WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Monday, September 28, 2009

COURTS CLOSED TODAY

Federal court is open.

The State courts in Dade and Broward are closed.

Exactly why are they closed again?


Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;

See you in court tomorrow, unless it's some Buddhist holiday we're not currently aware of.



For those of you getting ready to blast us in the comments section, feel free to do so. However, know this: Our belief is that the court system should not be closed for ANY religious holiday. Anyone and everyone who follows a particular religion should be spared from working or attending court on any day their religious beliefs prohibit it. This is a country founded on the belief of tolerance of all religions, not just a special one or two. We just believe that when a government shuts down an entire court system in recognition of a particular religion, it crosses the line and violates the First Amendment.

And while we respect those who practice the Jewish faith and are fasting today and not working, Jews should be alarmed as we are that there is a sizable percentage of this country, and many Congressmen and women and senators who given the opportunity, would pass a bill stating that the United States Of America is a Christian County. Based on our founding principles and beliefs we are no more a Christian Country then we are a Muslim or Buddhist or Druid or Jewish country. We are a country that is supposed to tolerate ALL religions and recognize NONE.

36 comments:

Anonymous said...

nice rumpole

Anonymous said...

Actually, as a metter of law, Rump, you're wrong about the establishment clause. But, I'll sprare you the diatribe proving that fact, as you're a bright man, and I presume you're speaking normatively not positively.

But I think you're missing the point. As a practical matter, having the courts open in counties where a high number of judges are Jewish is impractical. Although replacements could be found, we all know how much fun it is to have senior judges in, applying the law from when last they donned the robes back in 1969.

More inmportantly, leaving courts open in counties where many defense attorneys are Jewish is even more impractical. Although technically judges can be subbed for, a defendant has the right to have HIS (or her) attorney and not some sub, represent him at trial or at any other post-arrest hearing. Yes, many Ds permit counsel to sub in, but to FORCE that decision systemically would be questionable. Moreover, as a practicall matter, the number of continuances that would be required is (and always has been) such that closing down is the more rational decision.

By the way, nice job posting this at a time when the VAST majority of possible dissenting voices will be in temple.

Rumpole said...

I leave this post up tomorrow so the dissenting voices can have their say. Of course nothing prevents anyone from scrolling down and seeing what I wrote a few days ago.

I believe the establishment clause, which has been used, albeit under a different makeup of the supreme court, to prohibit prayer in school, at school sponsored football games, the use of public classrooms after school for religious sponsored clubs, etc., directly prohibits the government from closing courts in respecting a particular religion. I believe under today's "religious right" court, the closings would be upheld. But these are the same people very sympathetic to the belief this is a Christian Country, so what does that tell you.

My point is a broad philosophical one: it's not OK to respect any religion, even if it seems like a nice gesture, because it sets the philosophical ground work for declaring this country a Christian Country, and if you're Jewish or Muslim what are you going to do then when they come for you?

Anonymous said...

I agree completely. And why stop there. Why should the courts be closed on Veterans Day, Columbus Day, President's Day, and the day after Thanksgiving. As for the comment by 9:23 am, he is obviously a criminal defense attorney. For we civil practitioners, the court also means the clerk, which is far more important. If the court is open, we can file new cases, pleadings, do recording, and the clerk can conduct judicial sales, etc. In other words, a lot of work can get done whether or not Jewish judges are in Temple and the rest are playing golf.

Anonymous said...

As you said, if the court was open, there would be a big problem with about 35% of the judges out for the day.

Same with Christmas.

What's next grumpy, rumpy, no thanksgiving?

Pass the gravy....

Anonymous said...

Going back -
To the author of September 25th 3:03 p.m. who wrote,

"If these clients hire me and end up taking a plea- during the plea colloquy they're going to answer YES to the question "Has anyone forced you or threatened you to take this plea?""

And then the court will not accept the plea offer and you will be trying the case. I hope you are good b/c if you lose, and your client gets prison, it will have been YOU who prohibited him or her from taking a plea they MAY have legitimately wanted.

Go stand on your soapbox some more.....

Rumpole said...

The obvious difference is other holidays are not for religious reasons.

Anonymous said...

so, give us the update rump, who's left in the suicide pool and what's your prediction on how many weeks will it take to get a winner

Anonymous said...

Good post Rump. Here's what else needs to go:

1. The "under god" clause in the pledge of allegiance.
2. The "in god we trust" from our currency.
3. Having the president/elected officials take the oath of office with the hand on a bible.

Just some food for thought.

Anonymous said...

Oy Vey es mir
DS

fake country dave said...

and now for the holiday obligatory

DUDES where is everyone?

Anonymous said...

Funny how everyone now assumes you aren't Jewish, Rump.

Anonymous said...

9:37 am, the way things are going, there is no fear that America will be declared a Christian or anything else country. They'll go after any religion because, after all, all religions place God as higher than the state, something that is a very annoying stumbling block to the statists of both sides of the spectrum that are currently running this country.

Anonymous said...

vey es mir! Is it still Ramadan? This daily fasting isn't easy! Can't wait till Eid! Will BHO make Eid a national holiday?

Anonymous said...

(Coffee Talk with Linda Richman): "Roman Polansky. Talk amongst yourselves."

CAPTAIN said...

THE CAPTAIN REPORTS:

Breaking News ......

Well, Fins Fans, you've been waiting for nearly two years for this day to arrive and now it is only six days away.

Chad number one is out for the season.

Chad number two, as in Henne, will make his first NFL start against the Bills on Sunday.

Let's hope it goes a lot better than that second half performance on Sunday against the Chargers.

For you forward looking folks: the draft is only 206 days, 3 hours and 30 minutes away.

Cap Out .....

Anonymous said...

It's NOT okay to respect any religion? Shouldn't ALL religions be respected? I think that's different than respecting an 'establishment' of religion.

And what 'law' was passed closing the courts? The 'administration' closed the courts for practical purposes, the same way they do when there's a hurricane or street flooding, etc.

Fake Mendy said...

According to the Broward Blog the Broward SAO is open and requires those who wish the day off to use a vacation day. The Broward PDs are closed.

Still fasting. Oy Vey!

Anonymous said...

Interesting that this posting and others similar to it only arise on Jewish holidays. How come no outcry that courts are closed on Christmas? And why is there no outcry that court is cancelled on the Friday after Thanksgiving? What kind of holiday is that?
Let's see if Rumpole will post a similar comment on Friday December 25.

Batman said...

Excuse me Rump, but when did Christmas stop being a religious holdiay, despite its economic significance?

The fact that the Chief Judge of this circiut long ago recognized the inconvenience to everyone involved and chose to close the courts on Yom Kippur is not violative of the Bill of Rights. Recognizing the significance of a particular day to a certain group is the not "respecting the establishment of" a religion. The Constitution does not state "respecting or establishment". It is "make a law respecting (about) the establishment of religion."

This is not an issue. However maybe you and the late Federal District Judge Norman Roettger could get together and discuss lack of respect for people's beliefs. If you do not know the story, I will post it.

Anonymous said...

It is a truism that as a defense attorney one must respond to and deal with the formidable and sometimes overwhelming power of the state or government. One must deal with the myriad of other factors; witnesses, families, lawyers, and experts who can and often do present further obstacles which not only change our individual cases but can change our very being. And yes, one must at times deal with acts so tortuously wrong that we wonder how this human species survives.

The practice of criminal defense work, by its nature, is unarmed combat in which few, if any, leave the courtroom unscarred in some inexplicable way.

There are no battle ribbons, no monuments and often no recognition other than one’s self-realization that he or she has done all that could be done within the rules- rules which sometime one finds inhibiting, frustrating, and does not agree with- but still must be followed.

It is an attempt to bring civilized combat to an essentially uncivilized grouping of factors- whether they be clients, witnesses, government representatives, and yes, at times, the bench itself. This is that which we honor. Each of us knows, in our individual heart of darkness, that the alternative is to travel the river to revolution.

So, how does one deal with these conundrums, i.e., that we realize the unspeakable but we don’t wish to express it. We, if we are honorable at heart, are anarchists without the substantial ability to say so. Some have become sufficiently vested in whatever that reality is- unthinkable and therefore unspeakable.

To remain sane, to remain committed to the ideal of honest representation of the accused, there are two essential needs; the fellow believer and the ability to laugh together. It is submitted that when these two integers are no more, there will no longer be a viable criminal defense bar. If you are reading this, there is communion of belief, and if there is the hope that we create non-hurtful nonsense (and laugh at ourselves), we will survive.

Communal laughter brings medicine to the soul, salves the pain of our very existence and allows each to recognize the pleasantry of simply being. I suggest that is the most intimate of exchanges.

If we lose this ability to be joyous together, to laugh at ourselves, then, as a group, we may survive, but only as a pitiable bunch of misfits.

Anonymous said...

Here is a question or two
YOUR "RUMPHOLINESS"

Why do we have a National Cathedral in Washington D.C.?

Why not a National Synagogue or a National Mosque?

While we, as citizens of the United States of America should have respect for every religion, our government should not respect any specific religion. I think our constitution equated the term respect with the idea of favoring one religion over the other.

In real life in our Country,States and cities there is no such thing as separation of church and state. You and your readers can cite a ton of examples.

Our new President refused to allow Christian or Jewish ceremonies or acknowledgments in the confines of the White House and yet recently allowed such a recognition of Islam by inviting Muslims to the White House in some form of celebration or recognition of Rammadan. Think it isn't so? Check it out.

We need to get Michael Moore working on this issue.

Anonymous said...

All organized religion is stupid.

Now excuse me while I go pray for rain.

Wow, it's raining.

Maybe religion is not so stupid, after all.

Anonymous said...

4:48: stop getting all your information from the internet. makes you sound like a dumb-ass. oh, wait, you are! never mind.

Anonymous said...

With all that is wrong in the world, this is an issue we should be putting our time and energy into?

Anonymous said...

9/28/09 at 4:44PM is a stunning closing argument!

Anonymous said...

4:48, umm, didn't our President celebrate Passover seder this past spring, the first president to do so?

Anonymous said...

state hacks. lazy. courts closed. federal court open. real lawyers.

Anonymous said...

9:23 here.

10:06AM said: "As for the comment by 9:23 am, he is obviously a criminal defense attorney."

Nope. Never been a criminal defense attorney. Former prosecutor, now civil lit. But, I can, and this is a crazy thought I know, see and appreciate the arguments of my former adversaries. Furthermore, your point about the clerks office being open is transparently simplistic.

For instance, let's say I'm a wrongfully accused defendant. And, let's say that I'm well aware that some criminal defense attorneys just "fee 'em and plea 'em." As a result, I hire an attorney, say an old friend, who I know will give me good, honest advice.

My trial date is on Yom Kippur, but my trusted lawyer is an observant Jew. So, I show up to court, and there's some stranger representing me. I don't know this person, and I don't trust him or her. The State offers probation, which of course, they couldn't convey prior to the trial date. But, I don't know whether I should take the offer because I don't know or trust my lawyer. So, I ask for a continuance.

Speedies waived, case gets continued. Neither of these things would have happened if I could have had my lawyer there to give me sound counsel.

That's why it's a waste of court time AND not in defendants' best interest to have court on YK.

And, by the way, I'm nonreligious and a former prosecutor. But, more importantly than either of those things, I happen to believe in common sense. When you know that many judges and many attorneys will be absent, reason dictates that you don't waste everyone's time with empty proceedings.

Anonymous said...

All religions suck. People should be more concerned with the here and now than the great beyond. Religion of any kind is for morons who can't accept that their lives are as cosmically relevant as the ant they stepped on in a parking lot.

Anonymous said...

Let's celebrate the upcoming county court blitz by closing the courthouse on blitz days.

Anonymous said...

Barack Obama and his family celebrated a Passover seder in the White House: Published: April 10, 2009 - NYT - President Obama and guests celebrated Passover on Thursday evening with what White House officials believe to be the first Passover seder dinner held by an American president.

Anonymous said...

We do not have a national cathedral in Washington, D.C. that has anything to do with our national government. There is a National Cathedral, a parish of the local Episcopalian diocese, that is church-owned and operated. We have lots of "National" stuff in D.C., including a baseball team (whose stadium was built by District taxpayers and gifted to the Lerner family), that have no connection to our national government.

Polls can get you arrested! said...

Rumpole, becareful what polls you decide to have as you may get arrested!

http://edition.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/09/28/facebook.poll/

Anonymous said...

Why not celebrate Cinco de Mayo? A lot of Hispanic Judges would like to attend Calle Ocho festivities.

Anonymous said...

So we had the choice between Mario Garcia (the man who printed his own money for a cult) and Stacy Glick (who is becoming Leslie Rothenberg Pt 2).

It was a close race and did it really matter who won?