Federal law requires the automatic disqualification of a Federal judge under certain circumstances.
In 1994, the U.S. Supreme Court held that "Disqualification is required if an objective observer would entertain reasonable questions about the judge's impartiality. If a judge's attitude or state of mind leads a detached observer to conclude that a fair and impartial hearing is unlikely, the judge must be disqualified." [Emphasis added]. Liteky v. U.S., 114 S.Ct. 1147, 1162 (1994).
Courts have repeatedly held that positive proof of the partiality of a judge is not a requirement, only the appearance of partiality. Liljeberg v. Health Services Acquisition Corp., 486 U.S. 847, 108 S.Ct. 2194 (1988) (what matters is not the reality of bias or prejudice but its appearance); United States v. Balistrieri, 779 F.2d 1191 (7th Cir. 1985) (Section 455(a) "is directed against the appearance of partiality, whether or not the judge is actually biased.") ("Section 455(a) of the Judicial Code, 28 U.S.C. §455(a), is not intended to protect litigants from actual bias in their judge but rather to promote public confidence in the impartiality of the judicial process.").
That Court also stated that Section 455(a) "requires a judge to recuse himself in any proceeding in which her impartiality might reasonably be questioned." Taylor v. O'Grady, 888 F.2d 1189 (7th Cir. 1989). In Pfizer Inc. v. Lord, 456 F.2d 532 (8th Cir. 1972), the Court stated that "It is important that the litigant not only actually receive justice, but that he believes that he has received justice.”
Our Supreme Court has ruled and has reaffirmed the principle that "justice must satisfy the appearance of justice", Levine v. United States, 362 U.S. 610, 80 S.Ct. 1038 (1960), citing Offutt v. United States, 348 U.S. 11, 14, 75 S.Ct. 11, 13 (1954). A judge receiving a bribe from an interested party over which he is presiding, does not give the appearance of justice.
One of our members not only did not receive justice from a prejudiced judge, but he does not believe that he received justice from the judge, as required by law.
"Recusal under Section 455 is self-executing; a party need not file affidavits in support of recusal and the judge is obligated to recuse herself sua sponte under the stated circumstances." Taylor v. O'Grady, 888 F.2d 1189 (7th Cir. 1989).
Further, the judge has a legal duty to disqualify himself even if there is no motion asking for his disqualification. The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals further stated that "We think that this language [455(a)] imposes a duty on the judge to act sua sponte, even if no motion or affidavit is filed." Balistrieri, at 1202.
Judges do not have discretion not to disqualify themselves. By law, they are bound to follow the law. Does your judge follow the law?
Should a judge not disqualify himself as required by law, then the judge has given another example of his "appearance of partiality" which further disqualifies the judge. Should another judge not accept the disqualification of the judge, then the second judge has evidenced an "appearance of partiality" and has disqualified himself/herself. None of the orders issued any judge who has been disqualified by law are valid, they are void as a matter of law, and are of no legal force or effect.
However, as we know, many judges ignore the law, but by doing so, they not only attempt to harm you, the public, but they have made a mockery of the law, and have evidenced a disdain for Justices of higher courts, such as the Supreme Court and the Courts of Appeal. If judges do not have respect for other judges, why should judges expect the respect of the public?
Should a judge not disqualify himself, then the judge is violation of the Due Process Clause of the U.S. Constitution. United States v. Sciuto, 521 F.2d 842, 845 (7th Cir. 1996) ("The right to a tribunal free from bias or prejudice is based, not on section 144, but on the Due Process Clause.").
Should a judge issue any order after he has been disqualified by law, and if the party has been denied of any of his/her property, then the judge may have been engaged in the Federal Crime of "interference with interstate commerce". The judge has acted in the judge's personal capacity and not in the judge's judicial capacity. The judge has no more lawful authority than your next-door neighbor (provided that he is not a judge). However since some judges believe that they are the Lord, they may not follow the law. (Judge Rosen entered his courtroom each day, stood before the court audience, raised his hand, and stated that he was the Lord. The night before he was to be indicted, he took a gun and blew his brains out. So much for a judge being the Lord.)
If you were a non-represented litigant, and should the court not follow the law as to non-represented litigants, then the judge has expressed an "appearance of partiality" and, under the law, has disqualified him/herself.
However, since not all judges keep up to date in the law, and since not all judges follow the law, it is possible that your judge may not know the ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court and the other courts on this subject. Notice that it states "disqualification is required" and that a judge "must be disqualified" under certain circumstances.
One of our members has filed several motions for disqualification, only to have the judge ignore the motions. The member will post on this web-site several of the motions filed, to give the public a taste of the law and how judges ignore the Supreme Law of the Land. The Supreme Court has also held that if a judge wars against the Constitution, or if he acts without jurisdiction, he has engaged in treason to the Constitution. If a judge acts after he has been automatically disqualified by law, then he is acting without jurisdiction, and we suggest that he is then engaging in criminal acts of treason, and may be engaged in extortion and the interference with interstate commerce.
Courts have repeatedly ruled that judges have no immunity for their criminal acts. Since both treason and the interference with interstate commerce are criminal acts, no judge has immunity to engage in such acts.
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