Edward Daley
June 17, 2004
The growing tyranny of the judiciary
By Edward Daley

The other day, Queens Superior Court Justice, Laura Blackburne, a notoriously anti-police judge, was reassigned to civil court for helping a robbery suspect, Derek Sterling, evade an NYPD detective who was in the courthouse to arrest the convicted felon on a mugging charge. At the time, Blackburne was presiding over Sterling's hearing for a drug offense when she became aware that the police were in the building looking for him. Soon afterward she escorted the suspect out a private exit reserved for herself and other court officials, intentionally aiding in his escape.

Two years earlier, Judge Blackburne had ordered that all 13 charges be dropped against a suspected cop-shooter named William Hodges, stating alleged delays in his case, freeing him without bail, and then refusing to reinstate the charges against him later on. That case is still in judicial limbo pending an appeal, and now the New York Commission on Judicial Conduct (CJC) is investigating the judge for her most recent and despicable act of official misconduct.

Queens County District Attorney, Richard A. Brown, has opined that Blackburne should be removed from the bench, yet he refuses to take any action against her himself until Derek Sterling has been convicted on the mugging charge. It remains to be seen if the CJC will ban this sorry excuse for a judge from sitting on any court in the future, something which is certainly warranted, but if they do not, such a decision will beg the question: what does a judge have to do to get thrown off the bench in the state of New York?

Stories like this one are becoming all too common these days, permeating every level of our justice system, from the lowest state courts to the highest federal benches. Activist judges who exhibit contempt for the U.S. Constitution, their respective state Constitutions, and an utter disregard for the safety of the public at large, are routinely allowed to undermine the very laws they are sworn to uphold. They are rarely held to account for their misdeeds, and are almost always afforded full retirement compensation at taxpayer expense, regardless of whether or not they have been penalized in some other way.

Muggers, rapists, murderers and criminals of every description walk free at the whims of primarily liberal, often militant acting jurists like Laura Blackburne, and there's nobody anywhere who seems to have the will to stop this insane state of affairs. The rules concerning judicial misconduct and the potential removal of a judge for cause, are far too tolerant of behaviors which jeopardize the integrity of the American justice system as a whole, and, in my opinion, are in desperate need of revision. While many of these behaviors may not be crimes in a technical sense, they are often just as detrimental to the effectuation of true justice as any criminal transgressions can be, yet the institutions charged with assuring some semblance of judicial accountability usually fail to deal with such situations in any appreciable way.

As a result, judges have become downright brazen in recent years, not merely misinterpreting, but actually ignoring and, at times, even rewriting laws from the bench. This is a completely intolerable situation, especially when the jurists in question directly influence the outcome of elections with their illegitimate rulings. We are all aware of how the Florida Supreme Court (FSC) stepped in on behalf of the Democratic party in November of 2000, ignoring not only Florida's unambiguous statutory rules, but the rightful authority of that state's legislative and executive branches, and plunged the nation into a Constitutional crisis. Yet that is only one of several, nationally influential cases in which a judicial body or individual judge has run afoul of the law during the electoral process.

For example, two years after the infamous and illegal FSC ruling that prompted the U.S. Supreme Court to intervene in an event which should never have involved either judicial body, Arkansas Circuit Judge, Collins Kilgore, took it upon himself to extend the voting hours of polling stations in that state's most populous and heavily Democratic County, during a U.S. Senate race between Tim Hutchinson and Mark Pryor. Although the Arkansas Supreme Court (ASC) later voided the lower court's ruling, that decision was not made official until after the extended time period had elapsed.

Since it is impossible to know which ballots were cast after the original deadline had passed, untold numbers of illegal votes where consequently counted. Pryor, the Democratic challenger, inevitably won that Senate race, unseating the Republican incumbent, and although the vote extension may not have been responsible for his victory, there is no doubt that Judge Kilgore's actions were not only improper, but deserving of at least some sort of punishment. No penalty was ever brought against him though, and not long afterward, Kilgore ran for a seat on the very court which had overturned his unjust decision. Fortunately for the people of Arkansas, and indeed this country, he lost his bid to become the next ASC justice.

Still, judicial improprieties such as his continue unabated and unpunished all the time in this country. Major courts like the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, the nation's most overturned appellate court with jurisdiction in nine states, have run roughshod over our Constitution for years, if not decades. Some of the 9th's rulings in particular have had no foundation in written law whatsoever, yet legislative bodies with supposed oversight authority, such as the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, routinely turn a blind eye to the incompetent and, at times, illegal acts of many of its members, without explanation.

Even though, fairly recently, the U.S. Congress unanimously denounced the 9th Circuit's ruling regarding the Constitutionality (or as the 9th sees it, UNconstitutionality) of the phrase "under God" in our Pledge of Allegiance, and the president himself declared its arguments "ridiculous," few of our lawmakers have shown any willingness at all to, at the very least, split this judicial behemoth into two smaller, more manageable courts. If they won't even do that, what's the likelihood that they'll begin to punish, or even officially reprimand any of that court's more loathsome justices when they blatantly disregard the rule of law?

I dare say that the probability of such an action taking place is remote at best, and why our elected representatives seem to have no problem with the usurpation of their own authority by these self-important and politically motivated subversives in black robes, is beyond me. I do know one thing though, it is up to average citizens like you and I to bring pressure to bear on all the members of each state's legislature, as well as the Congress of the United States, and put an end to the cancer of judicial activism festering within our nation's bosom, before it's too late to save our Republic from the despotic rule of a few, unaccountable ideologues.

In the words of the famous lawyer, legislator and patriot, Patrick Henry, "Power is the great evil with which we are contending. We have divided power between three branches of government and erected checks and balances to prevent abuse of power. However, where is the check on the power of the judiciary? If we fail to check the power of the judiciary, I predict that we will eventually live under judicial tyranny."

© Edward Daley


The views expressed by RenewAmerica columnists are their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of RenewAmerica or its affiliates.
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Edward Daley

Edward Daley was born to American parents on a U.S. military base in Stephenville, Newfoundland, Canada, and moved to the United States as an infant... (more)


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