According to the NYCLA, the once-independent judiciary has been chilled, frightened, intimidated and demeaned because Hizzoner Mayor Bloomburg had the effrontery to squawk about a judicial order. See “NYCLA Hits Back at Mayor over Radio Comments on Goodman” NYLJ 1/25/11.
The order by Justice Goodman (not Budd, the other one), blocks the City from paring down the number of City Sheriffs who, according to their website, are the people who tow away and auction off your car if you accumulate unpaid parking tickets, garnish your paycheck if you don’t pay up a civil judgment, arrest you if you don’t show up for jury duty, and haul grandma off to the loonybin if she refuses to take her Prozac. All for a modest fee of $30 or so, except for seizing grandma, which is free.
From the cries of “chilling effect,” “methods used to intimidate and frighten” and the judge’s statement that judges supporting her are “too scared” to give their names, one would think Hizzoner Bloomburg had announced a jihad or at the very least, accused her of accepting cigars from divorce litigants or looking at pornography on the court computer. The worst he says is that she’s slow to resolve temporary restraining orders, hardly an incitement for the mob to go burn down the courthouse. See “City’s Dissatisfaction with Judge Comes to a Boil,” NYLJ 1/24/11.
As for Hizzoner’s tattling to Chief Judge Flipman – if he thinks calling the Chief “a pretty good guy” is going to get him anywhere, he’d better wise up “pretty darn quick.” We personally have called Judge Flipman the handsomest man ever to grace the bench, a great legal mind with a heart of gold, and the true heir of Judge Cardozo, and he still never grants leave in our appeals.
And if we’re going to talk about threats to judicial independence, let’s talk about New York DA Cyrus Vance whose successful strongarming of the judiciary appears on the same page. “Juvenile Justice Counselor Found Guilty of Sex Assaults,” NYLJ 1/24/11. In a plea negotiated by the NY DA’s office and approved by Justice Cassandra Mullen, the defendant pleaded guilty in exchange for a sentence of ten years probation. Vance, the great white knight of women’s rights, openly pressured the judge into reneging on the deal after the plea had been entered. Was there a peep from the judge or the NYCLA? Not likely.