Just in case you felt that judges were above the fray, this Facebook post by West Virginia Circuit Judge John Yoder says it all. This man has a history of flagrant behavior, such as illegally forcing indigents to pay fees, and here he publicizes the plight of an angry father whose teenage son was jailed by the judge. Judge Yoder’s caption for his photo reads, “Disappointed my free advertising is gone. This sign has appeared on Rt. 51 near Inwood for the last 6 months–a man complaining that I confined his son in a facility for breaking the law. Now it is gone. Everyone is asking me why the sign is now gone, and I do not have a clue why it has been taken down, but am disappointed I am no longer getting the free advertising.”
Yoder’s friend, Lauren Bell, replies “I didn’t know 15 year old have constitutional rights.”
As the Prison Industrial Complex doubles, triples, and quadruples in size… so do the number of judges. This inevitably waters down the integrity of a judiciary that is supposed to be the model of moderators. Judges who show blatant antagonism against any party have already violated their oaths. So is Judge Yoder a tool of the prosecution? Or do the prosecutors serve as this judge’s tools for vindictiveness against the accused?
The Judge Yoders are everywhere, and he is properly being reported to the Judicial Investigating Commission. People around the nation should familiarize themselves with their state judicial ethics commissions, and begin the campaigns to ween out those who lack basic integrity required to sit on the Bench.
Where, one might wonder, do judges go for their guidance and role models? The US Supreme Court is, of course, the highest court in the land. Their own integrity has been properly called into question regarding the integrity of Justices Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas– both of whom have had extensive political involvement over their careers.
Common Cause has filed a petition with the Department of Justice, calling for an investigation regarding the activities and bias of Scalia and Thomas. In particular, they are calling for their disqualification from the landmark Citizens United case (which granted “free speech” to corporations, especially the carte blanche to fund political activities).
Although family members of lottery workers are not allowed to buy a ticket, Judge Thomas’s wife has a political action committee. Former Monsanto employee Thomas has ruled on Monsanto issues, while he and Scalia have very publicly been linked to Tea Party events and activities. The list goes on.
We shall see what Attorney General Eric Holder (and his boss, Obama) have to say. There is clearly enough information to rightly call for an investigation; a refusal to do so will raise suspicions of the Justice Department themselves.
- Are Supreme Court Justices Scalia and Thomas Above the Law? (humanrights.change.org)
- Clarence Thomas Fails to Disclose Citizens United In-Kind Contributions (crooksandliars.com)
- Judge H. Lee Sarokin: Justice Thomas: Silent and Conflicted (huffingtonpost.com)
- Robber baron justice in the 21st century (salon.com)