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. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

#METOO

We wade where other bloggers dare not tread,
Let us first say that there never, ever, is an excuse for any individual to sexually harass another. 
We further state we understand that sexual harassment and coercion comes in many forms and that one such nefarious form is the pressure and/or harassment by a person who has power in the context of work, over another. A supervisor cannot pressure a subordinate to engage in sexual relations. A supervisor cannot engage in unwanted sexual talk or contact. Period.  And these common decency rules have been broken for as long as people woke up and commuted to work. And before that. So this is not a new problem. 

But what interests us is, where do we draw the line? 

May a man never again ask a woman (or man) who is their subordinate at work out on a date? 
There are millions of happy marriages that started out with people meeting at work. In our own small world,  we know of Judges who have married court reporters, and lawyers who, as young ASAs or PDs, have met and then married their work assistants. 
Are such assignations now verboten in every and any form? 

And how do we treat those who have violated the rules? 

We are of course aware of the young woman, who being served white wine, when she actually likes red wine, has since called her date with comedian  Aziz Ansari "the worst night" of her incredibly tragic life. And with her with sympathize. Many a night was ruined for us  when a client ordered a cheap domestic wine. Such indignities, along with similar tragedies like global drought, children dying of the flu or hunger, must be stopped. Perhaps "#letherchoosethewine" should become a national movement? 

But what do we do with people in power who act inappropriately? 
Perhaps they should be immediately exposed, removed from office, dismissed like some piece of conscienceless trash? 

And thus we come to this....

General Dwight D Eisenhower was the Supreme Allied Commander in WWII. He unified the allied nations against tyranny, and fought a world war spanning Europe to the Pacific, without the basic technological aides we have today. He alone bore the crushing decision on when and where to invade Europe, what we now celebrate as D-Day. He alone made the hundreds of decisions every day, for four years, dealing with generals from different countries who complained about other allied generals. (British General Montgomery and Patton would have, if given the chance, turned their armies against each other). Eisenhower did a job he was uniquely qualified for, and he did it better than any human being could have. And he had an affair with a young female aide decades younger than him. She worked for him. He slept with her. He won the war, He was later elected president and steered the country through a major conflict in Korea, avoiding a third world war with China, when his generals were telling him to use nuclear weapons. What should have been done with Ike in 1943- before D-Day, when his improper relationship started? Should he have been fired? 

What about President Franklin Roosevelt? Widely considered one of the three or four greatest presidents in US history. He brought the US out of a recession, and navigated a rocky domestic relationship with isolationists, while struggling to keep England supplied. Once the war started, the pressures on Roosevelt were enormous. His dealings with Stalin and Churchill were magnificent. He set the stage for US policy for the second half of the twentieth century. And before he was elected president, Roosevelt had an affair with a younger woman. Was Franklin Roosevelt unfit for office? Would the country and the world have been better with Wendell Wilkie as president during WWII?

Consider Lyndon Johnson. A known and serial philanderer. He treated women awfully. Screaming at secretaries, ordering them to wear short skirts and tight blouses. But it was only Johnson, a former democratic senator from the south, who could as President shepherd the monumental 1964 Civil Rights Bill though congress. Would the country have been better served if Estes Kefauver was JFK's vice president? We wouldn't have had a civil rights bill in the 1960's but we would have had a VP who didn't sexually use younger women.

And speaking of civil rights, Martin Luther King is a martyr for civil rights. And he cheated on his wife. Should his personal actions have resulted in him being removed as a leader of civil rights? Would the country have been better off without Dr. King?

JFK and his brother RFK saved the world from nuclear holocaust. They resisted the advice of their generals to invade Cuba during the missile crisis. That would have resulted in an exchange of nuclear weapons with the Soviet Union. They saved the world. They both habitually cheated on their spouses. President Kennedy did so in the White House. Numerous times. Washington Post Editor Ben Bradlees's first wife basically accused President Kennedy- decades after the event-  of sexually assaulting her while she and Bradlee were on the Presidential yacht during a party.  

So what do we do with these men, all too human, with human frailties,  who acted inappropriately with women? And in almost every instance did so with women while they were in positons of power. 

Should their names be stricken from history? Should their accomplishments be diminished because of their sexual infidelities? And if you look further into specific episodes you will see that many encounters these men had were not considered consensual by the women they slept with. 

We are just wondering how equal Monica Lewinsky felt with the president of the United States when she performed oral sex on Bill Clinton in the oval office. Was that rape? It wasn't as tragic as being forced to drink white wine, but still...

Where do we draw the line? How do we handle this? 


From Occupied America, where things are getting very strange and difficult, Fight The Power. #Ustoo 



27 comments:

Anonymous said...

If women couldn't ask out subordinates, a sizeable portion of career prosecutors at the sao would never get any, and would be much more honest in their assessments of the truthfulness of police officers!

Anonymous said...

Is Pelosi crying??? Lol. MAGA. I thank my God that Hillary isn’t spewing her sh!t at that sacred podium

Anonymous said...

Washington was a great president and he owned slaves. Doesn’t make slavery OK. Listing great presidents who sexually harassed subordinates doesn’t make sexual harassment OK. What an illogical and disgusting apologia for work-place sexual harassment. Stick to the courthouse gossip, Rumpole.

Anonymous said...

Gotta love CNN. not less than 10 seconds after a beautiful speech cnn anchors call it “offensive”

They live to divide our great country. Sad.

Anonymous said...

RUMPOLE ...you write so well. I always enjoy reading your analysis. Your grasp of history is astounding.

I just want to say THANK YOU.

Anonymous said...

DACA = Does Americs Count Anymore

What’s with the obsession with immigrants! Can’t we fix our own house before opening the floodgates to everyone else!

Is every “dreamer” a hard working valedictorian?

Great speech Mr. President.

#MAGA

Anonymous said...

It’s kind of tough, within our profession , to give total credence to first time announced yet decades old allegations. I have a problem with uncorroberated allegations receiving publicity. I am also skeptical of allegation emanating out of the entertainment industry

Anonymous said...

I'm going to get some popcorn ready for this one!

Anonymous said...

Just to give all the old timers a good laugh: J Edgar Hoover and Clyde Tolson.

Rumpole said...

10:00 p.m., you're missing the point. But then again, I sense you're not too bright. The issue isn't whether because Washington (and Jefferson for that matter) owned slaves. The issue is, in this day and age when the slightest offense to a female subordinate engenders a response in which there is a call to run the scalawag out of town and erase them from the history books so that their name shall never be spoken again- would we as a country be better off with the mediocrity of those who treat women well, but have no special talents?

And I am not advocating for accepting boorish behavior or sexual assault from those who are talented. I am merely pointing out that if we applied our morals today to people in history then....NO FDR (affair before being a president) the firing of General Eisenhower, no President Johnson and thus no 1964 civil rights bill, no MLK, No Bill Clinton, no JFK, no RFK, and quite possibly no Rumpole or Miami or Justice Building Blog (which really would be a dog-awful tragedy) because but for JFK, Miami might still be a smoldering radioactive wasteland.

So my point is, what do we do??

Anonymous said...

Fuck fisa.

Anonymous said...

Jefferson was a Human Trafficer and a child molester. He owned Ms. Sally and began using her fir his gratification when she was only 14 years old.

Anonymous said...

Is what 9:34 says, true? I have catalogue of reasons to hate cops and, if so, can now add another one.

Anonymous said...

6:09...in today's society yes. But he was a man of his times, and thru those glasses is how one should judge him.I'm sure he would recoil at his behavior today. I like to think mankind has evolved...sometimes I wonder.

Anonymous said...

Rump..you nail it at 2:58. Older generation Miami cubans loathe JFK because of the BOP, ( nevermind that it was a carryover from the Eisenhower administration, that JFK was adamant from the beginning, that the invasion would succeed or fail on its own, without involvement of American forces. The planners thought they could force the President's hand at the eleventh hour. They were wrong )...but fail to acknowledge or perhaps understand that were it not for Kennedy's skillful handling of the Missile Crisis, Miami, Havana, and probably a lot of other places would today be as you stated...a wasteland.
Ironically, following the Missle Crisis, RFK, with JFK's blessing, spearheaded a secret plan to have the Castro brothers assassinated by an insider high inside the regime. The morning of JFK's murder, RFK had met in Washington with Enrique "Harry"Williams, a Cuban exile who was to play a central role in the plot. He received word of his brothers shooting after the meeting ended and had gone home to Hickory Hill for lunch. The plan was to be set into motion by eArly December. The plot is detailed in the Lamar Waldron/Thom Hartman book Ultimate Sacrifice...researched using declassified files and interviews with Kennedy admin officials, over something like 17 years. I disagree with the authors thesis, that organized crime elements ordered and carried out JFK's murder...using elements of the secret plan for Cuba. I beleive JFK was done in by intelligence, military and government assets, using elements of organized crime. It is a fascinating read, the updated edition reveals the would be Castro assassin.

Anonymous said...

Oh no, suddenly white men have to THINK about how to respect a woman's right to agency, autonomy and equality? While still having to THINK about how to respect a black person's agency, autonomy and equality? And all because they're accustomed to the historical privilege of not having to do so? It's enough to make a white man weep.

I do understand that these are profound upheavals in a social order that has prevailed for millenia with respect to gender, for centuries with respect to race. It is difficult for the oppressor class, which has inherited privilege without having to consider its implications. It is difficult for the oppressed class, which has internalized inferiority.

I think that criminal defense lawyers might have a natural advantage in adjusting to these upheavals. We often represent people who have been oppressed in various ways -- because of race, because of class, because of mental illness. It is our job to imaginatively inhabit our clients' realities to advance their cases.

This is a moment of great upheaval. Privilege and oppression are almost molecular. We all -- men and women -- have to work hard to rise to the challenge of this moment.



Anonymous said...

trump is destroying the investigation against him like any good lawyer would. If a memo was generated and paid for by the Democratic Party and then that memo was used in a fisa court to support the renewal of a warrant, that is insane. How would that even happen? Can you imagine a rival in business pays for and develops evidence which lands in the hands the doh and then it is presented to a secret court and not disclosed to the court. If this happens to the rich and powerful what do you think happens to the run of the mill. Wake the fuck up people. This shit happens. Fight against that power rumpole....

‘the gang and the government aren’t no different....Get your fucking piss cup out of my face.’

Anonymous said...

Respectfully, the premise of Rumpole's original argument rests on a causal simplification fallacy. Specifically, that *only* the men referred to in his examples could have achieved the stated results. Just as an example, I disagree with the presupposition that *only* JFK could have prevented nuclear annihilation of Miami, and thus *only* LBJ could have passed the Civil Rights Act. See, generally, 11/22/1963 by Stephen King; Man in the High Castle by PKD. I can believe that JFK womanizing and attempted rape is terrible; AND I can also believe there must have been another non-dynastic great American citizen that might have steered us safely through the Cuban Missile Crisis. History is not made by lone wolves, it is made by those who stand on the shoulders of giants. There is plenty of room on those shoulders if someone gets knocked off for being a creep.

Rumpole's response to 10pm demonstrates his lack of conviction in his original argument, as Rumpole resorts to moving the goalposts by setting up the straw man of "slightest offense to a female subordinate = run the scalawag out of town." No one believes that a sincere but clumsy pass at your crush is reason to be hung by your thumbs. We are talking about (generally) men who exploit their positions of power and privilege to assault and oppress their victims.

To summarize: 1) consensual acts done in private life should generally remain private; 2) we can expect our elected officials not just be good leaders but good people; and 3)exposing hypocrisy of public figures is the most delicious flavor of schadenfreude.

Rumpole said...

It is true that part of the premise of my argument is that these men were unique. And while I accept that others could have achieved the same results, it is not any others. It would have to be as unique an individual as the person in question. So for example, if you read about the passage the 1964 Civil Rights act, history and historians almost unanimously agree that Johnson's unique personality, his unique relations with senators - having been a senator and the Majority leader, and his status as a southerner, all combined to allow him to maneuver to break the southern senator's filibuster and move the bill through the senate. So I ask you, with hindsight being 20-20, what other possible vice presidential candidate in 1960, who would become president in 3 years, could have done what Johnson did? Estes Keefauver? Senator Stuart Symington? How about this great, inspiring leader- Minnesota Governor Orville Freeman? Or Sen Henry 'scoop" Jackson- a great guy, but an expert on defense, not national matters. Sen Hubert Humphrey? He was game. He would have tried, but I doubt he could have broken the filibuster. He didn't have Johnson's arm twisting and deal making abilities. All of those men were the top candidates for JFK in 1960. Indeed there is credible evidence they didn't want Johnson, that the offer leaked out before it was intended, and that when RFK went to Johnson to say he wasn't their choice, Johnson literally cried and begged and refused to back down.

Or consider MLK. There were other civil rights leaders in the 1960's. But did any of them give the "I have a dream speech?" Do you think we was unique, charismatic, and a man who was the right man at the right time? Or do you think that Ralph Abernathy could have done what MLK did if MLK was shamed from public life?

So while my premise is clearly based on the assumption these men were unique, I also argue that they were indeed unique.
HR

Anonymous said...

Prejudice, bias and discrimination are said to be a matter of perspective. Yes, a matter of perspective to the hate mongers who are in self denial about their racism. Their perspective derives from hiring Haitian or Latino maid, lawn man, janitor, et. al. Now, when it come professionals, we will never measure up to their subjective (biased) expectations. No matter how much Blacks or Latinos excel, they will never be genuinely accepted. Platitudes are not evidence of sincerity. Prejudice, bias and discrimination are matters of perspective, those of us who have experienced bias and discrimination have the scars which temper or color our perspective. We have borne the humiliation of knowing that although we are suppose to be equal, we have not been treated with equality. We will never successfully conceal the color of our skin, the vowels in our names, or the accent in our speech. As a result, we will continue to be the sub-class.

Anonymous said...

Beautifully done. You take the good with the bad with the historic men. Women speaking out about their experiences is good and long overdue but we can't let the revolution eat the children and the adults. Rapists should be prosecuted and sued along with any other violators of laws and norms but the mass firings and banishment of anyone accused of any impropriety without regard to scale or date doesn't seem right either. I mean groupies are complaining of blowing rock stars backstage in the 70s and now it's considered wrong to even listen to some songs. Louis CK is a piece of shit but he is funny and I like to laugh. Am I implicated because I listen to his album? Can I watch Annie Hall again without exposing myself to societal punishment? Lets figure out a process for reckoning before we bring out the guillotines.

Anonymous said...

You are a stereotyper. You cast aspersions at classes of people, like men and whites, as if we aren't all unique individuals, who have, or should have, the right to be assessed on our merits individually.

My son is white and of course male and just a few years old. When should he start to feel guilty about his skin pigmentation and his particular private parts. 10? 15? 20?

Funny you do this in supposed need to come to the defense of the oppressed class, which has "internalized inferiority." What a crock, and perhaps more importantly, what a bunch of offensive drivel. MLK was a member of the oppressed class? Did he internalize inferiority? Me think not so.

Racism is a form of stereotyping. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think more stereotyping is the answer.

Anonymous said...

What did you score on the verbal portion of the SATs? I'm betting you failed miserably in reading comprehension...

Anonymous said...

surorised you havent picked up on regjb connect to secret memo

Anonymous said...

2/1 10:38 a.m. is obviously not a lawyer. Otherwise he (no way that's a she) would know that many informants are paid by the law enforcement agency. That doesn't have to be included in a warrant application, only the fact -- if true, as is the case with Steele -- that the informant has provided reliable information in the past.

Furthermore, Steele's work was initially funded by an organization behind a GOP candidate. How does the commenting male non-lawyer know on whose dime Steele discovered evidence of Trump's corrupt relationship with Russia.

Whenever it was that he found it, what was Steele, a former MI6 officer, supposed to do with evidence of Trump's corrupt relationship with Russia? Although the male non-lawyer may be uninterested in evidence that a candidate for president has a corrupt relationship with Russia, there are some of us who believe the information was important enough to share with our government. That's just what he did. He shared information he acquired that was of importance to our government.

Finally, if Steele and the IC were so intent on taking down Trump, why didn't they reveal evidence of his corrupt relationship with Russia before the election?

What is a corrupt relationship in this context? One in which a presidential candidate is vulnerable to pressure from a country hostile to ours.

Anonymous said...

This is a very true statement, my friend.

Anonymous said...

Wrong rumple. For a smart guy, you’re really missing the boat lately. And the petty “you’re not to bright” comments are sophomoric. As true debater does not call some dumb bc they disagree with you, they offer a valid counter point.