Sunday, March 25, 2012

Judicial Conduct Commission facing Sunset review in April

Grits hasn't had a chance to read the Sunset Advisory Commission report (pdf) on the State Commission on Judicial Conduct, nor the agency response (pdf), nor the agency's self-evaluation (pdf), but I at least wanted to give readers the links as well as point out bloggerly critiques at Texas Watchdog and the Burnt Orange Report, both of which fault the agency in particular for a lack of transparency. A public hearing April 10 will focus on the agency (with TDCJ and correctional managed health care up in June, see their meeting schedule [pdf]).

One key Sunset recommendation for the Judicial Conduct Commission, the first one, in fact, harks back to the Sharon Keller fiasco where the commission imposed what turned out to be an illegal sanction after adopting findings of fact critical of the judge's decision making and forthcomingness with her fellow judges in the whole "We Close At 5" brouhaha. Sunset Staff recommended Texas adopt a "Constitutional Amendment," to "Authorize the Commission to use its full range of sanctions following formal proceedings."

Another key problem identified by Sunset staff was also readily apparent in the Keller fiasco, in retrospect: "Inconsistencies Between Its Statute and Rules Create the Potential for Litigation and Inefficiencies in the Commission's Operation." Indeed, discussions by commissioners during that episode made it clear this was an ongoing issue that arises for them frequently, whereas the first recommendation was more or less unique to Keller's situation.

Other recommendations and critiques, say the two blog posts, related to a lack of transparency even (perhaps particularly) with Sunset staff. I'd have to read the reports themselves to say more, but anyone interested in participating in the agency's Sunset process should find all they need in the above-linked documents to get engaged.

6 comments:

Phillip Baker said...

So far as I can tell, the Judicial Conduct Commission is as worthless and toothless as the State Board of Medical Examiners and the State Bar. Through in the Board of Pardons and Paroles to make it an even 4. Since none of these "regulatory" agencies seem to ever actually regulate, they are a waste of money. There should be such regulatory bodies in place, because if they actually worked they'd protect Texans from some of the professions that can most help. But they don't, so shut them down and replace 'em.

Anonymous said...

Add the Commission on Jail Standards to that list.

Anonymous said...

I think the majority of these organizations, agencies, person's and such do not preform the duties that they were originally put in place to do. Their mission statements could at least remove "In the publics interest"

A review of findings of errors to any degree will likely be no more than that. A review of findings of favor, will also be just another review.

I contacted many of the persons at these bodies,filed my grievances on time on behalf of my child, as my minor child has been wrongfully convicted in TX, when he is not guilty and not culpable. The substantial evidence is clear, yet person's either added to harming my child or ignored the unlawful acts against him.

How do these governing bodies
define Regulatory-review-unlawful-lawful-protect-public interest-professional-standards-conduct-

4brycesbattle

Stop Adult Transfer of Youth with Genetic Brain Disorder by 09-2012 in Prison. said...

I think the majority of these organizations, agencies, person's and such do not preform the duties that they were originally put in place to do. Their mission statements could at least remove "In the publics interest"

A review of findings of errors to any degree will likely be no more than that. A review of findings of favor, will also be just another review.

I contacted many of the persons at these bodies,filed my grievances on time on behalf of my child, as my minor child has been wrongfully convicted in TX, when he is not guilty and not culpable. The substantial evidence is clear, yet person's either added to harming my child or ignored the unlawful acts against him.

How do these governing bodies
define Regulatory-review-unlawful-lawful-protect-public interest-professional-standards-conduct-

Anonymous said...

Judicial Conduct Commission. Yeah right. Judges do what they want to do and there is never a sanction. They are too powerful. They are elected. If the populace wants them, no matter how rogue they are, they will win. And,if they are that popular, no one wants to go up against them in a Court of Law.

Stan Rains said...

Mr. Phillip Baker, I believe you are wrong about the Judicial Conduct Commission and the Bar being toothless. I have seen them destroy any number of individuals and activists attempting to limit their power or to sanction one of their own insiders. And in doing so, they are quite efficient in actively and aggressively promoting corruption to levels not seen in generations.

On April 10th I attended the Sunset Commission's hearing on the Judicial Conduct Commission. There weren't fireworks, there were artillery duals between the Sunset Members and the JCC. Then the public spoke. Numerous attorney's from the major cities representing groups of attorneys as large as a 3,1000 member constituency for one of these gentlemen all called for a removal of the cloak of secrecy on grievances against judges. All spoke of what one described as "Tyrants in Black Robes".

The public and members of the legal community were united on this topic. Of course the Bar with its tight covert working relationship (unethical and illegal?) with the JCC made no entry for or against.

The members of the JCC who were present presented a united front reminding me of Qhadafi in his arrogance until the freedom fighters caught him. They had appeared at the hearing with the attitude that they were above monitoring or censure.

Their words were generally words of command.

The JCC's attitude was one of disbelief that everyone did not support the JCC's concept of absolute confidentiality and authority over a rogue judiciary.

Everyone present except the members of the JCC were angered by the JCC's position that they were the law.

As only one of the several efforts to rationalize their position, the JCC even stated they were the legal representatives of the judiciary and anything addresses between the two constituted attorney client privilege.

After hearing from the JCC, the more bizarre and extreme tales of woe by the public became very real and believable.

Stan Rains