In what hope will be the last chapter in a long-running saga up in Shasta County, Diane Eisenberg of the Attorney Generals’ office penned an opinion (link) in the Quo Warranto action of one Charles Wagner representing the people of the state of California vs. Judge Jack Halpin.
If anything is perfectly clear about this opinion, what’s perfectly clear to us is that the other two branches of government must put a bit of legislative structure and legislative intent around the assigned judges program. Left to their own devices, even the current Chief Justice and the current AOC see no issue with 208 consecutive appointments over a 20 year period thus denying the electorate the ability to select their own judges via democratic process. Not even the governor can appoint a judge to the bench for twenty years but let’s not forget that the AOC executive management is above, has more power than and is better paid than the governor and doesn’t hesitate to flex that political muscle – even in the halls of the Attorney Generals’ office.
The real reason for this post (see, we can spin just as transparently as the Ministry of Truth and Enlightenment can…) is that we wish to apologize to the Judicial Watch organization on Jack Halpin’s behalf. We think poor old confused jack mistakenly confused the judicial watch organization with us.
Our reasoning behind this belief is because judicial watch doesn’t appear to maintain a blog.Correction: They do maintain a blog but it has no mention of Jack Halpin.
“In an email to the MetNews Friday, Halpin said he believed the order “was motivated by a desire on the part of the AOC to avoid dealing with the merits of the quo warranto proceeding at my expense.”
He provided a copy of a memo he sent to Shasta judges at the time, in which he said he had been “unfairly treated by the AOC,” and that “[the] AOC and the Chief Justice have failed to support me in the face of vicious attacks by individuals and entities who have utter contempt for the judiciary,” including “the blogs of Judicial Watch, Barbara Kauffman, and others.”
Kauffman is a Mt. Shasta attorney who represented Wagner in the application for quo warranto.
Kauffman told the MetNews that Halpin, who is in his late 80s, was viewed by many parents who had custody cases in front of him as unfit for the bench. She said she did not know whether she would take the type of legal action suggested in the opinion.”
One would think a judge would be able to discern who was discrediting him before he accused an un-involved party of doing so…and where does “utter contempt for the judiciary” come from?
And the legal action? Sue the AOC and the Chief Justice? Can you say “lead balloon”? Sure it would be embarrassing for these parties to be accused of usurping the constitution but the cause of action would be moot because Halpin isn’t serving anymore.
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This is a must-see series for all employees of all three branches of government.