Tuesday, June 30, 2009


From Politico.com



This morning we learned the DA allowed for another corrupt public official to walk. If you get deferred adjudication for misappropriation of $280,000.00, what will you get for only misappropriating $26,000.00? Probably a county holiday named after you. The Cameron County Commissioners Court need to demand the resignation of DA Villalobos or risk the county having the reputation of crime pays.


Had the Republican Party with Bush II’s support tried to place his name on the ballot for a 3rd term, and intended to move forward with the illegal conduct after the Supreme Court said no and then Bush II ordered the removal of the head of the military for refusing to aid in the illegal conduct, the American people and the press would have been up in arms demanding the immediate removal of Bush II.

My question is, why is it different because we are dealing with Honduras? Had the military kept power, I might understand the complaint. They did not. They immediately acted to insure a civilian government was kept in place as provided for by the Honduran constitution. Elections as originally planned will go forward in November.

In fact in defense of the military, when the president asked for their help to move forward with a referendum which the Supreme Court found to be unconstitutional, the military refused. They upheld the order of the Honduran Supreme Court. So what has gone wrong? The military upheld the rule of law. Had we had the same facts here in the US under Bush II, what would we expect our law enforcement to do? Nothing?

What happed in Honduras was the rule of law being upheld. The US should stay of this or chance sending a message when Latin American leaders seek to ignore their own constitution we will support their actions against those who seek to uphold the rule of law.

Monday, June 29, 2009


Robert Sanchez’s attorney in my defamation case has attempted influence peddling with the judge by doing business with the judge while the case is pending. This in my view was a constructive bribe. It is particularly disturbing when the attorney at mediation intimates he controls the judge by doing business with the judge while the case is pending.

This morning, I am faxing a formal criminal complaint to FBI Director Robert S. Mueller. My contacts have provided me the fax number directly to his office. I am formally asking that a public corruption investigation be opened against Robert Sanchez, his attorney Monte English, Don Wittig and his mediation firm, Salzman and Wittig, James Hunter (counsel for Captain Bob’s Restaurant, his law firm of Royston Razor, Peter Zavaletta, Jerry McHale, Travelers Insurance, and Catlin Insurance.

There is a gag order in this case. What the readers do not know, because Jerry McHale is incapable of telling the truth, he along with Sanchez requested the gag order, not me. They needed to shut Jerry up so Zavaletta and Sanchez’s attorneys requested a gag order. The Texas Supreme Court on May 1, 2009, immediately took my emergency appeal on the issue. Because I have won on this issue before I know I will win now. Other than the fact the gag order is not equally enforceable against all of the parties, Jerry’s own rants about its vagueness provided me my best evidence as to why it is too vague to be enforceable. They have also taken the issue related to the influence peddling regarding Judge Don Wittig.

I have to limit this post to legitimate issues of public corruption related to the Cameron County judiciary and this case. I will also limit the post to issues related to the FBI complaint, and the federal lawsuit which is about to be filed in Washington DC. I will not discuss the merits of the underlying defamation lawsuit.

Because I will be accused on pursing this for money, let me be clear - if James Hunter is to be believed, Robert Sanchez is effectively bankrupt and his law firm is representing him pro bono. Every lawyer I discussed this with agrees, the law firm of Royston Rayzor would never allow Mr. Hunter to represent Robert Sanchez pro bono. The insurance money would come from Travelers. If the FBI agrees to open an investigate and seeks to prosecute wrongdoers, Travelers could potentially cancel the policy claiming Sanchez’s conducted so compromised his defense that Travelers is no longer liable for the judgment. If this were to happen, and Sanchez is in fact bankrupt, then I would get zero. My point is, it is not in my financial interest to pursue the criminal complaint against Sanchez.

Further, if the insurance carriers for all of the parties were to find the federal lawsuit is the result of criminal influence peddling, there would be no coverage. I can assure you, every lawyer in this case knows how to move and hide assets. With no insurance coverage it would become virtually impossible for me to collect a penny.

The same goes for Jerry McHale, after Zavaletta let slip he was representing Jerry pro bono, because Jerry is also pennyless. Zavaletta thereafter made clear he would have his client testify otherwise in court. Here is the problem - an issue before the Texas Supreme Court is whether or not Zavaletta should be held in contempt of court for lying to the court, among other things.

Immediately after Zavaletta secured the gag order for his client, without so much as a properly filed motion filed with the court, Jerry went on line and repeatedly violated it. I moved for contempt for not only violating the gag order but for violating the rules of court. Canon 3b(7) of the Rules of Judicial Conduct. The dishonorable Alejandro recused himself from the case rather than enforce the gag order and the Canon’s of Judicial Conduct. The Commission on Judicial Conduct will decide Alejandro’s fate.

In response to my Motion for contempt Zavaletta signed a pleading with the following statement. " "Plaintiff’s motion is not only moot, as filed in violation of this Court’s order staying this litigation, it is baseless, groundless and offensive." Regarding whether or not the gag order would be enforceable pending the abatement of the case, the following is from the hearing: WIGHTMAN-CERVANTES: "and this will be enforceable independent of the stay, correct?"
THE COURT: "yea, it’s a separate ..." Court Transcript p 56 lns, 20-21 Zavaletta knew the gag order would be enforceable, but nonetheless chose to lie to he court by claiming it was not enforceable during the abatement.

At this point Zavaletta has no credibility before the court. Once a lawyer lies to the court, everything he does for his client becomes a potential lie. The one hearing before Judge Wittig was so bad for Zavaletta that Judge Wittig had to threaten him with contempt to force him to stop lying and engaging in unethical conduct. In one case even after irrefutable evidence showed he was lying to the court, he pursued the argument. The problem with Zavaletta is, he does not know he is lying. He has no concept of a lie. That brain function does not exist. For the record it is a legitimate biologically based disease. Zavaletta’s credibility was destroyed at the hearing when Judge Wittig and I noticed that in an unprecedented act of contempt for Zavaletta Sanchez’s attorneys refused to sit next to him. In a courtroom you have a plaintiff’s side and defendants side. The plaintiff’s side is the side closest to the jury box. Sanchez’s attorneys sat next to me on the plaintiff’s side leaving Zavaletta to sit alone.

The foregoing was needed to understand the corruption is coming from all the defense counsel.
Judge Don Wittig has become constitutionally disqualified because of undue influence via payments to Judge Wittig’s mediation firm by Sanchez’s attorney Monte English. A full and complete investigation of this matter could potentially open up hundreds of cases for review.

You see any orders signed by a judge once he becomes constitutionally disqualified are a legal nullity - they do not exist. Peter Zavaletta being who he is, once I made know to everyone I discovered this little con job of influence peddling, and Judge Wittig became constitutionally disqualified, ran to Judge Wittig demanding he sign orders immediately dismissing McHale, effectively in retaliation for my disclosure of this con job. If there was any doubt that McHale was party to this potential criminal conduct, he lost that defense the second Zavaletta demanded a constitutionally disqualified judge sign orders in favor of McHale.

For reasons unknown, Texas may allow visiting judges to be visiting judges while also functioning as a mediator. The problem is, at least in the case of Judge Wittig, he has set up no safeguards to insure that while acting as a judge in a case the very attorneys appearing before him are not offering to do business with his mediation firm. On the part of the attorneys this is a black and white constructive bribe and fraud on the court.

The Canons are clear on this issue. Texas Canon 4b[1] provides:

"(1) A judge shall refrain from financial and business dealings that tend to reflect adversely on the judge's impartiality, interfere with the proper performance of the judicial duties, exploit his or her judicial position, or involve the judge in frequent transactions with lawyers or persons likely to come before the court on which the judge serves. This limitation does not prohibit either a judge or candidate from soliciting funds for appropriate campaign or officeholder expenses as permitted by state law." emphasis added.

The Canon 4b[1] expressly bars Judge Wittig from doing mediation with any attorney - period - who may appear before him. What is worse in this case, while the case was active, his mediation firm of Salzman & Wittig chose to do business with the lawyer, Monte English, who is representing Sanchez in the underlying case. Monte English intimated to me he had Judge Wittig’s favor because he was doing business with him.

His client Robert Sanchez was offered an opportunity to distance himself from this matter, by and through his attorney James Hunter. Mr. Hunter indicated Mr. Sanchez is opposed to the court issuing Death Penalty Sanctions or sanctions against Mr. English. Commonsense would tell us, Mr. Sanchez would immediately fire Mr. English to protect himself, but he has not. He has made his bed and now must face the consequences.

Mr. English will claim he did business with the Judge Wittig’s partner and not the judge. The Texas Supreme Court has found a trial judge is constitutionally disqualified for the acts of his former law partner.

‘Rule 18b(1)(a) accordingly recognizes that a judge is vicariously disqualified under the Constitution as having "been counsel in the case" if a lawyer with whom the judge previously practiced law served as counsel to a party concerning the matter during their association. This conclusion is consistent with our holding in National Medical Enterprises, Inc. v. Godbey, that "[an] attorney's knowledge is imputed by law to every other attorney in the firm."

Tesco American v. Strong Industries, 221 S.W.3rd 550, 553 (Tex. 2006)

The case at bar is even more egregious because we are not dealing with a former law partner, but a current ongoing partnerhip wherein they are in business together.

Under the Fourteenth Amendment Due Process Clause, constitutional disqualification is broader than under the Texas Constitution, so it would seem. "The Tumey Court concluded that the Due Process Clause incorporated the common-law rule that a judge must recuse himself when he has "a direct, personal, substantial, pecuniary interest" in a case." Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal, United States Supreme Court, June 8, 2009, Slip Opinion @ 6 The Supreme Court has gone further and made even a very indirect pecuniary interest a basis for constitutional disqualification.

The Court held that the Due Process Clause required disqualification "both because of [the mayor-judge’s] direct pecuniary interest in the outcome, and because of his official motive to convict and to graduate the fine to help the financial needs of the village." Id., at 535. It so held despite observing that "[t]here are doubtless mayors who would not allow such a consideration as $12 costs in each case to affect their judgment in it." Id., at 532. The Court articulated the controlling principle:

"Every procedure which would offer a possible temptation to the average man as a judge to forget the burden of proof required to convict the defendant, or which might lead him not to hold the balance nice, clear and true between the State and the accused, denies the latter due process of law." Ibid.

Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal @ 7

Key language in the Caperton decision is "and because of his official motive to convict and to graduate the fine to help the financial needs of the village." This affirms even an indirect pecuniary interest mandates constitutional disqualification. Monte English as the attorney for Robert Sanchez knew he was doing business with Don Wittig’s mediation firm at the same time Judge Don Wittig was presiding over the case at bar. Even if Don Wittig will not receive a penny of the money earned by his partner, the money is still used to maintain the office of Don Wittig’s mediation firm. The intent was clear - influence the court. The message was clear - do the right thing if you want business from Monte English and Travelers insurance. This is a black and white fraud on the court.


Whenever any officer of the court commits fraud during a proceeding in the court, he/she is engaged in "fraud upon the court". In Bulloch v. United States, 763 F.2d 1115, 1121 (10th Cir. 1985), the court stated "Fraud upon the court is fraud which is directed to the judicial machinery itself and is not fraud between the parties or fraudulent documents, false statements or perjury. ... It is where the court or a member is corrupted or influenced or influence is attempted or where the judge has not performed his judicial function --- thus where the impartial functions of the court have been directly corrupted."

"Fraud upon the court" has been defined by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals to "embrace that species of fraud which does, or attempts to, defile the court itself, or is a fraud perpetrated by officers of the court so that the judicial machinery can not perform in the usual manner its impartial task of adjudging cases that are presented for adjudication." Kenner v. C.I.R., 387 F.3d 689 (1968); 7 Moore's Federal Practice, 2d ed., p. 512, ¶ 60.23. The 7th Circuit further stated "a decision produced by fraud upon the court is not in essence a decision at all, and never becomes final."

Mr. English certainly knew that any financial benefit to Don Wittig’s mediation firm would benefit Judge Don Wittig, even if nothing more than helping to pay the rent and for staff. He nonetheless pursued doing business with Don Wittig’s mediation firm at the same time Don Wittig was sitting as a judge in the case at bar. This is the one case about which I have knowledge. The question is, how many other cases have been mediated at Don Wittig’s mediation firm since his assignment as a visiting judge which involve the attorneys herein and or Travelers insurance?

In how many cases over the years has Don Wittig accepted money from attorneys while acting as a mediator at the same time these same lawyers are before him as a visiting judge. Every order in every case is a legal nullity. I can assure everyone, if Salzman and Wittig have EO insurance the carrier will deny coverage under these facts. Their respective conduct has destroyed the integrity of the courts. There is no doubt in my mind the Commission on Judicial Conduct will hit Don Wittig hard for his actions. As to Salzman, I am waiting on the Texas Supreme Court to rule. Their ruling will force the State Bar to take action against Salzman and Wittig.

Because I know attorneys are basically cowards, and are not advocates for their clients, but for their own wallet, local attorneys will not seek to investigate other claims of Judge Wittig signing orders once he was constitutionally disqualified. In each of these cases their clients would be entitled to a new hearing. They would also be entitled to sue Salzman and Wittig. The lawyers will not because they know at least half of the local judges, and the Corpus Christi Court of Appeals will retaliate. So in the end their clients will remain without justice.

If Jerry McHale gave a damn about judicial corruption he would run with this story, but true to form he is part of the corruption and will seek to silence the story. Too late I am putting the story before all major newspapers and every judicial watch organization I can identify. We shall see what the FBI does with the information. Any attempt to silence me while I have an FBI complaint pending would make Sanchez and his lawyers morons. It will only dig their hole deeper.

We all know DA Villalobos will do nothing and seek to cover it up. DA Villalobos is disqualified in my opinion from investigating this matter because if Judge Wittig acted as a visiting judge in a criminal case, and the defense attorney had done business with Wittig’s mediation firm the conviction could be void. Every defense attorney in this town who may have had a criminal case before Judge Wittig needs to file the proper motions to seek the voiding of their client’s criminal conviction. Oh, they can’t because they may have been the wrongdoer. This means independent attorneys from outside of Cameron County need to come into the county and research each and every case wherein Judge Wittig sat in a criminal case and then seek to have the conviction voided if the defense attorney or their lawfirm have done business with Salzman and Wittig.

In my federal lawsuit being filed in Washington, I will be asking the federal court to void every order issued by Judge Wittig in every case wherein he was doing business as a mediator and visiting judge at the same time. No, there is no money to be made here. His insurance carrier will deny coverage, and if too many people sue, Salzman and Wittig will file for bankruptcy.

I have never suggested politics is anything but dirty. But to understand just how dirty and corrupt politics has become one must look no further than Jerry McHale and his entourage of syphilis brain infected associates. One can certainly suggest based on experience Jerry McHale’s views of Soloman Ortiz changed the day Congressman Ortiz stopped paying him.

https://www.opensecrets.org/politicians/expendetail.php?cid=N00005998&cycle=2006&name=Jerry McHale

It is hard for me to stomach the rants of people who live on public corruption and then seek to discredit those who do not worship their dishonest and misleading rants. Any blogger unwilling to publicly denounce the actions of Sanchez and his attorneys is certainly nothing more than a hand puppet mouthing the words fed to them from the most corrupt among us - hence Jerry Mchale.


This morning the United States Supreme Court reversed a Per Curium opinion wherein Sonia Sotomayor joined 2 other Court of Appeals judges finding a firefighters' examine violated the rights of minority firefighters. My issue in this case was and remains, if the test relates to the job requirements of the firefighters, this is not the profession wherein we lower the standards.

I noted this was a Per Curium decision. This means no judge signed the opinion. It is considered the opinion of the court, meaning the three member panel.


This weekend the Herald published a blind oped from one of its sister newspapers owned by Freedom Newspapers. The oped was the typical disinformation we can expect from Freedom newspapers. The oped addressed the strip search case I discussed last week.

Contrary to their oped, the subject medicine is not something you find in just about every one's medicine cabinet. It was a prescription medicine, not over the counter - as claimed by Freedom newspapers.

Further, to somehow link the war on drugs, which I agree is a waste of time and money, to drug policies in our schools is outrageous. For me this crossed the line of commonsense.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

"No Country for Old Men" is one of those films you can watch over and over again and never grow tired of it. I saw this film when it first came out and swore first chance I had to buy the DVD I would. Target has it on sale for $10.00.
I was not disappointed last night watching this film again. It certainly made up for the fact that there was nothing new at the theaters worth my investment. One thing I like about this film is you can watch it just as an interesting film with a psychopathic killer, or you can take the time to listen to dialogue and consider the greater message. Life is not about chance which you might be able to control, it is about fate. Life is going to happen regardless of your own actions.
If you love west Texas and the life of west Texas you will love the towns and scenery in this film. A small town man stumbles upon some drug money. Through a series of mistakes the killer tracks him down. Again on the fate theme, sometimes life takes a turn in El Paso, which brings about an ending we did not expect.
I cannot imagine anyone being disappointed in this film, except children raised to be superior to others only to learn their learned low self-esteem makes them inferior to others in the eyes of the public.

Friday, June 26, 2009


Lawyer-businessman Tom Schieffer, former Bush crony, has announced his candidacy for Texas governor as a Democrat. One issue he is pushing is education. During my entire adult life every politician has pushed education and during my entire adult life things have only gotten worse. When you go to politician school the first thing they teach you is, grab their attention with education - it will always be a hot button issue.

Until Texas abolishes school boards and replace them with management from the regional offices nothing will change. It is funny, schools districts complain that under the Texas Constitution it is for the State to provide for a free education, but then complain they do not want the State involved in the day to day operations of the school district.

A big issue with all school districts is contracts. There is absolutely no reason why contract approval needs to be done at the local level - it should be done at the TEA regional level where there will be less of a chance for local influence peddling.

All over the country school districts have abandoned hiring state certified superintendents in favor of corporate officers. Texas needs to push this option. Superintendents should not be educators, they should be strict managers who know and understand when the specialist, assistant superintendent, is failing to perform it is time to move them out. The guy in charge needs to be a decision maker who understands their job is measuring performance, and not meddling in every decision of assistant superintendents.

So until I hear something which is meaningful reform from the mouths of politicians when it comes to education, I will consider their words as nothing more than empty promises to get our attention on a hot button issue.

Thursday, June 25, 2009




Here are some excerpts which probably mean nothing to the non-lawyer
"A number of our cases on probable cause have an implicit bearing on the reliable knowledge element of reasonable suspicion, as we have attempted to flesh out the knowledge component by looking to the degree to which known facts imply prohibited conduct"

"The lesser standard for school searches could as readily be described as a moderate chance of finding evidence of wrongdoing"

"The indignity of the search does not, of course, outlaw it, but it does implicate the rule of reasonableness as stated in T. L. O., that "the search as actually conducted [be] reasonably related in scope to the circumstances which justified the interference in the first place." 469 U. S., at 341 (internal quotation marks omitted). The scope will be permissible, that is, when it is "not excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and the nature ofthe infraction." Id., at 342 "

"In sum, what was missing from the suspected facts that pointed to Savana was any indication of danger to the students from the power of the drugs or their quantity, and any reason to suppose that Savana was carrying pills in her underwear. We think that the combination of these deficiencies was fatal to finding the search reasonable."

The issue in the case is, did the school violate the student’s rights, a 13 year old female, by doing a strip search on her looking for prescription ibuprofen? Everyone agrees they had probable cause to search her generally. This case is interesting to me because it shows that at times the Court must look to new realities when applying the constitution. I wonder what they would have done had it been a 13 year old boy who had his underwear searched?

Associate Justice Thomas in his dissent found the search of her bra and panties were reasonable. His biggest complaint is the majority created a vague standard for dealing with this issue. On this issue I agree with Thomas, but then how do you create a reasonable standards? I think for the Supreme Court this is going to be another "I’ll know it when I see it."

For me the problem may be how the search was done. I think it would have been better to detain the student in the nurse’s office and call the parent. A female nurse with parental oversight could have made the search less intrusive. Now if the parent wants to scream and yell and say no, then bring in another female and do the search.

Drugs are a real problem on our campuses. This may surprise people but I generally favor these searches under proper conditions - nurse’s office by a nurse of the same gender with a parent present or another person of the same gender who can be trusted to insure a proper search without being overly intrusive.

Base on a variety of things I know about BISD, this opinion does not bode well for BISD. The case I am working on wherein a special education teacher removed a student from the principal’s office and put him in Behavior Intervention is going to cost BISD. The student did nothing wrong. The principal was trying to contact a parent because the child was not feeling well. One thing led to another and the special education teacher accused the child of threatening him. Well you know what, you cannot illegally detain a child and then file criminal charges on them for defending himself.

I am sure BISD will hire the best lawyers the taxpayer money can and will buy rather than fire the teacher and clear the child’s name. You see when using taxpayer’s money there are no limits to how much you can spend to defend the indefensible.

"More than 50 doctors and health care executives have been indicted and dozens of them arrested by the FBI in a $50 million Medicare fraud case centered in Michigan, law enforcement officials said Wednesday."


President Obama went out his way to highlight the out of control cost of health care in McAllen. The medicare fraud in the LRGV is so bad doctors are now sending seniors for full body MRI’s without any indication of a need for same. I know of one senior who changed doctors because his doctor had him on multiple cholesterol medicines, unheard of, even though he was at best borderline. He had him on so much medicine the poor guy had to keep on going for blood tests to insure all of the unnecessary medicine was not damaging his liver. This means regular and needless doctor’s appointment. He is doing fine with his new doctor.

Medicaid is a major fraud issue in the LRGV. This policy some doctors and labs have of not sharing test results is total BS and needlessly costing the taxpayers money. The doctors know exactly what they are doing. If they all refuse to share with each other test results, then each of them get the financial benefit of redoing tests and setting up more needless appointments. This must stop. My friend who has gone through this with his son has finally found a lab and doctor who will share all information with the specialist in SA.

I have met kids on medicaid SCHIP insurance who have braces when they do not need them. Medicaid should not be paying for braces for cosmetic purposes. The taxpayer should only have to pay for braces based on medical necessity. There are a lot of middle class kids who need braces but whose parents cannot afford them. It is wrong these kids go without because their parents earn too much while every kid on medicaid in Brownsville gets braces whether they have a medical necessity or not. I hope the Obama Administration will look to the LRGV for the next set or prosecutions.

The doctors and dentists in the LRGV better start to rethink their business model of making money by defrauding the American taxpayer. I am certain the Justice Department can find at least 50 doctors and dentists in Cameron County to indict. Let’s hope these indictments come sooner than later.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


From CNN, Republican South Carolina Governor admits to cheating on wife -


This morning’s article denying knowledge that his second home in Austin was listed as a Homestead for him is simply beyond contempt for the people. This turkey claims to be a major player in Austin, and at a major law firm, but he does not know how to read his own tax bill. Only morons are buying his lies on this one. For Oliviera to tell such a bold face lie, he has to believe his constituents are morons.

When will it all end - never because whores for power like Barbara Radnofsky will give Rene all the support and cover in the world so long as she thinks he can deliver votes. The day people realize the Austin Democratic Party which hates the LRGV and sees us as nothing more than votes and slaves to their agenda, is the day we will be liberated from the Rene Olivieras in the Democratic Party. But rest assured political whore Barbara Radnofsky will be there for Rene, regardless of his contempt for the people. She is so devoid of knowledge of the LRGV or interest in the LRGV that she is clueless as to the corruption, and in fact simply does not care to know the truth.

Everyone who chooses can e-mail her and ask her why she refuses to denounce the corruption in the LRGV. This is why the Dems will loose again, regardless of the polls - they refuse to address the corruption in the LRGV.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009


This is from the Dallas Morning News.


'The statewide poll of 636 active voters by Hill Research Consultants, a Houston-based Republican polling firm, is a five-alarm wake-up call to the GOP. Among its findings:

•Half the voters polled believe the state is on the wrong track; only 37 percent believe Texas is headed in the right direction.

•On nearly every measure, the Republican brand is "significantly less appealing" than the Democratic one.

•Voters believe the GOP is out of touch, lacks common sense and is more interested in looking out for special interests than the common good. When voters were asked which party "champions the needs of homeowners, small businesses and average taxpayers" – classic GOP constituencies – Democrats score an astonishing 13 points higher.

•Republicans lead in negative characterizations ("arrogant," "racist," "corrupt," "angry") by double-digit margins. Dems, by contrast, lead by double digits on positive descriptions like "smart," "fair," "innovative" and "party of the future." Perhaps most devastating to the GOP's future, only 14 percent of those polled agreed it was "open and welcoming" – a whopping 33 points lower than the Democrats' rating'"

Senators Urged to Probe Sotomayor on Proper Role of Impartial Courts

A national court-advocacy group has called on U.S. senators to pose 10 questions to Supreme Court nominee Sonia Sotomayor, to gauge her views on insulating courts from “inappropriate political influence.”

In a June 19 letter to the Senate Judiciary Committee, the Justice at Stake Campaign said the questions “will help Americans to understand Judge Sotomayor’s perspective on the significance of a fair and impartial judiciary. We encourage you to bring these pertinent issues to the public’s attention.”

The list of questions includes general queries about Sotomayor’s attitudes on the separation of powers, judicial impartiality and the importance of an independent judiciary. It also cites cases Sotomayor and other judges have faced, to gauge her attitudes on when a judge should avoid a case to prevent ethical conflict; the right to bail during certain immigration proceedings; judicial discretion in sentencing; and FBI investigative powers under the Patriot Act.

The Judiciary Committee is scheduled to begin hearings on Sotomayor’s nomination July 13. Justice at Stake is a nonpartisan national partnership that works to protect courts from special interest and partisan pressure.

“The confirmation process is a unique opportunity to urge nominees to educate the public on the importance of courts that are fair, impartial and independent,” said Bert Brandenburg, executive director of Justice at Stake. “These questions, like many others being submitted to senators, stand in contrast to recent trends in state judicial elections, where questionnaires are sometimes used to threaten ballot box retribution if judges don’t rule on behalf of interest group agendas.”
Excerpts from the letter and the full questionnaire are as follows:

June 19, 2009

The Honorable [NAME]Committee on the JudiciaryUnited States Senate[ADDRESS]
Dear [NAME]:

As the U.S. Senate prepares to consider the nomination of Judge Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court of the United States, Justice at Stake is pleased to offer ideas for questions that could help illuminate the nominee’s views on an increasingly important public policy issue – protecting the integrity of our courts from inappropriate political influence. We believe that this nomination offers a tremendous opportunity to educate Americans about the importance of a fair and impartial judiciary.

Justice at Stake is a national, nonpartisan partnership of more than 50 organizations working to keep courts fair and impartial through citizen education, civic engagement and reform. We have built a coalition to help Americans protect the courts that protect their rights, shield our courts and judges from excessive partisan pressure, and reduce the power of money and special interests over the judicial selection process. Justice at Stake does not endorse or oppose specific nominees or candidates.

We think the following ten questions will help Americans to understand Judge Sotomayor’s perspective on the significance of a fair and impartial judiciary. We encourage you to bring these pertinent issues to the public’s attention by asking the following:

What conditions do you think characterize a fair and impartial judiciary? How important is such an institution to the functioning of our democracy? What principles guide you to fairly and impartially apply the law as a judge?

The Supreme Court recently ruled in Caperton v. Massey that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment sometimes requires judges to recuse themselves in cases where they have received a significant amount of campaign support from a party in a pending case. In your answers to the questionnaire for this committee you informed us that you have recused yourself well over 100 times for a variety of reasons. Can you explain to us your own thinking regarding when and why you will remove yourself from a case? What disqualification standards should Americans expect from their Supreme Court justices?

Can you share some of your views regarding the separation of powers among the three branches of government? What is your philosophy on the proper role of the judiciary as a check on the executive and the legislature? What principles would guide you in cases before the Supreme Court?

What criteria should the Congress use in applying its Constitutional power to impeach a federal judge? What norms should be used to balance the need for accountability with the need to insulate judges from improper political pressure?

In a 2007 case entitled Kraham v. Lippman, 478 F.3d 502 (2d Cir. 2007), you held that a judicial rule preventing leaders of political parties, their families, or their law firms from receiving appointments to state courts did not violate the First Amendment right to freedom of association. You wrote that the rule “further[ed] the rational and legitimate goal of eliminating corrupt court appointments” and that the interest in “protecting the integrity and the appearance of integrity” of the courts was “not merely legitimate, but compelling.” Can you expand upon your view of the importance of a fair and impartial court system in our democracy?
During his confirmation hearing, Chief Justice John Roberts opined that “Judges are like umpires. Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them.” Do you agree with this view? Why or why not?

In Elkimiya v. DHS, 484 F.3d 151 (2d Cir. 2007), you held that an applicant for lawful permanent residence in the United States could apply for bail from detention, though you denied the petitioner the privilege in that case. Others have disagreed with your decision on the general right to apply for bail, reasoning that the REAL ID act had given the Attorney General the unreviewable authority to release or detain applicants for asylum. See e.g., Bolante v. Keisler, 506 F.3d 618 (2007). How important do you think access to the court system is in our system of government? In what ways do you believe the constitution ensures access to the court system for non-citizens?

In a recent case, U.S. v. Cavera, 550 F.3d 180 (2d Cir. 2008), you wrote an opinion dissenting in part. You said that “arbitrary and subjective considerations, such as a judge’s feelings about a particular type of crime, should not form the basis of a sentence …[y]et a serious danger exists that sentencing judges will dress their subjective views in objective trappings … . We only encourage […] confusion if we signal that our review is arbitrary.” 550 F.3d at 219. As a former assistant district attorney and federal sentencing judge, you have particular experience with the need to balance judicial discretion in particular cases with standard guidelines and appellate review of lower court decisions. Can you share with us your philosophy about the proper role of judicial discretion in federal sentencing?

You recently joined a unanimous opinion in John Doe Inc. v. Mukasey, 549 F.3d 861 (2d Cir. 2008), that invalidated portions of the PATRIOT Act giving FBI agents the authority to release so-called “gag-orders” without judicial approval. What do you think the specific role of the judiciary ought to be in protecting civil liberties from potential government overreach?

Two of the cases among those you consider your most significant opinions involved protecting First Amendment rights. In United States v. Quattrone, 402 F.3d 304 (2nd Cir. 2005), you maintained the right of the press to release the names of jurors in an open courtroom, and in Ford v. McGinnis, 352 F.3d 582 (2d Cir. 2003), you sided with a prisoner’s right to celebrate a religious holiday he deemed subjectively important. In light of these cases, what is your view on the role of the courts in upholding constitutional rights and the rule of law?

Bert Brandenburg Deanna DawsonExecutive Director Director of Federal AffairsJustice at Stake Justice at Stake
hasEML = false;



A judge is to be a detached and independent magistrate. It is not an easy life and it is not for everyone. Judge Tagle the other day attended the opening of the new FBI headquarters in Brownsville and actually cut the ribbon, so the story goes. She has hundreds of cases filed in her court by the FBI each year. She has no business associating with the FBI or any other entity which regularly has cases in her court.

Judge Hanen truly disappointed me on this one. I think he has been great on the wall issue. The City of Brownsville has litigation in his court all of the time. He crossed the ethical lines of judges when he agreed to swear in Melissa Zamora as a new city commissioner. While I understand why he did it, and I do not believe he meant any wrong - it was still wrong.

This is from a recent Supreme Court decision on judicial bias.

"In lieu of exclusive reliance on that personal inquiry, or on appellate review of the judge’s determination respecting actual bias, the Due Process Clause has been implemented by objective standards that do not require proof of actual bias. See Tumey, 273 U. S., at 532; Mayberry, 400 U. S., at 465–466; Lavoie, 475 U. S., at 825. In defining these standards the Court has asked whether, "under a realistic appraisal of psychological tendencies and human weakness," the interest "poses such a risk of actual bias or prejudgment that the practice must be forbidden if the guarantee of due process is to be adequately implemented." Withrow, 421 U. S., at 47. "



Anyone who complained about Commissioner Zamora’s abstention on the issue of Linebarger is really mad she did not support their cronies. They are mad that their corrupt friends did not get the contract. I have successfully sued Linebarger for threatening to have me arrested if I did not pay a ticket which was dismissed. Linebarger is the bottom of the barrel when it comes to ethics and collections. I am certain some day soon a city will be sued over their conduct. In fact it was my threat to bring the City of Dallas or Dallas County, do not remember, into the lawsuit which got them to settle.

Commissioner Melissa did something extraordinary during her first time at bat. She told everyone that Linebarger attempted influence peddling in violation of the no contact rule. Everyone doing business with the City of Brownsville now knows, Commissioner Melissa will not play by the good old boy’s rules.

Unfortunately, Pat Almighty and Il Dulce Troiani made it clear they will. Both dismissed Commissioner Melissa’s outing of Linebarger as something everyone does. Shame on both of these turkeys. Both of these turkeys made clear everyone was breaking the rule so no big deal.

It is a big deal Pat Almighty and Il Dulce Troiani - it promotes corruption - it causes the people, your bosses, to loose confidence in the system.



My hats off to Commissioner Zamora for a home-run first time at bat - UT could have used her in last nights game.



Will BISD get its act together on this one? - no - I am working on a complaint which includes a special education teacher assaulting a student and to cover-up his acts filing bogus criminal charges on the child. If you are being illegally restrained and falsely accused you are allowed to defend yourself, even against the SS special education teachers at BISD who believe all special education students are bad and merit discipline for merely existing. The good news is, high level officials at the school agree this teacher had no business going near this child and in fact wrongly accused the child for no better reason than he is a special education student. This may be BISD’s first case wherein it is forced to pay for a child’s private education. The problem is, Brownsville has no private schools any better than BISD. More on this tomorrow.


Sometimes there are good reasons why veterans or anyone else should have to travel 5 hours for healthcare. Not every city can have the best healthcare in all regards. A VA hospital in the LRGV will not mean better healthcare. If I had my choice I would get all of my healthcare at the Mayo and Cleveland Clinics. No such options will ever exist in the LRGV - so we travel and for good reason.

I think while no one will publicly admit it, the VA San Antonio has come to realize University hospital and the medical school are an impediment to quality healthcare at the VA. At every level I am convinced the VA knows the medical school will never bring the doctors in training under control. In more and more cases the VA is establishing clinics without the doctors in training.

Several weeks ago the VA San Antonio cancelled its contract with University hospital to provide pain management to veterans coming home from the wars. The students in training we running the clinic and the veterans were being denied healthcare.

The VA hired top of the line people with 30 plus years experience in pain management to run their new clinic at the VA San Antonio. No doctors in training will be treating the veterans. I was at the clinic yesterday. The good news is, I will be treated by some of the best pain management people in the US. A game plan is in place. I was amazed to learn they are now treating these problems without major surgery.

The bad news is the clinic is literally new. They are screening patients who need treatment. I have been cleared for treatment. Unfortunately, it may be another 3-4 weeks before they have the clinic fully operational for the day procedures used to treat the pain. For what I know will be top of the line treatment I can and will wait. I will wait 6 months if I have to, so that the war veterans can have priority. I am not happy with the side effects of the medicine I am using to control the inflammation of the nerve endings, but for this treatment they are offering - I will wait and be grateful it is being offered.

So now you know why I did not post yesterday.

Saturday, June 20, 2009


I do not remember the last time I saw a romantic comedy. I consider them chick flicks and stay away from them. I went to go see this only because this may be Betty White's last film. It was worth every penny, except for the metrosexual guy sitting next to me with his girlfriend. I truly thought he was going to start singing show tunes. He seemed to enjoy it more than most of the women.

Anyway, Sandra Bullock is facing deportation. She is an impossible boss, who is hated by everyone. To solve her problem she forces her executive assistant to marry her. To prove their love to the INS they go off to Alaska for his grandmother's 90th. The grandmother is played by Betty White. She can still deliver a line with the best of them. She was great.

The scene with the eagle taking off with the dog would have been funnier except for the fact years ago we concluded that a hawk did the same thing to my 17 1/2 year old rat terrier. Sandra Bullock chasing the eagle was funny.

As romantic comedies go, love wins the day. The film is about the journey to the two of them realizing they love each other and always have.

Okay, off to brunch - go enjoy this film.

Friday, June 19, 2009


[1] His skin color is more Latino than black;
[2] He lives in a house which is not his;
[3] He spends money he does not have;
[4] He is always bailing people out;
[5] His mother-in-law is raising his children


He cannot turn down a chance to hit a white thing with a club

I love George Lopez -

As I watch the events unfold in Iran I find it interesting that the Obama Administration is taking a different approach with Iran than with Nicaragua. Those of us older than time remember that in the 70's Iran and Nicaragua were facing their revolutions. Then President Jimmy Carter decided to allow the revolutionary process to work its way through the process.

Unfortunately for that process the American people elected President Ronald Reagan who chose to inflame the revolutionary actors of both countries against the interests of the US rather than embrace them as the new leaders. It is not like the US has never embraced a dictatorship before. What Reagan failed to understand was, when the US attacks the revolutionary leadership of a foreign country, especially in the middle of a revolution, it is a sure fire way to insight anti-American sentiment.

President Obama on this issue has decided to pursue the policy of Tiosamismo (unclesamism) with Nicaragua, a policy which will surely fail, while taking a hands off approach with Iran, at least publicly. I am certain our intelligence services are on the ground doing their best to keep the upheaval going.

Some Republicans, not many, appear to be urging President Obama to be more public in support of the Iranian opposition. Again this would be a mistake. It will only make the pro Iranian government people angry. It will give fuel to the religious leaders to claim US interference.
So my question this morning is, why a different policy approach with Nicaragua than with Iran? Until the US accepts Tiosamismo is considered the enemy of the people in Latin America, its policies in Latin America will continue to fail. Playing bully with Nicaragua and forcing them to turn to Venezuela will only serve to further divide Latin America, thereby making it a less economically viable region of the world. It is in the best interest of the US to promote unity in Latin America, not division.

In the end, so long as Latin America remains in turmoil politically and economically, illegal immigration will remain a problem with the US. Obama’s Latin American policy is a failure. He is punishing the weakest of the weak, and attacking the only democratically elected indigenous leader in Latin America - Evo Morales - I guess politicians will be politicians. I can honestly say, Obama by and through his policies, has made himself a slave master over the weakest of the weak in Latin America.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


I do not know if it is my sense of justice or that my early years were growing up in Salt Lake wherein we had access to native American tribes, but I have always been a strong advocate of maximum autonomy for indigenous tribes. The fact is, my entire family feels the same way.

Peru signed a free trade agreement with the US which forces it to encroach on indigenous lands in the Amazon. Evo Morales, the president of Bolivia, and first indigenous president in the Americas is a strong protector of indigenous rights. Let us not forget, the Spanish crown stole the land from the indigenous people of Latin America. Evo Morales is in a war of words with Peru over its encroachment on the Amazon lands and its indigenous people.

So here is my question, should President Obama offer Peru an opportunity to not enforce those provisions which require encroachment on the Amazon and the indigenous tribes of the Amazon, or should he pursue the corporatist policies Bush II put into this agreement knowing full well it will cause political strife in South America, and do injury to the Amazon and its indigenous people?

How President Obama handles this mess could turn out to be the cornerstone of his Latin American policy.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


Over a year ago I outlined the up and coming budget problems to be faced by the City and the County. I noted the reduced fees on Veterans Bridge, reduced sales tax revenues, and decreasing property tax revenues due to the high foreclosure rate. Like good little politicians ours kept on spending and refused to consider adequate tax increases to cover the shortfall.
Last night I could barely contain myself when Longoria cried the victim that he never would have voted for anything if he knew it would eventually lead to a tax increase. He wants us to believe he is unaware that if you spend more than you have you need to raise taxes. He wants us to believe that in Executive Session when the police union case settled the issue of how it was going to impact the budget was not discussed - like every time they met.

He says he would never vote for anything which could lead to a tax increase - NEWS FLASH SHORTY DICK LONGORIA - when you voted to have the taxpayers pick up the cost of building a wall, to imprison us from our sister city, Matamoros, you voted for a tax increase on the people. Do you really think the city will ever have the money to build the wall, without a tax increase?

What is clear is, Shorty Dick Longoria thinks the people of Southmost are morons and cannot see through his pathetic lies. Shorty Dick Longoria’s time on the City Commission is short. I will bet the farm that Troiani, Atkinson, and Longoria will all be sent packing in two years.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


POLITICO Breaking News:-----------------------------------------------------President Barack Obama on Wednesday will sign a presidential memorandum extending health care and other benefits to gay and lesbian partners of federal employees, an administration official tells POLITICO.For more information...http://www.politico.com

This is interesting because if you understand how the Supreme Court works, when deciding the issue of gay marriage they will look at national trends at the State and federal levels. This is evidence of a trend towards acknowledging gay marriage. It is a building block towards the eventual win at the Supreme Court level.

The fear factor being used by the Republicans on the issue of healthcare reform is, the government will control your healthcare. President Obama has repeatedly stated that he will not support a system which takes away the consumers choice. Because the media loves sound bites instead of substance it is hard for most consumers of the news to get beyond the issue of choice or no choice.

The following is an excerpt from an online article at "Market Watch"

"Democrats are touting a government-run health care option that creates an unlevel playing field leading to the destruction of the private market, reducing choice and putting Washington bureaucrats in charge of family health care decisions," said House Republican Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia. "In addition, their approach will cost over a trillion dollars -- money this country simply does not have."

Meanwhile, the president is insisting that under his plan Americans will be able to keep their current plans and doctors, a point he underscored Monday


Republican Cantor added additional information which raises the question of, will Obama’s plan destroy competition and thereby choice? The discussion is no longer, will Obama’s plan immediately deny choice, but will Obama’s plan eventually result in total government control?
Cantor’s theory is, high cost private insurance companies will never able to compete with a government system which is not driven by profits. Because of this, over time the consumers will choose the more cost effective government insurance program over the private profit driven options.

If the private companies go out of business for a want of consumers, whose fault is that? What Cantor is basically arguing is, the private insurance companies cannot compete with the government so the people should be forced to buy the more expensive insurance to protect the insurance companies.

The middle class Americans who support the Republicans on this issue remain clueless that the Republicans are arguing against choice, because choice means lower rates and the corporate insurance companies going out of business. This is why I call them corporatists. A true conservative would be pushing competition to drive down rates. The Republicans and their supporters are anything but conservative.

The other side of the fear factor is claiming the cost to the taxpayers will be one trillion dollars. First of all every business adventure has start-up costs. Every good business person knows you invest on the front side because you believe your business model will make you money in the long run. The question is not how much the start up costs will be, which no one knows since there is no plan in place or even a written proposal (well unless you are a fear mongering Republican corporatist seeking to protect the insurance companies), but what will be the long term savings by the consumer, hospitals (no longer having to treat uninsured people), community hospitals supported by tax dollars, medicare and medicaid?

I love the ignorant lemmings who support the corporatists Republicans on this issue because all they have to hear is a number like one trillion dollars and all reality goes out the window. It is amazing how the Republicans know exactly how much this non existent plan will cost. It is also amazing how they refuse to speak to the issue of long-term savings on the federal budget.

My recommendation to these Republican lemmings is, write to Republican Cantor and ask him how he knows how much this non extent program will cost, and how much he claims this non existent program will save or not save the taxpayers in the long run.

Until we are willing to ask questions instead of listening to fear mongering politicians, we will remained screwed at our own bequest every time a politician speaks.

Once a proposal is formally introduced in Congress, it will be our job to ask the hard hitting questions such as longer term costs versus long term savings. If the numbers do not add up then we should speak out against the proposal. If the numbers support long term savings then we should favor the proposal. But at this moment we have zero real knowledge of the numbers.

Monday, June 15, 2009


The true left in the US is growing weary of President Obama. He has caved on his agenda in favor of high ratings. You cannot please the American conservative because they are not true conservatives. The American conservative is either a corporatist determined to destroy free enterprise and true competition, and accountability, or hatemongers who believe the government’s role is to preserve the WASP superiority mentality of the past.

As a people we are political somnambulists. We are as clueless as humanly possible. We love to hear what we want to hear and are happy. Critical thinking is a communist threat in the minds of the American people. The US will continue to fall behind the rest of the world in science and political thinking so long as somnambulism is our guiding light.

President Obama has ordered some 63 million dollars in financial aid pulled from Nicaragua. The natural consequence of this misguided policy is Venezuela stepping in and providing the aid. This causes me to question the sincerity of Obama in terms of his promise to open Cuba to the American people. It is pathetic beyond human comprehension that Obama needs to prove his machismo by going after poor powerless countries in the Americas, all because he remains impotent when it comes to Russia and Korea.

I will agree the Russian question is different. Obama really had no choice but to cede Russia’s former satellite states back to Russia. With the worst of the political war of words against Russia now under control, Obama can focus on the Middle East. But North Korea is a different question. President Obama has sent a clear message to China, America’s pimp which keeps us alive with its dirty money.

China can end this ongoing crisis with North Korea tomorrow, but it will not unless we give them Taiwan. We will never allow China to take Taiwan. But we do have something on China, its emerging manufacturing industry. All we have to do is threaten strict compliance with US safety standards and working conditions as a condition of accepting Chinese imports, and China will panic. China of course will threaten to not buy our bonds. Let them - if the US bond market collapses China will loose billions of dollars and its credibility in the world. This is a game of who is the man? Right now, China is the man and the US is in search of a new form of Viagra because the old one is no longer working to provide the US with at least the appearance of manhood.

What is really sad is Obama flexing his flaccid manhood in the Americas as evidence the US can still bully the weak and invalids, even though it has become impotent against the powerful nations of the world.

This pathetic policy approach by Obama is not limited to the Americas. He threw South Texas under the bus on the wall. We are the second poorest county in the country and the deal DHS cut with the City of Brownsville basically has the second poorest community in the US having to build its own prison, namely the wall. We see the same attack on the gay community. Obama is prepared to sacrifice the weakest, poorest and least popular groups to appear popular.

For what I ask? He has abandoned nearly every policy objective in favor of becoming Bush 3 and Reagan 2. The true left in this country needs to open its eyes and realize - President Obama is a fraud who will change nothing. But in the end nothing will change because somnambulism is our way of life. It is all we have so we embrace it as the only path to a mythical salvation.

"I said from the beginning: He's a politician; I'm a pastor. He's got to do what politicians do." These are the words of Rev. Wright describing Obama. While it is hard to agree with Rev. Wright, especially given his anti-Semitism, on this issue he is on target.


Right now America does not need a politician, it needs a leader with conviction. Obama is neither. Welcome to the world of Bush 3 and Reagan 2.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Today also has a political post, posted earlier. Sorry about no post yesterday, but this pain problem sometimes forces me to take the gabapentin in the morning. It knocks me out. I was blown away yesterday when the Chief Medical Officer for the VA San Antonio called me and said he was taking control over my PCP referral of my case to neurosurgery. As I have said before the Fellows, specialists in training, are as worthless as humanly imaginable. I am told that as early as next week I will be traveling to SA for epidural and other forms of injections.

Anyway the Movie - the audience review is A+ - funny as hell. I do not know what was funnier the movie or the laughter from the woman behind me. When Ken Jong did his nude scene she said to her male companion - "is that a woman or a man?" From the waste down he clearly appears as a woman.
The movie was clearly funny, and creative. It brought new standards to slap stick comedy. The story was actually creative and possibly credible. Four guys go to Vegas. The groom's future brotherinlaw puts what he thinks is Ecstasy in their drinks, but is in fact the date rape drug.
The movie is a back tracking of their night to find the groom who is missing. Somehow Mike Tyson's tiger ends up in their hotel suite. Really not somehow, they steal it. The scene in the police station is classic. It will be duplicated in other films. Giving tasers to children to practice of three of the four was hysterical.
Anyway if you can enjoy mindless slap stick and do not mind breast feeding and male nudity, although as the woman behind me asked is Ken Jong a man or a woman, you will enjoy this film.

In considering this remember there are only two anti-gay laws ever passed by Congress and signed into law. Both were signed by President Bill Clinton. This is important to under the reality of politics. When a politician wants what they want, they will always sacrifices the politically weak.

Last night on "Real Time" Bill Maher suggested Obama become more like Bush in the context of fighting for what he believes in and pushing it through Congress with force and resolve. In 2010, Obama loose 3-5 Senate seats to the Republicans. He has a short window to get his business done. If he were to spend half as much time working on issues like Health care as he does posing for the camera he might succeed.

The Obama Administration is doomed to failure if he does not immediately grow a pair of aquacates and move his agenda forward. This gay marriage thing may seem unimportant but it is. In the same way he sacrificed to the people of Brownsville to have to pay for part of the "Wall" which we do not want he is sacrificing gays, to get the conservative wing of the Democratic Party to support him.

When you reach the point that you have sacrificed the bread and butter of your party, the disenfranchised, you will be left with a dull butter knife which will impress nor intimidate no one. If Obama does not get his act together soon, and force his agenda on this Congress, he will find himself as an impotent has been president who occupied the White House for 4 years as a squatter.

"Friday, June 12, 2009

Obama DOJ lies to Politico in defending hate brief against gays

by John Aravosis (DC) on 6/12/2009 01:26:00 PM

Ben Smith at Politico just reported the following statement from the Department of Justice over their brief, filed last night, comparing gay marriage to incest:

As it generally does with existing statutes, the Justice Department is defending the law on the books in court. The president has said he wants to see a legislative repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act because it prevents LGBT couples from being granted equal rights and benefits. However, until Congress passes legislation repealing the law, the administration will continue to defend the statute when it is challenged in the justice system.Yeah, you see, that's an outright lie. Fortunately for you, and unfortunately for Justice, Joe and I are both lawyers. We suspected this betrayal was coming, so we read up on the law. In fact, George W. Bush (ACLU et al., v. Norman Y. Mineta - "The U.S. Department of Justice has notified Congress that it will not defend a law prohibiting the display of marijuana policy reform ads in public transit systems."), Bill Clinton (Dickerson v. United States - "Because the Miranda decision is of constitutional dimension, Congress may not legislate a contrary rule unless this Court were to overrule Miranda.... Section 3501 cannot constitutionally authorize the admission of a statement that would be excluded under this Court's Miranda cases."), George HW Bush (Metro Broadcasting v. Federal Communications Commission), and Ronald Reagan (INS v./ Chadha - "Chadha then filed a petition for review of the deportation order in the Court of Appeals, and the INS joined him in arguing that § 244(c)(2) is unconstitutional.") all joined in lawsuits opposing federal laws that they didn't like, laws that they felt were unconstitutional. It is an outright lie to suggest that the DOJ had no choice.But it's worse than that. Let's just assume for a moment that the Justice spokesman didn't lie to Politico, even though they did. Let's just assume that Obama had no choice but to oppose the gay couple filing this DOMA lawsuit. Where in the law does it say that Obama was required to compare gay marriage to incest?And putting that little bit of religious right messaging aside, even if they "had" to file the brief against us, why didn't they just file a brief that argued the technicalities about why the case should have been thrown out (e.g., the plaintiffs had no standing)? No, what Obama did was throw the legal kitchen sink at us in a brief that could have been written by Antonin Scalia. They argued that DOMA is constitutional. Worse yet, they argue that it was a reasonable, rational, good law that actually saves the government money. They argued that DOMA wasn't motivated by hate. That DOMA doesn't discriminate against gays one bit because, apparently, gays can get married if they want... well, if they want to marry straight people of the opposite gender. They invoked Loving v. VA, the miscegenation case, and argued how it doesn't apply to gay marriage, undercutting the entire basis of our civil rights movement - saying that our civil rights are not akin, are not as worth, not as real, as the civil rights of blacks and other minorities. They went out of their way to try to diminish the legal impact of our two big Supreme Court victories, Roemer and Lawrence - that will have implications on every future civil rights battle we fight.No. The Obama administration didn't just lie to Politico, Obama lied to our community, or he lied to the court. But you don't publicly call yourself a "fierce advocate" for gay rights, and then compare married gays to incest. You don't make your first official legal statement on gay rights an outright attack on the underpinnings of our entire civil rights.Our president had a choice. And he chose to throw us under the bus, and then knife us for good measure.PS And here's another lie from the Justice spokesman:
The president has said he wants to see a legislative repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act because it prevents LGBT couples from being granted equal rights and benefits. In fact, Obama argued last night that DOMA does not deny gays any rights or benefits:Rights

In short, then, the failure in this manner to recognize a certain subset of marriages that are recognized by a certain subset of States cannot be taken as an infringement on plaintiffs' rights, even if same-sex marriage were accepted as a fundamental right under the Constitution.... DOMA, understood for what it actually does, infringes on no one's rights, and in all events it infringes on no right that has been constitutionally protected as fundamental, so as to invite heightened scrutiny.Benefits

[G]ay and lesbian individuals who unite in matrimony are denied no federal benefits to which they were entitled prior to their marriage; they remain eligible for every benefit they enjoyed beforehand...DOMA does not discriminate against homosexuals in the provision of federal benefits. To the contrary, discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation is prohibited in federal employment and in a wide array of federal benefits programs by law, regulation, and Executive order.You see, this is the problem with what Obama did to our community last night. He can talk all he wants about helping us get our civil rights (well, in fact, notice the Justice spokesman said nothing about Obama actually helping us get DOMA repealed), but the Obama administration's own word will now be used against us, and against him, if he ever deigns to actually fulfill even one promise to our community"


Thursday, June 11, 2009


This is what he said. The cost of healthcare in McAllen is 1/3rd higher than the Mayo Clinic, but the quality of care is a lot worse.

This morning I wanted to discuss the issue of term limits, but Judge Hanen’s actions on the wall have trumped the discussion on term limits.

Last week I discussed the issue of whether or not the City Commission properly voted on the DHS settlement. It is a terrible settlement which will cost Longoria, and Troiani reelection. You have to be devoid of any sense of reality to believe the people of Brownsville will ever approve a penny of taxpayer’s money for anything related to the wall. It will never happen. It appears Judge Hanen has a better sense of reality on the issue of the wall than those elected to represent the people of Brownsville.

Commissioners Zamora and Gowen need to demand counsel Sossi advise the commission on the legality of the vote authorizing the settlement. The motion to move the matter forward required a 2/3rd vote. I have seen the tape several times now and it is not clear to me the Commission ever authorized moving the matter forward for a vote. If there is any possibility of a new vote, Commissioners Zamora and Gowen need to demand same.

Right now they can claim they had nothing to do with voting for the settlement agreement. That would be a mistake and a poor understanding of the people. When this mess blows up in the face of the City Commission in 2-4 years the people will blame everyone on the City Commission regardless of their part in the authorization of the settlement agreement.

Judge Hanen as sent a clear message to the land owners and the City of Brownsville. He is not going to allow DHS to run roughshod over the people. I suspect he also understands the City Commission approved one of the dumbest settlement agreements related to the wall. You simply have to be delusional to believe the people will ever approve one penny of taxpayer money for anything related to wall.

I have repeatedly stated that Judge Hanen would never force Brownsville to accept anything less than that which has been offered in a settlement agreement. Based on this morning’s Herald report, I think it is now clear Judge Hanen is not going to allow DHS to bully anyone. Further he appears to have a lot better understanding of the people of Brownsville than Troiani, Camarillo, and Longoria.

Commissioners Zamora and Gowen as their first official acts need to demand City Attorney Sossi fully outline all options for the city getting out of the settlement agreement. This disaster will come back and haunt every City Commissioner regardless of whether they voted for it or not. Now is the time to act.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


As to the first part of this I wrote about it the other day, and then google lost it. But the facts are very clear now - CNN and everyone else got the story wrong. The following is from Fox News. "The Supreme Court on Monday granted an emergency appeal asking it to halt the impending government-backed sale of Chrysler to Italian automaker Fiat."


The story was 100% fabricated by FOX and CNN and everyone else. They either intentionally fabricated the story or none of their so called legal experts have a clue how the Supreme Court works. Either way it’s bad.

Every Supreme Court Justice has at least two titles. Other than the Chief Justice they are known as Associate Justices. They are also known as Circuit Justices. We are in the 5th Circuit, and Associate Justice Antonin Scalia is our Circuit Justice. The Circuit Justice has a variety of duties. The most important duty of the Circuit Justice is to review Applications for Stay Pending one of many different type filings you can file with the court.

Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, acting as the Circuit Justice for the 2nd Circuit granted a temporary stay of the Chrysler sale, pending further, not full, review by the Court. When time permits a Circuit Justice will immediately refer an Application for Stay to the full Court. Circuit Justice Ginsburg either decided time did not permit referral of the Application for Stay to the full Court, or chose not to make the referral. The Stay was not granted by the Court, but by Circuit Justice Ginsburg.

Fast forward on Tuesday we learned the Court lifted the Stay. One of two things happened, Associate Justice Ginsburg referred it to the entire Court, or the Court took it up on its own. This summary from the Hill.com is great because it explains how the Court works, which will allow me to get into my second complaint with the press.

"In a per curiam decision issued Tuesday night, the justices said that it vacated Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg's decision to temporarily halt the partnership. The Court stated:

""A denial of a stay is not a decision on the merits of the underlying legal issues," the justices said. "It is instead an exercise of judicial discretion, and the 'party requesting a stay bears the burden of showing that the circumstances justify an exercise of that discretion.'
"The applicants have not carried that burden," they added.

On Monday, Ginsburg issued a temporary halt of the sale to consider the arguments of three Indiana state funds and consumer groups. The Indiana pensioners' argued the deal unfairly favors the interests of Chrysler's unsecured stakeholders ahead of those of secured debtholders such as the funds.

The court's ruling Tuesday evening effectively ends their case, and will allow the agreed-upon acquisition of Chrysler by Fiat to go forward. "


Here is the key language - ""A denial of a stay is not a decision on the merits of the underlying legal issues," the justices said. "It is instead an exercise of judicial discretion, and the 'party requesting a stay bears the burden of showing that the circumstances justify an exercise of that discretion.'"

This is effectively a contract case - To get a stay you have to show no remedy by appeal. The remedy is, if the Court of Appeals or Supreme Court later reverse the sale, all of the beneficiaries of the sale will be up a creek without a paddle. On this note, the Hill.com got it wrong. The bondholders certainly should continue their case. If they win later on appeal their rights will be restored.


When the Supreme Court refuses to hear a case, it is not ruling on the merits. It is simply saying, ‘we do not want to rule on this issue, at this time." All of the time in the press you will read "Supreme Court Uphold’s .....................," when they have not. A denial of Certiorari or Mandamus is not a ruling on the merits.

The issue of gays in the military is a great example. The Court routinely makes policy decisions. It is possible there are at least 5 or more members on the Court who believe that the policy banning gays is unconstitutional, but for policy reasons they do not want to get involved. The idea the Supreme Court’s role is to uphold the Constitution and laws is a myth. Every decision they make is not on the merits of the case, but on policy objectives of the Court.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


Michelle Obama, Clarence Thomas, and Sonia Sotomayor all have something in common. All three have claimed feeling like from another planet when walking onto the Ivy League campus where they attended college and law school. We have no knowledge of Ms. Obama’s judicial temperament. But we do have knowledge of the judicial temperament of Associate Justice Thomas, and soon to be Associate Justice Sotomayor.

Both Thomas and Sotomayor, without apology, bring to the Court their personal experiences with bigotry. This by itself is a good thing. It informs the remainder of the Court what it is like to be the object of bigotry. Associate Justice Thomas, in his book, brought out an important experience of this generation of minority lawyers and judges. Upon graduation from law school, regardless of how hard they worked, law firms assumed they were the products of affirmative action, and not merit. We know more than enough about Michele Obama, Clarence Thomas, and Sonia Sotomayor to know each of them individually succeeded on merit.

But here is the problem, if experience informs us of our judgment, should not Clarence Thomas see affirmative action as something which held back accomplished minorities? He should and he brought this experience to the Court. Is it possible that Sonia Sotomayor might bring this experience to the Court? She sure will. This is a good thing because it will allow Associate Justice Thomas and Associate Justice Sotomayor to discuss the issue in conference in a way which could change the Court for the better. It could make Thomas feel more vindicated in his position and less in need to associate with the Right.

If you know Associate Justice Thomas’ history before graduating law school, all indicators pointed to someone who would be on the political Left. But that rejection after law school changed him. I am certain he began to change while in law school as Anglo students let it be known they believed he was there as part of affirmative action and not merit.

This entire mess became compounded when Anglo Democrats lynched him at his confirmation hearings. While there is no doubt in my mind Associate Justice Thomas committed perjury when he categorically denied all of Anita Hill’s claims, I understand why he did what he did. There is a bit of truth in every story. I do believe many of Anita Hill’s claims. But I also believe she encouraged the behavior when it was politically convenient. I do not care if you are a man or a woman, this type garbage should not come out unless you have clear evidence of wrongdoing.
Had there been a record of Anita Hill complaining at the time she was working for Thomas, then I say yes, we need to know the facts. But under the facts it was a political lynching of a black man based on bogus sexual charges by white men. Yea it was a lynching.

Again, this is a sensitive issue for black men. This experience is going to influence Associate Justice Thomas. Unfortunately it only served to push him further to the political Right. My hope is, Associate Justice Sotomayor, through shared experiences can pull him to the political Center. I do believe her presence on the Court will give Thomas a place to be heard from a common perspective. This I am certain will be cathartic for Associate Justice Thomas.

The issue as to whether judges should create policy is a difficult issue. When I hear alleged conservatives speak to the issue I laugh. They are either devoid of knowledge of the Court or liars. The most controversial area of the Supreme Court addresses the issue of Substantive Due Process. This is the personal rights area of the law. All the constitution says is due process. The Court created the separate doctrines of procedural and substantive due process.

No where in the constitution does it say we have a fundamental right to form and benefit from a familial relationship. The Court simply reasoned that this is inherent in freedom. Where does it end? It is all a matter of personal perspective. In the end it is policy making.

My view has always been, where in the constitution does it authorize the government to regulate personal behavior? If it were not for the benefits side of marriage no one would care one bit about gay marriage. The benefits side is the only difference between government recognized marriage and me simply declaring I am married.

The question now becomes, when Sonia Sotomayor claimed judges make policy, was she referring to this type policy wherein the Court looks to social norms and changes in society to define the limits of personal freedoms? Because if she was, she was referring to something which the Court has been doing since day one.

The Republicans in the up an coming Senate races will use Sotomayor’s comments as evidence the Republicans need to win Senate seats to deny confirmation to judicial activists. The reality is, with rare exception most judges, especially federal judges are judicial activists, and not in a good way. I predict the Republicans will pick up 3-5 Senate seats in 2010.

While there will be many benefits to Sotomayor’s arrival at he Supreme Court, it will nonetheless be costly to the Democrats. I certainly would not want to be a Senate Democrat in a conservative state seeking reelection in 2010.