When Choosing A Supreme Court Judge

The background story is long, but I will summarize it as best as I can. In 1932, the Puerto Rico legislature enacted a statute creating the Puerto Rico Bar Association (known in Spanish as the Colegio de Abogados) and making membership mandatory for all attorneys. Failing to pay the Bar Association’s dues was, thus, a sanctionable offense. As a result of that long litigation in the 1980s (Schneider v. Colegio de Abogados) a system was adopted for Bar Association members to specifically designate what their fees could be used for. Once this was in place, the Bar Association could claim the members were not in a position to claim their constitutional rights to free speech and association were violated. The saga did not end there, of course. The next chapter began in 2009 when the legislature amended the 1932 statute to eliminate mandatory bar membership as a requirement to practice law.

Arguing that the legislature had infringed on the Supreme Court’s “inherent power” to regulate the profession, the Bar Association sued to challenge the new law. Three years later, the legislature (now controlled by a different political party) enacted yet another law restoring mandatory Bar Association membership, and, as you would expect, that law was then challenged by opponents of an integrated bar. It is this challenge that the court decided last week. Given its decision against the Bar Association in 2011, it is not surprising that the Court again decided against a mandatory integrated bar. What is surprising, though, is that it does so by adopting the position it rejected back then. In the new opinion, the Court concludes that the adoption of a statute constituted an infringement on its “inherent power” to regulate the profession and a violation of separation of powers. Of course, the question of the constitutionality of an integrated bar is not unique to Puerto Rico.

In 1961, the US Supreme Court rejected a constitutional attack of mandatory membership in state bar associations in a case called Lathrop v. Donahue, 367 US 820 (1961). Also, in Cuyahoga Cty. Bar. Assn. v. Supeme Court of Ohio, 430 US 901 (1977), the Court summarily affirmed a lower court ruling on the constitutionality of a mandatory annual fee to support a state bar and disciplinary system. However, the free speech and free association arguments advanced in Lathrop were not rejected by the prevailing opinion. The Court simply found that more facts were needed for them to be considered. Other courts, however, have found that mandatory fees need to be related to bar organization matters. This last point is important for the Puerto Rico situation because the underlying fight has always been about the Bar Association’s use of its funds to support causes some of the members find objectionable. Interestingly, how to deal with the opposition to the use of the funds was one of the questions that the Schneider case in the 1980s actually decided. It was for that reason that when the pro statehood party took control of the legislature, it enacted the law eliminating mandatory bar membership entirely. Not surprisingly, as soon as the pro-commonwealth party regained power, it again restored mandatory membership.

Our class actually looked for fragments for the Ohio Historical Society under the direction of Merit Wood. I also remember talking with a Precious Blood nun at the relic chapel about the Randolph slaves and the display they had there of the actual land holding of the slaves that stayed in the Carthagena area. I don’t think any nuns are present at Maria Steins Relic chapel these days but the display is still there to my knowledge as is the graveyard that we studies at Carthagena. The blue house appears cared-for but I don’t know that the museum is open any more. The museum phone number is no longer in service. Someplace I came across a post office box and have planned to call the post office to see if they’re allowed to tell me if it’s still an active box (Rossville Museum, P.O. I think the son’s name is Robert B. Gilmore and he might live in Troy.

Hi chowchowgirl–I’m so glad to meet someone else who is interested in the history of the Randolph Slaves, and their cemetery. I’m afraid I don’t know where the Gilmore’s son is, or if he will continue to keep the little museum open, now that Mr. and Mrs. Gilmore have both passed on. I haven’t been to Rossville or the cemetery for a few months–I need to visit soon. When I do, I’ll look to see if the museum is still open. Thanks for your interest in this fascinating, but sad piece of Piqua, Ohio history! There isn’t much on Google so I was overjoyed to find your excellent Hubs! I hope to take photos throughout the year to show the time passing, autumn leaves, snow, moonlit nights, on and on and on. I contacted a Piqua government source but was told that Rossville is not part of Piqua city proper.

Is the Gilmores’ son still around? I have a post office box for the little museum house but don’t know if it’s still active. 123–Thank you for your comments. In all of the research that I’ve done on this, I have not come across mention of the Yankee Democrats in reference to the Randolph Slaves. Can you direct me to a link that confirms your statements? I know who Augustus Wattles is, but so far, I have not been able to find anything about Mr. Wattles’ letter to the governor. I want my articles to be as accurate as possible, so if you could show me where to find this information, I will check it out myself. Although, even from what you say, the Germans did indeed play a part in this unfortunate situation, even if they were under the influence of alcohol–of which, of course, I would like to see confirmed statements from a trustworthy source.

Thank you again for your comments–I do appreciate hearing others’ views about this sad piece of history. Thank you for writing this, but I am afraid that there may be a distortion on who is to blame for the travery of the Randolph slaves. It seems that many authors wrongly lay the blame on the German settlers for this. The whole affair was instigated by Yankee Democrats from Celina, and not by the Germans. The Yankee Democrats drew the Germans in to their attack by plying them with free and abundant whiskey. This is attested to by Augustus Wattles in a letter to the governor, wherein he also states that by and large the Germans had no difficulties with the settlement of freed slaves. It is time I think to lay the blame squarely upon the true instigators, the Yankee Democrats, and cease scapegoating the Germans. TamCor: Keep up the good work. Immigrants were the most prejudiced and violent and felt they were competing with blacks for jobs and survival. Watch Gangs of New York. Immigrants brought ignorance and fear with them from abroad.

I read all sixteen chapters of “The Journey”–it was wonderful, and very interesting to read all the different views from each author. I’m happy that you enjoyed this article. Ever since the day Tom and I stumbled upon the Randolph slaves’ cemetary, I was drawn in and had to know more about them. I was also amazed that the Virginia courts did what they did, especially in that day and age. But what happened to these poor people in Ohio was just tragic. The irony is that the majority of the folks who did this were immigrants themselves–I wonder if it occurred to them that the same thing could have happened to them when they relocated there–how would THEY had felt? I had to put it away for awhile, because it affected me so deeply, but I feel ready to tackle it again now. Thanks again for reading this–I appreciate it! Hi Tammy. I was one of the sweet sixteen authors of the Journey with Tom. I love history and this is a great historical piece.

Our Court system delayed freedom for 13 years and then took the land from the Randolph slaves by the technicality called “adverse possession”. The same “Justice” system ignored the unethical conduct and forgery of one of their own lawyers. Even 180 years ago, the deck was stacked in favor of the rich and powerful. It is extraordinary that the courts of Virginia threw out the 3rd will and awarded the Randolph slaves their freedom. Thanks for this terrific article. You make an interesting point, itakins–that’s very well possible. Whatever the reason, though, it is tragic the way this all progressed, isn’t it? Thank you for visiting both of my hubs on the Randolph slaves–I’m glad you liked them. Again fascinating and so well written! You’re right–there were many other nationalities that were enslaved, too. J’aime–Thanks so much–I am really glad that you like this. I hope you enjoy the others, too! Thank you junko–I appreciate your opinions on this.

Honestly I have no idea why the Germans treated these freed people that way, but I suppose, at that point in time, it very well could’ve been just about any nationality doing it. It was a travesty, no two ways about it. Such a sad story. I had two coincidences occur regarding this Hub. When I woke up this morning, I turned on the television and the song Born Free was playing on a commercial or something as I went downstairs to get a cup of coffee. My thoughts, at that 5:45 a.m. I thought “how sad” as the screen showed this poor gorilla, caged, just sitting there, staring into space. Then I opened my laptop, went to Hub Pages and your Hub was the second Hub on the page. This was a great story. I know how much research goes into stories such as this, so I appreciate all the heart and soul you put into getting this story out there. Great job on the Hub, Tammy. I know it took a lot of research and work to get such an amazing and heart wrenching story right. I’m proud of you. I got so much from this look back in history, I thank you for that reflection. What jump out at me was, I’ve always heard that German prisoners of war were treated better than black soldiers, in Europe and in the United States I’ve always wondered how and why it happened that way. This hub made the reason clear. A 100 years or so before German prisoners of war were treated better than black soldiers who were fighting and dieing for America,German immigrants were free to mistreat Randolph Slaves. In a sense it was like the civil war on a world scale reinacted with German brothers against German brother.

It has been a busy day for gun rights litigation. On the down side, the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the decision in Woollard v. Gallagher which had overturned the State of Maryland’s “good and substantial reason” requirement for the issuance of a carry permit. In brief, that court found that Maryland’s interest in public safety met the standards of intermediate scrutiny. I have not read the full decision so I will defer to Professor Eugene Volokh and Second Amendment attorney Dave Hardy for their learned commentary on the decision. The court claims that it’s not deciding whether the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in self-defense extends to carrying a gun outside the home. But it seems to me that means the court is thereby deciding that the right to keep and bear arms doesn’t extend to carrying outside the home for self-defense. If a court lets the government deny the ability to carry guns outside the home for self-defense to nearly everybody, the court is in essence saying there is no such right to carry. I cannot think of any other right considered a fundamental right, whose exercise can be (1) punished unless the person receives a government permit and (2) there are no standards for the permit issuance beyond a government official’s feelings. I quite agree with Sebastian that this one is destined for the Supreme Court. This combined with Kachalsky and the twin Illinois cases of Shepard v. Madigan and Moore v. Madigan present a split between the circuits. There is no word yet from the Second Amendment Foundation or Alan Gura but I cannot believe they won’t appeal. In more positive news, word comes from Louisiana that the state’s felon in possession law was struck down as violating strict scrutiny. The lead attorney in the lawsuit is noted Second Amendment attorney Stephen Halbrook. The complaint can be found here.

The origin and formation of the Filipino people dates back at least 50,000 years ago, long before the development of the Austronesian languages. Fast forward to March 16, 1521, when the Philippines was discovered by Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan. Filipinos, in general, have always excelled wherever they were. One such Filipino was our national hero, Jose Protacio Rizal, an FMG, yes, a foreign medical graduate, who obtained his Doctor of Medicine degree in Madrid, Spain, in 1885, 128 years ago. He was a European-trained ophthalmologist, one of very few specialists at the time, when specialization was not even popular. Rizal, believing in the brilliance of his people, exhorted the Filipinos to regain the pride in themselves and in their race. So, to set the record straight, they were Filipinos, and not British or American Indians who first set foot in America, some 426 years ago. We, Filipino, are therefore technically not foreigners in the United States!

Today, there are more than 3 million of us in America and about 11 million overseas, comprising about 14% of the total population of the Philippines, which is almost 99 million. Remittances from all us this year is expected to be 22.5 Billion, US dollars. Without this infusion of money to the Philippine economy, the government would literally shut down. If all of us stop these remittances even for a few months, the country would go bankrupt. The global Filipinos are indeed a vital and powerful lifeline for the Philippines, its government and its people. Filipinos have a literacy rate of 96-98% and majority of us are fluent in English. No less than 47.9 % of us in the United States have at least a Bachelor’s Degree. Twenty percent of the world’s seafarers are Filipinos. There are 1.2 million sailor and cruise employees around the world. Indeed, the more the world knows about Filipinos, the more they’ll love us….except, of course, our corrupt politicians and some snakes in our won forest.

So, imagine a world without Filipinos! In the United States alone, most hospitals and clinics, factories, casinos would be handicapped severely, if not paralyzed and close, without Filipinos. We, Filipinos, are indeed a Sleeping Giant, and we have every reason to be proud as Filipinos. As these corrupt leaders fill up their pockets and bank accounts, the poorest of the poor Filipinos go to bed at night hungry, not only with empty stomach but with empty hope and empty dreams. Fortunately, in 2010, the Filipinos at home and abroad have elected by an impressive landslide a man of integrity and honor. More than 400,000 vigilant Filipinos marched and rallied against the Pork Barrel scam near EDSA, which has led to the surrender of Janet Napoles and the ongoing investigation today. I am sure more heads will fall. There are several other investigations on corruption going on the Philippines…courtesy of the Aquino administration. All these could NOT, would NOT, have happened if we had a president who was corrupt. The impressive economic boon in the Philippines and the excellent international credit rating of the country today are the impact and fruits of an honest and transparent leadership from the top.

I only hope and pray that the one who succeeds Noynoy Aquino in 2016 is equally a leader of integrity, honesty, and transparency. Otherwise, we shall be back to square one and waste all the changes and progress achieved so far. Filipinos around the world, must come together, even in our diversity, even without unanimity, and unite for a common cause, and inspire our people towards responsible citizenship, and our nation, towards good governance and ethical leadership. When united, this sleeping giant could harness super power and clout. 14 million as our war chest overnight…….for the humanitarian programs of many organizations like the PMAC and their medical missions, the Gawad Kalinga, and several others. What we need is a revolution…… not a revolution of arms where blood shall be shed, but a revolution of principles, priorities, attitude, and discipline, where sweat and tears INSTEAD shall be shed to bathe our nation clean. All the little miracles and providential omens developing in our country and among Filipinos around the world today are a manifestation of positive things to come. You, who are here today, leaders of our people in your own right, embolden my sustained faith in the Filipino people. You represent what is best in humankind, and your nobility and compassion towards our fellowmen ensure the Filipino a rightful place in history. You are not only the source of hope for our people but the foundation of dignity and pride for the Philippines. I have an abiding faith that the Filipinos are destined for greatness. Leaving this world after this life is not a tragedy. Dying without making a difference, without significance, without leaving an inspiring legacy behind, is. Ladies and gentlemen, with all these signs and symptoms and heartaches of our suffering fellowmen back home, let us not wait for SURGERY to open our heart. Let us come together now as our brothers’ keepers, as our nation’s loving patriots, to serve a cause nobler and greater than our individual selves, and, someday soon make OUR appointment …..with destiny.

The United States legal system is one that is based on federal law. Federal laws are supplemented by laws that state legislatures enact. State laws, in turn, are augmented by laws that are passed by the individual states’ counties, cities and towns. The first 10 amendments to the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, encapsulate most of the freedoms and rights that Americans enjoy. Federal, state and local laws apply to every person in the United States. It does not matter what their immigration status is or whether they are citizens. Most of the basic legal rights that US citizens enjoy protect even illegal immigrants in the US. The United States Constitution stipulates that every state can establish its own systems vis-a-vis civil and criminal law. Consequently, there are essentially 50 separate legal systems at work in this country. And each of these systems is buttressed by its own city and county courts, laws, police forces, and prisons.

There are a huge number of variations in the law and the interpretation of the law from one state to another. Consequently, it can be very challenging for a person who moves from one state to a different state to adapt. In other words, they may be unknowingly breaking a law that wasn’t even a law in the state that they used to live in. The highest court in the United States is the Supreme Court. It is a part of the US judiciary, which also consists of the US District Courts and the US Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court is structured to be independent of the government. The Supreme Court is made up of nine judges whom the President of the United State appoints for life. The decisions of the Supreme Court are final. Its decisions legally bind all parties involved. This, the highest court in the land, decides whether laws are constitutional by reviewing federal and state government activities.

Some of the more widely known Supreme Court decisions have involved racial segregation, capital punishment, abortion, and the Watergate scandal. When choosing a Supreme Court judge, the President usually bases his decision on the political and social views of the candidate under consideration. Not surprisingly, these views have been very similar those of the President. The recent succession of Republican presidents has changed what had been a reformist and liberal court into a more conservative one due to the outlook of the judges that were appointed. Be they liberal or conservative, many of the lower courts have been awarding substantial amounts of money to victims of diseases that were caused by asbestos. People who are interested in initiating litigation because they or someone they love has acquired an asbestos-related disease usually contact an asbestos attorney. That way they will be able to have the best representation in our legal system.