Do all lives matter? Should a judge reach his decision based upon seeing a black person, or based upon the fact that you have previously claimed injustice by public officials?
We would hope the courts honor individual integrity, regardless of color. The law is beautiful and fair – but only when it is fully followed. Sadly, many judges do not follow the legislated laws and their rulings are easily stamped by the Courts of Appeal. Think of it as a “old-boys’ network”, whereas times have changed, we are only decades away from a world where black children could not go to white schools. We are still in an America where success by black people is doubted as being on merits; and where as a black property owner, you have limited or no protections of your 5th amendment property rights which means that we are clearly not true citizens of the country.
You might doubt how this can happen but the legal system favors upholding whatever the trial court judge decides. The role of our appeal courts in most cases, is to find any “reasonable’ basis for which they can uphold the lower courts rulings. This is called a “substantial evidence” standard. It means, the review courts are looking for any evidence that might support the lower courts’ rulings. In essence, the prevailing assumption is that the lower court has made a correct ruling. However, does this attempt to support, after the fact, the trial court’s determination adequately deal with issues like judicial bias? If a particular judge tends to rule against black parties, the appeal will skirt that issue, and in lieu simply see if there is any basis to support the judge’s decision. Is this fair and nondiscriminatory?
Further, what if constitutional rights are involved?. The historical mandate is clear. The U.S. Constitution declares that no law will be made that violates the Constitution. This means, that when a court makes a ruling in violation of your constitutional rights, that ruling remains VOID forever.
The difficulty of the litigation and appeal , and assumption of correctness that underlies the system, tends to force many cases into settlement- as the alternative of continuing litigation is cost-prohibitive.
However, people must care enough to take a stand. If Rosa Parks had acquiesced to sitting in the back of the bus, would any change have ever resulted? It is through all our collectively raising of our awareness to the issues that any change happens.
Today, we have amazing technology, and can capture a dirty cop beating up someone and then share the videos. This did not exist in the past. In fact, many of us are surprised to learn that even young, teenage girl could muster the strength to stop and record the injustice which mobilized us only months ago in the George Floyd incident.
Yet – if a teenager could with one video rivet the entire world, what can we accomplish by shining light on the injustices in the courts? There are no video cameras catching judges who are perverting the justice system. Many people believe that an appeal resolves the issues, and it should be laid to rest.
But that is not always right. We will share examples that are clear. The law is NOT only for lawyers. It is written by legislature and if you carefully read it – you will find the legal intention.
With the above understanding, we ask that you read the examples and those who agree, to help make changes that should include removing judges that make a habit of “inconsistent” rulings, especially without providing legal support.
Here is our first example. This is a series that will highlight over 50 violations of law and how the court justices continue to comfortably rubber stamp perverted rulings, with confidence that the San Francisco Court of Appeal will blindly dismiss our appeals on some technicality or some other creative angle. Yet, fortunately, these findings can never validate what was initially void.
For information on Anna Kihagi please go to Anna Kihagi