Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Judicial Tyranny – An Example Part I

Without question, the essence of judicial behavior is the absence of decisions based upon whim or caprice. Instead, our Rule of Law, as John Roberts, seeking confirmation as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee requires that judges are: “bound down by rules and precedents.” He continued stating that: “the founders appreciated the role of precedent in promoting evenhandedness, predictability, stability and integrity in the judicial process.”

Recently, in the case of Alvarez v. Smith, 120809 FEDSC, 08-351, the Supreme Court was faced with a challenge to the practice of the State of Illinois in seizing automobiles allegedly involved in drug transactions but waiting for up to forty (40) months before providing a hearing to the owners of the seized automobiles on the merits of the seizures. At oral argument, the Supreme Court learned that all the automobiles had been returned to the owners prior to the oral argument.

As a result, the Supreme Court held: “We consequently find the case moot, and we therefore vacate the judgment of the Court of Appeals and remand the case to that court with instructions to dismiss.”

But wait: Remember the notorious case of Roe v. Wade, 10 U.S. 113 (1973). In that case, Ms. Roe was no longer pregnant when her case reached the Supreme Court. However, as the Supremes apparently wanted to decide this case for political reasons held: “But when, as here, pregnancy is a significant fact in the litigation, the normal 266-day human gestation period is so short that the pregnancy will come to term before the usual appellate process is complete. If that termination makes a case moot, pregnancy litigation seldom will survive much beyond the trial stage, and appellate review will be effectively denied. Our law should not be that rigid. Pregnancy often comes more than once to the same woman, and in the general population, if man is to survive, it will always be with us. Pregnancy provides a classic justification for a conclusion of nonmootness. It truly could be "capable of repetition, yet evading review.”

The same rationale could have been applied by the Supreme Court to the odious practice of the State of Illinois in seizing automobiles for over three (3) years without a hearing. Yet, not “bound down by rules and precedents”, the Court could ignore this glaring miscarriage of justice.

Proof yet again, I submit, they we are ruled by Judicial Tyrants, not judges.


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