is on correlating campaign finance for state court judges and their later decisional voting patterns.  This issue was already heating up because of the recent mess in the West Virginia Supreme Court noted by Mike here and also at Legal Ethics Forum, but surprisingly the Times does not explore that obvious and direct example.  Instead it deals with more subtle patterns found by statistical methodology in Louisiana and another notable example 73345828 from 2006 in Ohio. 

    The Times' Louisiana example features a study coauthored by my colleague Vernon Palmer, and quotes him to good advantage in the article.  Very interesting stuff, and all should look forward to Vernon's article appearing next month.  The "article's conclusions, to be published next month in The Tulane Law Review, are not pretty.  In nearly half of the cases they reviewed, over a 14-year period ended in 2006, a litigant or lawyer had contributed to at least one justice, sometimes recently and sometimes long before. On average, justices voted in favor of their contributors 65 percent of the time, and two of the justices did so 80 percent of the time."

    Not pretty, indeed.


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The worst reporting that I have ever seen. Why is it that Weimer seems to be swayed by campaign contributions 300% more for every thousand dollars donated when he capped his campaign contributions to $500 per individual or company? And why is it that the professor only looks at 181 cases from 1992 to 2006? Weimer's time on the bench is limited from 2002 to 2006. That's only four years out of the 14 year term - wonder how many cases were reviewed.

Posted by: | Jan 30, 2008 2:34:29 PM

It goes without saying that a large proportion of Louisiana supreme court cases come from the lower courts. And, it also goes without saying that just as campaign contributions can (perhaps do) sway Louisiana supreme court justices, contributions can also sway lower judges’ rulings. Hopefully, the upcoming Tulane Law Review which shall divulge facts about campaign contributions swaying judges' decisions will set off a probe of Louisiana's Judiciary.

Although it might be hard to prove whether contributions or bribes or perks influence judges’ decisions, IT IS NOT HARD to prove facts of manifest unfair, contrary-to-law rulings which occur far too often in Louisiana judges’ courtrooms! Further, it is glaring that some judges are clueless about jurisprudence, some are inept, and some judges deliberately issue unjust rulings for favored litigant(s).

Also, off the top of my head comes to mind, the incredibly disgusting remarks made by Louisiana’s Justice Jeannette Knoll. Justice Knoll’s dissenting opinion about removing former judge Wendell Miller from the bench seemed full of misplaced sympathy for Miller’s loss of job, and exhibited total disregard for people ill-affected because of Miller’s proven lack of judicial ethics, including having sex in his chambers with another man’s wife. Knoll seemed to unable to conceptualize the bribes and favors Miller had to be under compulsion to disseminate –and accommodate others to commit malfeasance while covering for Miller, as well as hush money and favors and abusing his public position. The fact that Miller’s escapades were even reported in the news, and a lawsuit award paid after Miller became sued was not enough for Justice Knoll to conclude that Miller’s days as a judge should have been history long ago.

Yet, whether cronyism, or contributions or whatever, the Federal as well as the State court systems in Louisiana appear to exist to gratify judges and not to facilitate justice. (See the links below concerning the long overdue call to impeach federal Judge Thomas Porteous.)

Also, unfortunately, niceties of colleague courtesy hinders attorneys from stating disparaging facts pertaining to fellow attorneys, even when such facts are irrefutably true. As such, wiggle room helps guilty lawyers and judges obfuscate activities of judicial collusion. But, res ipsa loquitur facts and evidence of court connivance cannot, nor should not be prettied up -especially when wiggle room steers away from exposure of wrongdoing, and steers away from corrective measures.

But even more critical, is that people and businesses have been irreparably harmed because of prejudiced, unjust judicial rulings. For myself, and people like me, I vigorously raise my voice and my pen; and name names –along with what they did / do on my website! (If Louisiana had had an Attorney General other than former Charles Foti, a lot misfeasance would have been revealed since consumer law violations are rampant in this State.) At any rate, the Louisiana Judiciary may look the other way, and the supreme court of Louisiana may continue its biased and atrocious way of doing things, but, even as it occurred for Senator David Vitter, the truth will continue to come out.

Consistent with Louisiana’s infamous corruption title– the court systems of Louisiana as a whole is a despicable regime. I personally believe that –as long as corruption, judiciary tryanny, and cronyism remains alive and well here –rather than pursue a Louisiana law degree, a person is better off bagging groceries at a friendly local grocer.

Unequivocal, prima facie facts and evidence of judicial corruption is posted in plain view at www.lawgrace.org. The following are links to certain postings which corroborate my accusations about the Civil court systems in Louisiana.
Supreme Court of Louisiana Writ Application

Odor of Judicial Corruption / Cronyims in Louisiana 4th Circuit

Federal Judges' Pay Raise; New Orleans Federal Judiciary Call To Impeach

United States Chief Justice Roberts, Call to Impeach Judge Thomas Porteous

New Orleans’ Corruption Watchdog? Inspector General?

Judicial Corruption, Deception, Attorneys Brett Furr, Herschel Adcock, Matthew Mullins, Freddie Mac, Real Estate Flipping, etc.

2006O2361 In RE: Judge Wendell R. Miller

Dangerous Clerk of Court, Dale Atkins: Killing Us Softly

Posted by: Barbara Ann Jackson | Feb 11, 2008 10:21:04 PM

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