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JEDI Categories as of August 10, 2014:
Inappropriate Role Shifting
is a unique form of judicial misconduct in America that is difficult to document for a variety of reasons. It happens when a U.S. state or federal judge
(including Magistrates, Administrative Law Judges, Administrative Judges, Hearing Officers, and the like)
uses his or her discretion to resolve part or all of a case in a way that parallels some clearly prohibited judicial conduct. Yet determining whether the dubious act constitutes judicial misconduct is such a fact sensitive, subjective inquiry that precipitating it tends to be unproductive. Without an unequivocal condemnation by some binding legal authority of virtually the same conduct at issue, the questionable exercise of discretion is likely to be condoned (for all practical purposes) via any and all corresponding government review processes.
Gaps and Voids in Relevant Law:
A Virtually Unpredictable, Ad Hoc, and Standardless Area of Law:
This passage addresses judicial immunity and litigation based on alleged judicial impropriety, but its reasoning extends to any challenge of judicial conduct waged through any government process:
Interestingly, the ‘several policy arguments which can be relied upon to prevent recovery for conspiracies with immune officials (include the fact that) permitting conspiracies to be claimed which include immune judges may expose a judge to the time-consuming effort and chilling effect of submission to discovery and the appearance as a witness.’ Given the inherent value of avoiding that and similar outcomes as often as lawfully possible,
it seems the courts would steadfastly define the
of an actionable judicial conspiracy to deny equal protection. Instead—borrowing words expressed in another context by Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia—that 'governing standard is (too often) the unfettered wisdom of (judges), revealed to an obedient people on a case-by-case basis'; an unpredictable, 'ad hoc, standardless judgment.'
Crenshaw-Logal, Zena D. The Official End of Judicial Accountability Through Federal Rights Litigation: Ashcroft v. Iqbal, 35
Am. J. Trial
125, 130-131 (Summer 2011). (footnotes omitted). (emphasis added).
Whatever "parameters" there are of misconduct cloaked as one or more acts of judicial discretion are generally set out in old U.S. Supreme Court cases and/or isolated lower court decisions.
Helpful Cases Are Generally Dated and/or Sparse:
Perhaps often, but at least sometimes, conduct tantamount to Judicial Engineering
is proscribed in one or more old, U.S. Supreme Court cases. More contemporary cases on target tend to be sparse; isolated decisions by a variety of lower courts. As a result, the precedent can be easily missed, especially by people who lack access to prime electronic research services. And devising search terms that hone-in on cases addressing subtle forms of judicial misconduct requires a mysterious mixture of historical knowledge, skill, and luck.
JEDI as a Research and Public Awareness Tool:
JEDI catalogs examples of alleged Judicial Engineering
including operative facts and case law to assist in identifying parameters of misconduct cloaked as one or more permissible acts of judicial discretion. The cataloging also includes case dispositions, as too often alleged Judicial Engineering
is simply disregarded without comment or condoned on questionable grounds by reviewing government agents and agencies. Their responses to the troubling practice may have as many or more public policy implications as the underlying Judicial Engineering
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