One Susan Kennedy:
""""It just so happens that my congressional district is "served" by one totally useless turd named Howard Berman, who just happens to warm a seat (currently the Vice Chair) on the House Judiciary Committee. What better person to ask how federal judges are vetted for legibility and how this could happen?
I wrote a letter dated April, 2003. This was a polite request to Berman asking basically how judges are vetted and stating that my curiosity was piqued by my discovery of the two brothers sitting on the 8th Circuit bench. I cited the specific federal statute forbidding consanguinity on a federal bench.
It is now six years later, and I haven't even received the customary form letter that "our office is looking into it" or "our office referred it to the appropriate department"! Of course, Howard Berman has his own conflict-of- interest issues. After the census of 2000, in preparation for the constitutionally mandated redistricting that follows, Berman managed to get an appointment for one Michael Berman --- his brother --- to the commission that draws the district boundary lines.
As of result of Berman's nepotism, his district is so safe the Republicans couldn't even find one candidate to run against Berman in the 2008 primary. Unless some drastic changes are made after the 2010 census, we'll be stuck with this useless piece of crud until he dies in office.
As for the 8th CA, that problem was solved in 2004 when Richard Arnold died - as reported in the LA Daily Journal of the day. His brother, however, is still a senior circuit judge on the 8th Circuit bench.
If this is typical of the way judges (and candidates --- right up to the White House) are vetted for eligibility, then it is clear that those tasked to do so are not doing their jobs. And if virtually anonymous clerks are allowed to dispose of cases, particularly impeachment cases, then any hope for accountability is lost . . . .
Unless we can anger enough people that we can overcome an equal level of corruption in vote counting and pass some measure that puts accountability back into the hands of the people, such as JAIL4Judges!
The contemporary corporate media--KouricCO--tends to present any contra-judicial thinking as the work of hick libertarians or the dreaded "populist". That is unfortunate. The authentic progressive always opposes the judicial bureaucracy, notwithstanding a few somewhat progressive or anti-corporate decisions from the Black Robe posse. With the rise of the suburban "liberal" (not that closely related to the Democrat ala Truman or Woodrow Wilson), the image of the judiciary has been transformed--"spun"--: no longer stuffy, pompous latin-quoting solons, they are now considered the very bastion of civil liberties, regardless of the last few decades of conservative, if not very conservative justices--the Rehnquist Era. Those Californians who opposed the rabbling rousing, pro-8 herd (which Contingencies did (capiche, Calibanius?)) might reflect on the role of the CA judges, supposedly "liberal", who allowed Prop 8 on the ballot; prima facie, 8 appears to violate the Separation Clause, but that rarely stops the judiciary, whether at local, state or national level. The SCOTUS itself currently features at least five theocrats a bit to the right of Mussolini (Il Duce himself did not always bless the papacy --or capitalism--across the board)--and the new nominee--Sotomayor--apart from a few token liberal decisions, appears to be another Obama centrist.
Historically, one of the first orders of business of revolutionary Republicans (as in Res Publica, republicanos, IRA, etc. NOT American republicans) was to depose of the magistrates and court, along with the nobles, the clergy and king. That defines not only the jacobins' modus operandi--magistrates part of 2nd estate--or the bolsheviks, but the yankee revolutionaries as well (and arguably English ala Cromwell as well). Jefferson had issues--as did his mentor Locke--but like Locke, he never forgot the centuries of tyranny characterizing the anglo Inns of Court or European clerical courts. Locke had no love for monarchy, or magistrates:
"It cannot be supposed that they should intend, had they a power so to do, to give any one or more an absolute arbitrary power over their persons and estates, and put a force into the magistrate's hand to execute his unlimited will arbitrarily upon them; this were to put themselves into a worse condition than the state of Nature, wherein they had a liberty to defend their right against the injuries of others, and were upon equal terms of force to maintain it, whether invaded by a single man or many in combination.""
Jefferson understood the meaning of this, and even the potential problems, arguably. TJ struggled for years against the tory-Federalist Hamilton and Hamilton's hatchet man Marshall, who more or less singlehandedly transferred the English common law and the standing court (ie the King-law) to the new Republic, and in effect