Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Chatigny: A judge who is an ethical cesspit
How did he get such a sick mind? One can only conclude that he has evil sexual impulses himself so is indulgent to evil impulses in others
This week, the Senate may take up the controversial nomination of Robert Chatigny for the 2nd Circuit Court of Appleals, after being reported from the Judiciary Committee on June 10th. Chatigny currently serves for the U.S. District Court of Connecticut, where he made his claim to fame by ordering a stay of execution in 2005 for convicted serial rapist and murderer Michael Ross.
In a last-minute hearing before Ross' scheduled execution, Chatigny infamously opined that Ross, who had confessed to raping and killing eight young women aged between 14 to 25, "never should have been convicted". In that hearing, Chatigny chastised Ross' attorney, T.R. Paulding, and threatened to have his law license pulled for not more vigorously pursuing Ross' defense.
Although the hearing was supposed to be examining Ross' competence to waive his right to appeal, Chatigny saw a wider context for presiding authority. He said, "looking at the record in a light most favorable to Mr. Ross, he never should have been convicted. Or if convicted, he never should have been sentenced to death because his sexual sadism, which was found by every single person who looked at him, is clearly a mitigating factor."
Of course, having confessed to the rape-murders, coupled with overwhelming evidence, Ross most certainly should have been convicted. Nobody would dispute the sadistic nature of the crimes involved, either. Clearly Ross took pleasure in what he did. But by no means was Ross' motive a "mitigating factor." Instead, it recommended a death sentence.
Chatigny thought otherwise. The irony is that the judge was not even presiding over a sentencing hearing. The question before Chatigny concerned Ross' competence to waive his right to appeal. But instead, Chatigny used the hearing as a means to coerce Ross' attorney to continue appealing — against his client's wishes. Paulding gave in, and pursued another hearing in state court on Ross' competency. Ross was deemed competent, and finally convicted, against Chatigny's wishes.
Chatigny's conduct in this case alone should be enough to disqualify him. The bias he exhibited calls into question whether he can remain impartial. The rest of his record, however, calls into question whether he can remain impartial in any case involving sex offenders. As reported by the Washington Times, "[i]n 12 child-pornography cases, Judge Chatigny imposed a sentence either at or more lenient than the recommended minimum — with most downward departures involving sentences less than half as long."
But that's not all. In 2000, Chatigny overturned Connecticut's sex offender registry law. As noted by Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, "Even more disturbing than this result, however, is the way he reached it. The only way that Judge Chatigny could reach this result was to fundamentally mischaracterize the statute. The statute he struck down was, in effect, one of his own making, not the one that the Connecticut legislature had passed."
Hatch continued, "The real statute required all sex offenders to register for one simple reason, that they are sex offenders. The Department of Public Safety website said that there had been no assessment of the risk of re-offense or the dangerousness of individual offenders. There was no such assessment because the registry did not exist for that purpose or to convey such information. Judge Chatigny struck it down anyway, saying that the Constitution required a hearing to distinguish between violent and non-violent offenders. By inventing this requirement out of thin air, he insisted that the statute do something the legislature had not designed it to do."
Chatigny was ultimately reversed in Public Safety v. Doe, but in so doing, Chatigny revealed once again that his bias and personal preferences — in favor of sexual offenders, and against victims of sexual crimes. In case after case, they trumped his actual reading of the law. This should be disturbing, not just to Senator Hatch, but to every senator who is being asked to confirm Chatigny on the basis of his highly controversial rulings.
Some gossip that sounds possible
Over the years, I have invested so much time wildcatting in the oil patch that I will never be wanting for great steaks at Nick & Sam's in Dallas, skyboxes at Cowboys games, and personally signed 8 X 10 glossy photographs of George W. Bush. So to get the skinny on the BP mess, I spent the weekend catching up with old friends who live with a permanent oil stain under their fingernails.
Some of the chatter that came back was amazing. BP has discovered the largest and most powerful well in history, and control of it may be outside existing technology. The previous record gusher was Union Oil Co.'s Lakeview well in Maricopa, California, which spewed out a staggering 100,000 barrels a day at its peak in 1910, and created an enormous oil lake in the central part of the state. Estimates for the BP well now range up to 50% more than that. The pressures at 18,000 feet are so enormous, that drilling two more relief wells might only result in creating two more oil spills.
If Obama doesn't want to take the nuclear option, (click here for my piece), then there will be no other alternative but for the spill to continue until the field exhausts itself or becomes capable, possibly some time next year. This is not the end of the world. Less than 1% of the spilled oil is ending up on the beaches. Watch TV, and that is not 150,000 barrels on the beach in Pensacola, Florida. Most of the crude is being moved parallel to the coast by the current and will eventually end up in the mid-Atlantic, where it will break down or dissipate. Using the high end estimates, and assuming that it takes a year to run out, possibly 36 million barrels will end up in the sea (pressure is declining).
This is the same amount of oil that was dumped into the Atlantic during WWII, when 452 tankers were sunk by German U-boats, mostly along the US east coast, and when tar on the beach was a daily occurrence. This is on top of the 1.5 million barrels a year that leak into the Gulf through natural seepage, which no one ever notices. One way or the other, this will end, and Western civilization will survive. And by the way, the crude price rise brought by the spill also marked up the value of BP's reserves, easily allowing it to cover the cost of the clean up, no matter how big it is. This is how profitable this company is, and why they were so generous with a $20 billion contingency fund.
The ACORN hydra has grown many new heads
Despite its recent setbacks, the renamed ACORN network remains well positioned to receive support from left-leaning foundations, corporations, unions and the federal government, according to a whistleblower group comprised of former board members. Moreover, the existing financial apparatus that made it possible to transfer public money away from their stated purpose and into partisan political efforts remains intact.
The American Institute of Social Justice (AISJ), one of four national affiliates that remain intact, deserves greater scrutiny and attention in this area. Over $53 million was transferred between ACORN and AISJ from 2000-2004, according to a report from the House Oversight Committee.
ACORN was also on the receiving end of a $4,952,288 grant from AISJ, according to the Institute’s 990 tax form for 2006. This is instructive because AISJ itself received almost $4 million from ACORN Housing Corp. (AHC) between 2000 and 2006, tax documents show.
“The money flowing to AISJ from ACORN Housing should be a huge red flag for investigators because almost all the federal money that the ACORN network receives goes into its housing affiliate,” Matthew Vadum, a senior editor with the Capital Research Center (CRC) observes. “So it’s entirely possible that when money was being transferred to the national ACORN organization from AISJ, taxpayer money designated for nonpartisan purposes might have been used for blatantly partisan purposes. These transfers are extremely suspicious. This is the type of financial activity that we see with organized crime and it should be investigated.”
On April 1, ACORN’s leadership announced it was dissolving its national network, but in reality the national affiliates and their many state level counterparts are simply remarketing and rebranding themselves, former insiders have warned.
ACORN Housing Corp., for example, the national affiliate at the epicenter of last year’s videotape scandal, has renamed itself Affordable Housing Centers of America. Several state entities have also followed suit reorganizing under generic sounding names that avoid the ACORN label.
ACORN 8, the whistleblower group named for the eight board members blocked from investigating an embezzlement scandal, cautions against media reports that suggest the national organization known in full as the Association of Community Organizers for Reform Now (ACORN) has been permanently set back.
“Always note the date, April 1.” Marcel Reid, the ACORN 8 chairwoman, said in an interview. “ACORN is not dissolving, it may be morphing, but it is still is in business and it is still in a position to receive funding, although it may be done under different names.”
In fact, it may become easier over the long run for donors to reactive their support for “community organizers” who are no longer burdened by the tarnished ACORN name, Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) has observed.
“ACORN’s cover has been blown and its true identity has been revealed but it remains a viable entity beneath different names with the same patrons and same funding sources,” she explained in an interview. “I don’t see a tremendous change in the structure that called itself ACORN.”
Bachmann lead the charge against continued public funding for ACORN throughout 2009 but she does not anticipate that the current congress will move permanently cut off support. Only four Democrats joined with Bachmann to vote against an amendment attached to a mortgage bill last year that would prevent organizations with a criminal history from receiving taxpayer support.
Ron Sykes, a former treasurer with the Washington D.C. branch, and an ACORN 8 activist, has identified the Citizens Consulting Inc. (CCI) affiliate as a major conduit for the comingling and misappropriation of funds. Tax documents do show links between CCI and other affiliates.
“ACORN did not want its local people to have any control over the finances,” he has previously explained. “There were many accounts but CCI had control over all of it.”
Reid, the ACORN 8 chair, recalls how the funding schemes worked to the disadvantage of rank and file members who sought support for community initiatives.
“You could make a tax-deductible donation to ACORN if you were a foundation,” she explained. “You made it through AISJ, then the money was funneled through CSI (Citizens Consulting Inc.) and then the money was kicked back to ACORN – that’s the loop.”
Now that CCI has reportedly been shut down, AISJ appears to be the main vehicle through which financial contributions can be diverted away from their stated purpose. The national affiliate has attracted little press attention and deserves greater attention and scrutiny as ACORN activists gear up for the 2010 elections.
Doctors limit new Medicare patients: "The number of doctors refusing new Medicare patients because of low government payment rates is setting a new high, just six months before millions of Baby Boomers begin enrolling in the government health care program. Recent surveys by national and state medical societies have found more doctors limiting Medicare patients, partly because Congress has failed to stop an automatic 21% cut in payments that doctors already regard as too low. The cut went into effect Friday, even as the Senate approved a six-month reprieve. The House has approved a different bill."
Running on empty: "The Obama presidency is nearly out of gas. So are the Democratic majorities in the Senate and House. Yet the White House and congressional Democrats aren’t surrendering. They’re still intoxicated with their ‘historic majorities’ and bent on enacting more landmark liberal legislation this year, including cap and trade, a value-added tax (VAT), and who knows what else. Are they fantasizing? Not entirely. The odds — and the political climate — are against them. But their ideological ambitions are undiminished and they have a sense of urgency. They know their majorities will be crippled (if not eliminated) in the midterm elections on November 2, which means they must enact the remaining parts of the agenda in 2010 or put them back in the cupboard of liberal dreams, maybe for decades. So it’s now or never.”
BP, the White House and Congress are all dirty: "Amidst all the political jockeying over the BP catastrophe, the main players are missing what is really uppermost on America’s mind: It’s the spill rate, stupid. It’s jobs, stupid. It’s the economy, stupid. And none of it is happening. All eyes in Washington, Wall Street, and Main Street were turned this week to the congressional show trial featuring beleaguered BP CEO Tony Hayward. Hayward was a disaster. He played dumb. He stonewalled. And he never got honest about the colossal failure of human judgment at BP that caused this catastrophe. But folks, seriously, what did you expect?”
Portugal liberalizes drugs, world doesn’t end: "[T]he apocalypse that drug alarmists predicted never happened; Portugal did not become a ‘haven for drugs tourism’ and drug abuse and drug crime actually fell. And even with its flaws it’s monumentally better than the continuing drug thugocracy in the United States. America’s Drug Warriors will never willingly back off. It would mean that drug enforcers would have to give up their government careers, paychecks, benefits, pensions and self-righteousness. It would mean that the media would have to give up its sensationalistic headlines and ass-kicking SWAT footage on News At Eleven.”
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)
Posted by JR at 6:31 PM