Sherman H. Skolnick
| Buying A Judgeship|
by Sherman H.
If you want a car, you buy it. Or, if you are a thief,
you steal it. Business is business. And crime is crime. We presume everybody
understands that. It seems fundamental in a real world.
And what about public positions? If you want to be a
judge, you, or your friends, buy the job. Or, if you and your friends are
crooks, you procure the judgeship by blackmail. Yes, there are honest judges
in America, but they are an endangered species. [And we have to someday
post a story just about that and how some judges in really important matters
have been murdered and the Establishment does not deal with that.]
As a court reform group, Citizen's Committee to Clean
Up the Courts, we have been greatly interested in two topics for more than
40 years. (1) How does one become a judge? and (2) In the court rulings
that we suspect are tainted, "bought", or just plain crooked,
one of the tip-offs is the judge, or panel of judges, issues a ruling containing
judicial perjuries, that is, lies they insert based on supposed "facts",
not in the record, but made up by the Judges out of the air. [A Chief Federal
Appeals Judge from Chicago that does that is the subject of a previous
story of mine. See "Chief Crook in Microsoft Mess".]
Starting about 1966, from various sources, we made up
a list of "prices" to procure a judgeship in a major venue, like
Chicago. To become a state judge in the local court, such as Cook County
[or Crook County] where Chicago is. The price at that time was 50 thousand
dollars reportedly donated to a key and appropriate official of the Chicago
Bar Association, the lawyers mafia union. [Now the filling of vacancies
on the bench, temporary or otherwise, leading later to permanent positions,
is done through a Judge on the Illinois Supreme Court, the state's highest
tribunal. More about that later.]
To "buy" a chair in the U.S. District Court,
such as in a sizeable town like Chicago, in 1966, was 250 thousand dollars,
"donated" or "contributed" to the Senior U.S. Senator
from Illinois who makes the pitch to the President who generally appoints
according to such an order from the Senior Senator, especially if it is
from the same political cabal.
For a judgeship on a federal appeals court, like in Chicago,
that covers appeals from federal district courts in Wisconsin, Illinois,
and Indiana---well, the price was a million dollars or then and now, "sky
is the limit". Now those were 1966 prices, and the "costs"
have gone up plenty since then.
Why would someone, or his cronies for him, pay 50 thousand
dollars to be a local state judge? First of all, it beats trying to make
a living in the law factories (that is what we call them) and running up
and back to the different courthouses and courtrooms. But more to the point,
it enables the would-be judge to take care of his political and financial
confederates. And since all too often, justice is for sale in America,
it enables a person to become a judge and live above his regular income,
through pay-offs of some kind, whether in cash or property, perhaps offshore.
[At the time of Shakespeare, litigants made judges rich by giving them
gold buttons for a favorable ruling.]
Suppose there were no morality, no laws against thievery
and corruption. There you are, the Judge. You are sitting at a table, or
Bench, and on the Bench is a matter awaiting your handling, worth a half
a million dollars. So what if 25 thousand dollars, or less, falls off the
table, into your suitcase. In business, it would be called a commission,
a finders fee, or a referral fee.
The really big bucks cases are in the U.S. District Court,
such as Chicago, Los Angeles, New York. It would not be unusual for a multi-million
dollar matter to be on the docket of such a Judge. In the federal courts,
you are appointed for life. Federal Judges "shall hold their Offices
during good Behavior" so says the U.S. Constitution, Article III,
Section 1. For many years it was up to the Chairman of the House Judiciary
Committee what was "good Behavior" to be determined, rarely invoked
during the history of the nation by way of Articles of Impeachment. That
power has now been unlawfully delegated to be determined by a "club"
of judges called the Judicial Council of the Circuit. That is, the appellate
circuit encompassing the particular U.S. District, such as 7th Circuit,
In recent years, the different Judicial Councils referred
matters for impeachment to the House Judiciary Committee, against basically
honest judges who by their rulings, angered America's secret political
police, the FBI, the Immigration and Naturalization Service, and CIA.For
similar reasons, two black U.S. District Judges were removed by Impeachment,
one in New Orleans and another in Florida. In Nevada was removed a federal
district judge by a frame-up. He dared pronounce the apparent truth from
the Bench, that the Organized Crime Strike Force of the U.S. Justice Department
were themselves criminals and mobsters in Nevada. A latino federal judge
in California dared pronounce, based on the evidence before him, that the
INS and the FBI were the American Gestapo. Luckily, he beat back the Justice
Department's framed-up criminal charges against him, but it took a piece
out of his life.
Why would a band of "businessmen" get together
and "buy" a chair on the federal appeals court, such as in Chicago?
And pay one million dollars (in 1966 dollars) or ten million dollars or
more in year 2000 dollars? Most all the cases that try to go beyond the
federal appeals courts require the petitioner, or loser in the appeals
court, to beg the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case. It is done by "knocking
on the door" and imploring the high court to open the door. Called
Petition for Certiorari. In a recent term of the U.S. Supreme Court, on
the first day of Court, 1600 such begging petitions were pending on their
docket. The high court judges being old and tired, or lazy, or indifferent,
refused ALL 1600 petitions. Most every one, by collect telegram from the
Clerk of the high court, with just one word "Denied", no explanation
given. Really? No merit in 1600 petitions?
So for most cases, the various federal appeals courts
are the end of the line. Hence, it is wise to buy a chair there. Many of
the federal appeals judges own and operate banks, are tied to banks and
other financial entities. We call them Banker-Judges. They do NOT disqualify
themselves when their financial links are litigants in their court. Guess
who wins in their crooked court? [In the 1960s and 1970s, our work led
to the jailing for bribery of the highest sitting federal judge in U.S.
history. When we accused a 7th Circuit Federal Appeals Judge, to his face,
of bribery, he called a press conference. On all the media, this Banker-Judge,
Otto Kerner, Jr., (former Illinois Governor), called me a "liar".
He tried to get a fellow judge to jail me for "contempt of court".
He died an ex-convict, convicted as I accused him. The current federal
appeals judges are so angered by our work, they have unlawfully barred
me and a TV Show associate of mine, from all the federal courts in the
A cynical reality: often after we have fingered a crooked
judge publicly, the Establishment, acting just like the mafia, throws away
the judge. He is no longer useful to fix cases. Suddenly the local prosecutors
remind themselves that the judge in question does not pay his proper income
taxes and such. So they send him to jail. No sensible crook would bother
to bribe an already-fingered corrupt judge.
A hard to find book, published about 1962, is "The
Corrupt Judge" by Joseph Borkin. He points out from specific, documented
examples, the few times in U.S. history that federal judges were removed
from the Bench were when the judge got in the middle between two sizeable
financial entities. The competing forces crushed the Judge like a bug.
But an underdog, such as a patent owner suing a huge corporation for violating
his patent, gets nowhere accusing a judge of crooked rulings. [In 1963,
our group originally was called the Committee to Protect Patent Owners.]
In Chicago, the Banker-Judges on the Federal Appeals court in three separate
appeals on the same basic case, overturned a district court jury's verdict,
including massive fraud, against Sear Roebuck & Co., in an important
patented tool case. The Banker-Judges had a financial interest interlocked
with Sears and did NOT disqualify themselves.
In Chicago, a divorce case has led to a supposed federal
investigation of possible judicial bribery in procuring judgeships. The
estranged wife claimed her husband bought his chair on the local state
court for 20 thousand dollars of the family money. The possible bribery
probe target has been the Chief Judge of the Illinois Supreme Court, highest
tribunal in the State. His home district is Chicago. He has done some strange
things reportedly for his political crony, Edward "Fast Eddie"
Vrdolyak, at one time a Chicago alderman. The judge once appointed a judge
from the lowly traffic court to sit in the intermediate court, called the
Appellate Court of Illinois. The appointee reportedly did not have sufficient
experience to be sitting in the middle level reviewing court.
This Chief Judge who has appointed judges to fill a vacancy
in the lower courts is quite a character. He goes around town in a cherry
red Mercedes. His residence occupies two floors in a ultra-expensive high
rise in the Gold Coast district of Chicago. [Hey, is this all on his judicial
Part of the supposed probe is how "Fast Eddie"
gets his crony, Chief Judge Charles Freeman, to appoint persons as judges
to fill a vacancy. It seems some of them reportedly are also in the Nursing
Home business with the judge. [Nursing homes are a favorite "investment"
for some corrupt politicians. Such as cronies of Clinton and their Beverly
Enterprises chain of nursing homes.]
How far will the supposed investigation go? There is
an inclination for the FBI, themselves highly corrupt, to quickly hush
up the matter. Why? Some have claimed that Fast Eddie, for much of his
adult life, has been reportedly a "mole" or stool pigeon for
federal authorities, including the IRS and the FBI. Some contend this stems
from the way Fast Eddie beat back a murder charge against him, an outgrowth
of trying to break a labor union strike in 1959. At the time, Fast Eddie
was a law student and claimed he was in class at the time of the crime.
Did he strong-arm his teacher for an alibi? Some over the years continue
to say so. Some claim Fast Eddie is a key feature in the reported buying
and selling of judgeships.
By the time of the new century, the prices to buy a chair
in the federal courts has gone way up. At least a million dollars is reportedly
required now to purchase you a judgeship in the U.S. District COurt in
a major district like the one that includes Chicago. Ten million dollars
or more is required to obtain a chair in the U.S. Court of Appeals, 7th
Circuit, Chicago, one step below the U.S. Supreme Court that rejects the
bulk of all the begging petitions submitted.
So, if you want to know how and why America has come
to have a corrupt judiciary, covered up by a venal, lackey monopoly press,
and cowardly lawyers, well, these are some of the reasons.
Since 1958, Mr.Skolnick has been a court reformer. Since 1963,
founder/chairman, Citizen's Committee to Clean Up the Courts, disclosing
certain instances of judicial and other bribery and political murders.
Since 1991 a regular panelist, and since 1995, moderator/producer, of
one-hour,weekly public access Cable TV Show, "Broadsides", Cablecast on
Channel 21, 9 p.m. each Monday in Chicago. For a heavy packet of printed
stories, send $5.00 [U.S. funds] and a stamped, self-addressed business
sized envelope [4-1/4 x 9-1/2 #10 size] WITH THREE STAMPS ON IT, to
Citizen's Committee to Clean Up the Courts, Sherman H. Skolnick,
Chairman, 9800 South Oglesby Ave., Chicago IL 60617-4870. Office, 7
days, 8 a.m. to midnight, (773) 375-5741 [PLEASE, no "just routine
calls]. Before sending FAX,
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