Newsreal Archives/Critic' Corners

The following is a comment made by Ron Branson, the publisher of JAIL4JUDGES, regarding a judge in Little Rock Arkansas, who wants to have his disciplinary hearing conducted in an open court.

Keep in mind when reading Branson's comments that the Canadian Judicial system is as corrupt if not more corrupt than the United States Judicial system.

The Canadian Judicial Council is a private body that functions privately, just like the Judicial Council in the USA.

The goal is to not give up on fighting for freedom, justice and democracy.

The minute a society gives up on justice and the minute we allow corruption to infiltrate not just our country but our minds, our hearts and ultimately our soul.

Countries like Somalia for example, did not become corrupt over night, it was a slow progression.

People in any country, where corruption is the norm, are usually corrupt themselves.

This is happening in Canada, wherein people in order to survive feel they have no choice other than to lie, and to cheat.

We cannot afford to let our country sink more into a dark hole. We cannot afford to let ourselves sink in a darker hole.

This is to say to not take anything for granted for what is taken for granted is usually taken away.

What’s There To Hide?

By Ron Branson, CIC National J.A.I.L.

In 1960 California was the first state to came up with the idea of creating a special commission just for judges. It was then called the Judicial Qualifications Commission, and later changed to the Commission on Judicial Performance (CJP). Its supposed purpose was to oversee the discipline of judges.

Since 1960 all other states have followed suit under various names.

It was thought that in order to preserve the privacy of judges and to protect the integrity of the judiciary, all matters should be held in strict privacy. Such privacy policy, however, has continually come under fire over the years from all quarters, arguing that privacy fosters hidden corruption among the judges who are operating in secrecy.

Nonethless, the idea of secrecy among judges has prevailed under the theory that secrecy preserves the integrity of the judiciary. Thus, the public is called upon to blindly accept the argument, “We’re judges, we do it right – just trust us!”

In Los Angeles, complaints against judges tops all other complaints asked to be investigated by the County Grand Jury. However, the Grand Jury has now been specifically precluded by statute from investigating judges.

Since the creation of the CJP, all complaints against judges must now be directed to the Commission on Judicial Performance, where they are quickly sand-bagged and hidden forever from the light of day.

The result is that the CJP has tons of indicting information on judges which are safely concealed away in secret files, and those offending judges can go on doing what they’ve always done as if nothing ever happened.

If the heat gets too hot for any particular judge, the CJP will shuffle the judges around to another judicial district where they can start over.

As if a monkey wrench had dropped into the judicial secrecy gearbox, an Arkansas Appellate Court Judge named Wendell Griffen has specifically waived his right to privacy and the protection of his identity during his disciplanary proceeding, and has demanded that his case be made public, and open to the light of day, rather than conducted in secret.

His demand for openness has caused quite a stir in the judicial system, which raises the question as to why the court should continue to conduct proceedings in secrecy when the judge has waived his right to privacy.

This question is now before the Arkansas Supreme Court with the State’s Judicial Commission arguing that despite the waiver of his privacy, they must keep the disiplinary proceeding secret in order to protect the integrity of the judicial system.

Hence they deem privacy to be a systemic issue, not a personal matter. In other words, the Commission doesn’t waive “its right” to privacy, presuming it has that right in the first place.

This raises the issue of whether the conduct of any official on the public payroll would properly be a matter of secrecy at all from the public that pays him. It has been said that open sunlight is the best disinfectant.

The Bible tells us, “…men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest…” John 3:19-21.

Varmints such as rats, cockroaches and creeping things, as with judges, love darkness, and abhor the light of full disclosure. By nature, judicial commissions choose to proceed in secrecy because they, too, love darkness for the same reason.


LITTLE ROCK Appeals Court Judge Wendell Griffen today told the Arkansas Supreme Court that barring the public from disciplinary proceedings over his public comments violates his due process rights and the state's Freedom of Information Act.

Griffen and the Judicial Discipline and Disability Commission presented their arguments before justices over Griffen's request to open a January 19th hearing of the panel.

Griffen told justices that since he has waived his confidentiality in the panel's proceedings there is no public interest in closing the hearing.

Commission deputy director Jay Wills argued that keeping the hearing closed protects the identity of witnesses and protects the integrity of the judicial process.

Griffen faces a hearing next week over claims that he violated judicial rules by speaking about the nomination of John Roberts to the U.S. Supreme Court and an effort raise Arkansas' minimum wage.

Last year the commission expanded its investigation of Griffen to include comments he made speaking out against the war in Iraq and a column he wrote criticizing members of the Bush administration.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.