This note is to encourage some very practical steps in mobilizing to address human rights violations through U.S. legal system abuse as part of Opt IN USA and its coalition partners. Please accept our apology if you receive this message via multiple communication channels. We want it to reach as many people as possible contending with U.S. legal system abuse and related judicial misconduct. Some duplication among recipients is likely given that broad circulation goal.
Different Advocates, Separate Initiatives . . . Same Page!
First of all, to act in substantial unison, it helps for us to be of reasonably like mind. Towards that end, this presentation reviews a few truths that are obvious for many people, but become preludes to much more subtle or subconscious differences among U.S. social justice advocates. We begin with a reminder that the primary function of America’s judiciary is to deliver a fair and impartial administration of justice. So, to the extent it seems unfair, even a judicial outcome or case disposition “justified” by U.S. law should be questioned . . . perhaps outside of legal proceedings and as a matter of public policy. Too often lawyers and judges begrudge such wrangling, seeming to think court and administrative rulings within the range of lawful decisions are beyond reproach. This impatience with dissent undoubtedly reinforces the perception that U.S. judicial critics are largely people misguided about relevant considerations.
While Opt IN USA may prompt and facilitate legal action for its participants, the campaign was created to address public policy implications of seemingly unfair but ultimately lawful adjudications in the U.S. as well as classic contraventions of law and deliberate constitutional rights violations through U.S. legal process. Unfortunately many Americans exhaust their wealth and health trying to establish that the outcome of one or more U.S. court or quasi-judicial proceedings contravenes applicable law. Of course they could be mistaken in that regard or merely need to clarify their contentions and persist in asserting them. In any event, when legal rights are clear but disregarded by presiding judges in America, these jurists abandon the proper administration of justice. Attempting to extract fairness or justice from the rogue processes that result is quite different from insisting they realign with prescribed functions of America’s judiciary. The former task may seem easier than the latter, but is expecting bad to be temporarily good any less naïve than expecting bad to permanently cease and become good?
Extract Good From Bad or Insist On Just Legal Systems?
Clashes of good and the not so good aside -- most people likely agree that the best way to foster justice in America is to insist that our nation’s judges be fair and impartial. As a nonprofit U.S. legal reform organization, National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project, Inc. (NJCDLP) promotes certain ways of doing just that through the many initiatives it sponsors including Opt IN USA. In the course of that and other longer or long term efforts, NJCDLP and one or more of its affiliate groups also address isolated instances of judicial misconduct. But even leverage for that advocacy stems from NJCDLP’s obvious commitment to broad public interests. In other words, the mobilization at hand is to identify our broadest common denominators on an international, national, regional, and local basis; gel into corresponding bases of support; and fortify the infrastructure for addressing our individual needs in these broader contexts.
Keeping the direct sources of their legal difficulties in mind, Opt IN USA participants will sort between case outcomes that are unlawful and/or unfair; identify the legal loopholes including oversight failures that made these predicaments possible; and consider prudent ways to lessen if not eliminate the prospect of them reoccurring. This kind of thoughtful organizing is best done on a state by state basis. For that purpose Opt IN USA will borrow the private networking platforms of its sister organization NFOJA (National Forum On Judicial Accountability).
Roll With Us :-)
Despite its popularity and convenience, Facebook, a public networking platform, is not an appropriate host for our important organizing at hand -- certainly not for it all. Fortunately elaborate collaboration on a state by state and national basis is possible through NFOJA’s exclusive/private Ning Community, all of which can be enhanced through NFOJA’s private Meet Up group. With a little effort, these platforms are excellent communication tools. But community moderators will discourage push marketing whereby people “hawk” their views, proposals, and wares more to highjack than serve the NFOJA community and Opt IN USA participants.
U.S. legal system abuse has become an international problem, but its manifestation begins on a local and/or regional level. Yes . . . it is generally difficult for grassroots reform activists to muster local and regional support. But, ironically, we tend to resist nurturing local and regional support -- even among strangers via applications such as that accommodating NFOJA’s state-based groups. There are few actions that anyone could take in the interest of appropriate judicial accountability in America that would be more impactful than reversing that trend.
If you have not already, please join the NFOJA group for your current state. If a major portion of your legal difficulties took place in one or more other states, kindly register for each corresponding NFOJA group. Upon joining (membership requests will be promptly accepted), please “friend” your fellow group members as doing so maximizes the communication options available to you via Ning.