by Bill Simon
Case #2: Fathers Are Parents Too v. Hunstein – Court of Appeals of Georgia, Decided Feb. 7, 1992
The gist of the case is that Fathers Are Parents Too (“Fathers”) filed a request under the Open Meetings Act to have the meetings of the Georgia Commission on Gender Bias in the Judicial System, chaired by Judge Carol Hunstein, open to the public.
The trial court disagreed and found in favor of the Commission, citing Coggin as their basis. The second paragraph of the link above to the Court of Appeals case describes this thinking process:
In its first two enumerations of error, appellant claims the trial court erred in ruling that the Act
does not apply to the Commission or to the judicial branch. In Coggin v. Davey, 233 Ga. 407, 410-411,
211 S.E.2d 708 (1975), the Supreme Court held that the former Act (as enacted by Ga.L.1972, p. 575),
although applicable to the executive branch of government, was not applicable to the legislative [202
Ga.App. 717] branch or its committees. Though not part of its holding, Coggin also rejected the argument that the Act applied to the judicial branch [emphasis added]. Id. at 410-411, 211 S.E.2d 708. The Court reasoned that the Act was not intended to apply to the legislative branch since the Legislature had historically exercised the authority to adopt its own internal operating procedures, and had subsequently adopted the procedures at issue inconsistent with the Act. Id. at 411, 211 S.E.2d 708.
On Page 2 of the Appeals Court decision, I have highlighted in yellow the following:
“In recognition of the separate authorities and duties vested in the three co-equal branches of government, the Constitution provides that the legislative, judicial and executive powers shall forever remain separate and distinct. Ga. Const.1983, Art. I, Sec. II, Par. III. “As a principle flowing from the separation of powers doctrine, [the inherent judicial power] … arms the judicial branch with authority to prevent another branch from invading its province.”
For the use of my argument for this story, this is what Ga. Const. 1983, Art. I, Sec. II, Par. III states:
“Separation of legislative, judicial, and executive powers. The legislative, judicial, and executive powers shall forever remain separate and distinct; and no person discharging the duties of one shall at the same time exercise the functions of either of the others except as herein provided.”
So, the Court of Appeals in 1992, and the Supreme Court in 1975, decided, essentially, that “separation of powers” means that the legislature cannot dictate ANY laws that the judicial branch is required to follow. THAT is the way the judicial branch has decided to interpret this clause of the Ga Constitution.
Whereas, what it actually meant was that someone could not serve as a judge while they served as a legislator. Or, that a Governor could not serve as a Georgia Supreme Court justice. That is only what this clause means.
Because, here’s the funny…funny….FUNNY thing about this judicial interpretation the 1992 case decided was valid: If it was an accurate interpretation of the Constitution’s intent, then the following should be occurring in this state:
1) The Legislature should cut-off funds now to the Judicial Branch. Because, hey, if you are so high and mighty that you are to be completely “separate and distinct” that you don’t have to follow the laws that the Legislature passes, then you should also interpret the Constitution meant that “separate and distinct” also meant that you set-up your own revenue collection process to fund yourself, right? Case solved with this state’s legislative budget. Hey, General Assembly? Take-out the several billion dollars that is now going to the judiciary, and tell them to go pound sand and raise their own funds to operate. They want to be “separate and distinct?” Cut-off their allowance.
2) The judiciary should start writing their own form of “OCGA” since they are to operate “separate and distinct” from any laws the legislature writes. Of course…I guess, when you proclaim yourself to be “God,” then there really are no laws you need to write for yourself to follow, are there? (Is it true, Judge Hunstein, that when you take your oath to uphold the Constitution(s), that when it comes to the part about “…so help me God” that you say “so help me Me?”)
3) Anyone who works in the Judicial Branch should be exempt from ALL laws, not just Open Meetings, not just Open Records, but ALL LAWS, right? If you’re “separate and distinct,” then you don’t have to follow traffic laws, nor do you have to pay state income tax, nor do you have to follow any laws regarding taking bribes (which…by the way, explains a LOT about why the judicial branch doesn’t want anyone being able to check on communications between crooked judges and crooked lawyers where they can email back and forth and never be exposed to an ‘Open Records Act’ request to see how they are violating their “oaths”).
Nothing, quite frankly, defines why Georgia received an “F” in ethics when compared to the rest of the country more than this concept by the judicial branch of Georgia that they are so separate and distinct that they do not have to follow Open Records or Open Meetings laws.
We have the most corrupt judiciary branch in all of the country as a result of these judges in these two decisions (Coggins & Fathers are Parent Too) deciding that the judicial branch is, essentially, God, by self-decree.
A lot of the judges don’t even follow their OWN “Uniform Standards” rules, and they get away with it ALL the time. And there’s not a damn thing anyone can do about it the way things stand now.
You might think the so-called “Judicial Qualifications Commission” (“JQC”) would be there to protect the public, right? Wrong. So. Very. Very. Wrong.
When it comes to judges ignoring USC or, worse, ignoring the law, the JQC is specifically exempted from reviewing the “qualifications (sic)” of judges. From the JQC Website, judicial conduct that does not come under the purview of the JQC includes the following (as in, these actions cannot be reviewed by the JQC):
– rulings on the law and/or the facts,
– matters within the discretion of the trial court,
– rulings on the admissibility of evidence,
– rulings involving alimony, child support, custody or visitation rights, sentences imposed by the Court, and
– believing or disbelieving witnesses.
If you got a judge ignoring the law repeatedly, why shouldn’t the JQC be allowed to investigate such a complaint if it could be documented? There are judges in this state where the ONLY explanation for their rulings is that they are on the take, but it’s kinda challenging to prove that when the lawyers on whose behalf they rule their cases on aren’t going to blow the whistle.
And, yes, I know, if a ruling comes from a trial court judge that one disagrees with, there is the inevitable “Well, if you don’t like it, you can appeal” answer.
Yeahhh…not really…and not all the time. See, there’s this funny kind of “thing” that sometimes comes up in court cases: The lawyer you need to take a case up to appeal generally wants money, and if you ain’t got it, well, tough shit. You have to deal with the half-assed decision rendered by the TOTALLY stupid, OR incompetent OR CORRUPT (as in, taking bribes under the table corrupt and getting away with it because the judicial branch is exempt from Open Records laws) judge. That’s absolute bullshit. Georgia may as well be Illinois with this kind of unchecked power allowed for the judicial branch.
Oh, and those “Canons of Judicial Conduct?” Yeah, whoop-de-shit about those too. They are continually ignored because, again, judges don’t have to be “open” in their backroom deals via email and or texts or carrier pigeon or the cutie-pie administrative assistant with whom the judge is having an affair with.
One truly has to wonder what it was that Judge Carol Hunstein had going on in those closed door meetings funded by taxpayers back in the early 1990s? What illegal things was she (and the rest of that Commission) doing that she wanted protection from?
She must be one of the TOP crooked judges in this state to cry “No, no, no! You can’t see what we do behind closed doors! We’re judges. We can do whatever we damn well please, and you can’t do one thing about it because my fellow crooked judges on the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeals will protect me exactly like I will protect them.”
“Birds of a feather flock together”…”Thick as thieves.” Thieves and other types of crooks describe exactly the type of crooks we have in this state like Judge Hunstein who cries for protection for anyone shining a light to expose her secret activities. And, those judges who think they should be separate from the legislative and executive branch that they also are not covered by Open Meetings or Open Records (or any other law)? Only one possible answer describes that mindset: C-O-R-R-U-P-T TO THEIR CORE BEING.
Now, I could go on and on here…but, there’s a purpose in me presenting all these facts: To improve Georgia. To improve our government. To make it so we actually have a government formed of 3 “equal branches” whereby each branch holds 33.33% of the power AND we actually have a government with “checks and balances” that operates effectively (or, at least, more effectively than it does now with the judiciary writing and amending laws as they see fit).
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