"Whoever denies authority and fights against it is an anarchist," said Sébastien Faure.

Well, regarding judicial elections in Florida, there is no higher authority than the Florida Constitution.  The Constitution, of course, provides for fair and open elections of county and circuit court judges.  The people ultimately decide who judges them, not a governor.

Yet, for at least the last thirty years, those in positions of power over the justice system of Broward County have actively pursued a course of action that discouraged and stifled contested judicial, state attorney, and public defender elections.  Whether by tacit threat of professional or financial ruin, or by more subtle social means, Broward attorneys were conditioned to believe that if they chose to exercise a constitutional right, they did so at their own peril.  The proof is in the numbers: until the last election cycle, the number of times a sitting judge, state attorney, or public defender faced opposition during the previous thirty years can be counted on a couple more fingers than the five found on a single hand.

The sacred authority of the Florida Constitution has been circumvented for far too long.  Anarchy is no longer being tolerated.  The rash of filings this election cycle bears witness.  People have had enough, and American, democratic values are being injected back into the system.

That being said, all is not well in Satzland.  Good judges who have the strength of moral character to stand up to the egregious antics of the SAO, those who truly believe in their mission and the sacred impartial role they swore to uphold, are drawing opponents from, of all places, the community of defense lawyers.  The majority of them are Crist appointees, who, as a group, are more moderate, intelligent, and even tempered than the product delivered by previous JNC's, whether Republican or Democrat. 

Other judges, who have been around longer, have thus far escaped challenges.  The same judges who elected Chief Judge Dale Ross year after year, who chuckled and turned a blind eye to the now well publicized ethics busting antics of their colleagues, who gave Satz the endless book of blank checks he's been cashing since 1976, are getting away scot free.  They have made Broward County into the laughing stock of the State, while the new judges, who are not as entrenched or may not have voter friendly Jewish names, are paying for the old guard's sins.

Of course, judges should face the voters after being appointed.  If the current trend had always been the case, Broward wouldn't be the judicial backwater it is now.  The JNC process, particularly under the post Jeb Bush rules, is a complete farce, where partisanship, nepotism, religion, influence peddling and political back scratching long ago smashed whatever vestiges of a meritocracy remained (if there ever was one).  It's a wonder we have any good judges at all, and it's no surprise that Broward still has only four appointed African-American judges (out of a total of ninety).  Short of a complete revamping of the JNC process, however, whereby attorneys must attain certain levels of experience, attend rigorous training academies, and pass competency tests covering the breadth of the law, nothing will ever change.  

Everyone in possession of an ounce of vision knew the day would come when, as in Miami, judges would routinely face opposition.  Our proximity to Miami, and the loss of the judge's bottomless slush buckets of SPD money, made it a certainty.  Judge Richards' stunning underdog victory, coupled with the pent up frustration and rage over the routine sadistic treatment of the poorest and weakest segments of our community, made it all happen with breathtaking speed. 

The defense community is rapidly adjusting to the new paradigm.  Lawyers and clients alike are being treated with respect in the courtrooms, and the SAO is starting to be questioned on its insane, selectively enforced drug policy.  Yet, as previously stated, members of the defense community are actively challenging some of the very judges who are forcing the long overdue changes, while the old guard judges who created the mess are merely nervous.  The credibility of the movement to destroy anarchy and restore order in Broward Courts is being undermined for this reason.

Chances are good that additional candidates will surface, while others will switch races or drop out before April 30th.  The more candidates running will mean that money and advertising will play less of a role in all the races, since voters will be overwhelmed by all the names.  Contributions for incumbents will be stretched thinner and thinner with every new filing too.  Ultimately, some incumbents will win, and some will lose.  It will, however, be a shame if a new breed of judges pay the price, while the old guard judges once again get a free pass. 

Anarchy must be completely eradicated from Broward Courts once and for all.  Old judges must be run against too.  It's the only way, and it's only fair.

Anybody seen the line in the sand? - more than thirty days have elapsed since Chief Judge Tobin promised an administrative order banning the parade of shackled juveniles in the Broward courthouse.  Was his promise simply a puff of new courthouse hot air, or will he stick to his self-imposed deadline of "thirty to sixty days"?  And what about the adult offenders he promised to free as well?  When will that happen?  And what about the two terms limit he placed upon his Chief Judgeship, when running against Judge Lynch?  Has that changed now that the County Commission has approved plans for a new courthouse?  ...

Fool me three times? - did Commissioner Ritter really post a comment (@ 12:40 PM) about the new courthouse on JAABLOG, or is it the work of an imposter?  We called her office late Tuesday afternoon to 1) confirm her alleged authorship, and 2) to hopefully schedule an appointment, pursuant to the free coffee and bagels offer.  We'll let you know what's what if they return the call ...

Sentinel: School Board weighs layoffs, furloughs, fewer electives (but $328 mil for courthouse)

Pulp: The Lieberman Letter

Bulldog: No longer good enough to be a police officer, but fine to be a lawyer

Bo Hitchcock and production crew Tuesday -
You'd grin too if HBO was making a movie about your indomitable spirit!

also, don't forget:

Bo Hitchcock is unveiling his two new bronze sculptures on Valentine's Day:
One of Playboy model Joy Berman, titled "The Winged Joy"
One of Playboy model Heather Christensen, titled "Heather"
Sunshine Mimosas, Croissants, Bagels, and Fresh Fruit will be served
Informal gathering, casual attire, no children please

Sunday, February 14, 2010
11:00 am - 1:00 pm
The Jib Room (954) 564-3581
2104 East Oakland Park Boulevard
Fort Lauderdale, FL


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  • 2/10/2010 8:16 AM first wrote:
    sweet victory - 1st again!!!!
  • 2/10/2010 8:44 AM Anonymous wrote:
    Bill so naive. I actually think you believe what you write, sadly those who you think are a party to a revolution do not.

    Lets look at Kevin and his stable of candidates. It is a known fact that once Kevin thought he got Bober elected he would become "in house' co-counsel to the defense lawyers in Bernie's courtroom. Luckily Bernie saw it for what it was and bounced him on his a$$. Kevin and Seidman despite you having your head in the sand, its appears that those who give $ to Seidman get preferred treatment. Is that really change Bill?. Kevin is doing this to scare Judges into ruling the way he wants so he can make money. Remember, ask Kevin, Brad, Tom, Heidi etc where their outward outrage at the horrible Broward Justice system when all of them and more were making money from the SPD system. No Bill this is not about democracy its just an attempt to create a new Courthouse power/corruption group.

    Then we have Help Me Howard,again another simple political power grab. He has a bunch of Supervisors he cant fire making around 100k a year so he moves the one with Jewish names to the bench. Clears the decks for promotion of supervisors who make less money and has extra money around for a tight budget. If his supervisors get in he has a block of votes in the next Chief Judge election. Actually this is a brilliant strategy to attain and spread his power. Again though, its not about the virtue of anarchy its simply about power.

    You can hide it in terms of democracy or anarchy Bill, but its simply the politics of power and money. The root of all evil and the heart of ultimate corruption
  • 2/10/2010 9:17 AM Anonymous wrote:
    yeehaw burn it down i hate pinko anarchists too
  • 2/10/2010 9:29 AM good players wrote:
    I see it a bit differently. You can accuse Finkelstein, Kulik and the rest of anything you want because they want to see a change in the pay for play attitude of Broward's Judicial and Political scene, but the fact is that they've done more to clean up the rotten core of judicial politics in Broward than anyone.

    The fact they have the character, conviction and strength to do what is right for the citizens of Broward County should be applauded and respected except perhaps from those that are on the losing end of a system of corruption that has brought us to this point.

    The SA's office has done little to stem public corruption in public officials of this county, but that is changing as well due to the efforts of a group of people that you want to malign for having had to take matters into their own hands to clean up Broward County.

    Remember, the FBI isn't here by invitation. The actions of the few over many years have caused this judicial revolution and most of the perpetrators wear robes of justice and have pontificated for only themselves from the bench.

    The JNC and the JQC have remained mired in political mud and done nothing as well to insure integrity within this system of mutual corruption.

    So before you continue to malign Mr. Finkelstein and Mr. Kulik and the rest, remember that a bad apple rots from the inside out.

    And Broward County as we continue to see is about as rotten as it gets.
  • 2/10/2010 9:33 AM Anonymous wrote:
    This post should be called Run against Trachman and Dishowitz. What other old timer after them and Skolnik is up now?
  • 2/10/2010 9:51 AM 2012 wrote:
    Gadiner, Dale and Satz are running in 2012. Cool your jets until the main event.
  • 2/10/2010 9:55 AM Anonymous wrote:
    I've decided to file. You are right. Why should judges sit as lifetime appointees. I have just as much right to run as anyone and I'm convinced I'd do a much better job from what I've experienced.
  • 2/10/2010 10:01 AM judicial term limits wrote:
    I know this wouldn't be popular, but I think there should be term limits for judges. It you limited judicial terms to 2 terms, think how much money it would save the State of Florida and how it would improve the quality and demeanor of the judges.
  • 2/10/2010 10:05 AM Anonymous wrote:
    Did other judges know about Gardiner and her peccadillos?

    I think they did.

    No one ever filed a complaint. They ignored their oaths and obligations.

    Every judge should be run out of town. New ones elected by the people should replace him.

    A new courthouse staffed by new judges is the answer.
  • 2/10/2010 10:06 AM countdown wrote:
    What the Broward Board of Commissioners have done to circumvent the referendum voted on by the voters of Broward concerning the building of a new courthouse should be throughly investigated. I'm convinced with what is already known of what's been going on with several Broward Commissioners that if you traced the money and gifts that they've received it would lead to several more busts.
  • 2/10/2010 10:48 AM Lieberman's lie wrote:
    Leiberman should be thrown out on her ass along with her cat. I've never heard a bigger bunch of crap.
    There's nothing wrong with our courthouse that a few cost saving efforts couldn't fix easily.
    It may, in the view of some, need a facelift, but the idea of spending over 320 million dollars in tax payers money for a new courthouse because she has some property downtown is as asinine as it is crooked, and so is her explanation as to why the county commission has ignored the will of "we the people" who will be taxed to pay for it so a few judges can feel more important about themselves and others can reap the benefit of increasing their property values.

    This is totally outrageous behavior on behalf of a few people who will profit from this.
    How does someone file for an injunction to stop this?

    If there's a problem with the air conditioning system or the elevators, it would be more advisable, not to mention less expensive, to replace it rather than to think the citizens of Broward are stupid enough to think that she is not placing her interests above those whom she is supposed to be representing.

    As far as her feeble excuses as to why we need a new courthouse and the mention of a suit having been filed on behalf of "several people" having experienced health related problems because of the old courthouse: This is Broward County and those that stand in some way to profit from the building of a new courthouse would not shrink away from filing a bogus suit to support them in their goals of getting what they want.

    As a voter I can tell you that I'm am outraged by the obvious lies of Commissioner Lieberman and her equally guilty cohorts on the Broward COunty Commission.
  • 2/10/2010 11:04 AM Anonymous wrote:
    Did you read the article in the Pulp? Leiberman is pretty lame. They think they can get away with anything untill they're caught.
  • 2/10/2010 11:33 AM Anonymous wrote:
    Wake up. The idea of taxing Broward for a New Courthouse is about as dumb as the excuses that are being used to push it.
  • 2/10/2010 11:35 AM Anonymous wrote:
    someone needs to run against levenson. asap!
  • 2/10/2010 12:06 PM Anonymous wrote:
    I think each candidate should be required to disclose their last 3 years tax returns. Its time to see if people are filing because they cant maintain their own law practices.
  • 2/10/2010 12:32 PM Tax Returns - what a joke wrote:
    I'm sure that 90% of these losers aren't coming close to what a judge makes. We've got sole practicioners who are off the SPD gravy train and a real estate lawyer who probably hasn't had a closing in 6 months.
  • 2/10/2010 1:01 PM Anonymous wrote:
    In a democracy people should be aware of the candidates running and thier motives. Its about the money and insurance then the people should decide if that is a good enough reason to replace a Judge.
  • 2/10/2010 1:12 PM Anonymous wrote:
    I hear the SPD slop is still pretty good in probate. The scam is suposedly still alive and well over there.
  • 2/10/2010 1:15 PM Jenne wrote:
    With the corruption in this town simply being an incumbent is reason enough to replace a judge.
  • 2/10/2010 1:46 PM Anonymous wrote:
    Thanks Sheila Alu.
  • 2/10/2010 1:50 PM Anonymous wrote:
    Is McCarthy getting an opponent? She's got a lot issues, starting with her Rothstein ties.
  • 2/10/2010 1:51 PM Anonymous wrote:
    Broward gives a whole new meaning to the word corruption. All you have to do appearently is occupy public office and the fix is on.
  • 2/10/2010 2:15 PM Anonymous wrote:
    Mccarthy is married to a judge so she gets appointed. Way to go Charlie.
  • 2/10/2010 2:18 PM Looking forward wrote:
    To seeing the Laura Seidman tax returns.
  • 2/10/2010 8:50 PM whose call wrote:
    Wonder what Charlie is gonna be doing after he loses the senate race. Wonder what all his judicial appointees are gonna do after they have to go through a campaign or two. Things aren't looking very good after two prominent republicans got caught with their hands in the till. If I had to predict the outcome, I'd say its gonna be a bad day for Republicans soon.
  • 2/10/2010 8:57 PM Anonymous wrote:
    "The sacred authority of the Florida Constitution..."

    "The JNC process, particularly under the post Jeb Bush rules, is a complete farce..."

    These two statements are mutually exclusive. What exactly is so "sacred" about the state constitution, which until recently was the most easily-amended in the country, and still contains provisions relating to pregnant pigs among other absurdities?
  • 2/10/2010 10:10 PM Anonymous wrote:
    Yes the constitution who has a provision to protect pigs, quite sacred
  • 2/11/2010 1:59 PM Jack Thompson wrote:
    Speaking of tyranny:
    John B. Thompson, J.D.
    5721 Riviera Drive
    Coral Gables, Florida 33146
    February 11, 2010
    Chief Justice Peggy Quince and All Associate Justices c/o Chief Justice Quince
    Florida Supreme Court
    500 South Duval Street
    Tallahassee, Florida Via Certified Mail to Chief Justice Quince
    Dear Chief Justices and Associate Justices:
    On March 15, 2010, I shall refer to myself in all of my correspondence and in all other ways and in all settings, including on my letterhead, in my media interviews, etc., as “John B. (Jack) Thompson, Attorney.”  Why?  Because that is what I have been, am now, and will be until the day I die.
    My research indicates that the disbarment of an attorney, whether it was legal or not (in my instance it was not, which is being addressed before other tribunals), does not and cannot terminate his/her  status as an “attorney.”  Indeed, the very use of the term “disbarred attorney” is, by any etymological analysis, proof that a disbarred attorney is still an attorney.  Putting another way so that even The Bar’s Ken Marvin can understand it (Ken, etymology is the study of language):  an adjective, used to modify a noun, does not obliterate the noun.   Or, so that even the Family Law Section of The Bar can understand it:  A foster (adjective) child (noun) is still a child.
    Indeed, a recent action by the federal court itself in the Southern District of Florida pertaining to me affirms and proves that I am still an “attorney.”  Thank you, Judge Moreno.
    This is not a minor matter that I raise.  Inherent within this notice is a First Amendment issue, more specifically:  Whether a court can criminalize truthful speech.  I am giving you notice of what I intend, rightly, to do.  Given your nature, I am giving you a thirty-day opportunity to stop me from doing this or threaten me with repercussions if I do.  If you remain silent, then you will have missed your chance to step in it one more time.  Speak now or forever hold your peace.  You have one month.
    Regards, Jack Thompson
    Copies  Ken Marvin, Jesse Diner, and Mayanne Downs, All at The Bar

    Jack Thompson, J.D.
    5721 Riviera Drive
    Coral Gables, Florida 33146
    305-666-4366, cell 305-588-3005
    "An error does not become truth by reason of multiplied propagation, nor does truth become error because nobody will see it." -- Mahatma Gandhi
  • 2/12/2010 7:18 AM DALE IN BBQ LAND wrote:
    Ross and Co. pushed the envelope so far that the repercussions of his daughter being blatantly appointed over those with much greater experience as well as the judicial intimidation and control methods used over the years to keep those interested in becoming judges from running against incumbent judges has now swung to the other end of the spectrum with a vengeance that it will claim many of the good judges as political victims and leave us with nothing but political opportunists who are even less talented than the poor ones we won't even remember very soon.

    Ross and his slimy extra judicial antics are more to blame for this influx of judge wannabes than it appears at first notice.

    Thanks for all the memories, Dale.

    You're a real piece of work that will be remembered long after you're gone to BBQ Land.
  • 2/13/2010 2:50 PM Anonymous wrote:
    I don't think this rash of judicial opponents are going away anytime soon. It will probably take BBQ Ross to retire to bring some satisfaction to the equation.

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