From the October 2001 Idaho Observer:
Idaho J.A.I.L. chapter holds first public meeting in Post Falls
Seasoned corporate attorney explains why Idaho needs J.A.I.L. for Judges
POST FALLS -- The first regular meeting of the Idaho J.A.I.L. chapter was held at the Royal Neighbors Hall here September 14. Retired attorney John Bradbury drove up from Lewiston to describe in convincing detail why the people must pass a J.A.I.L initiative if courts are to ever be the place where disputes are settled in a just manner.
Bradbury filed a brilliant civil action against the Idaho Judicial Council (IJC) June 13, 2000. Bradbury claimed, in essence, that the IJC, the tax-paid, legislatively created entity commissioned by the Supreme Court to review and act upon complaints of judicial impropriety, is a functioning violation of due process.
As a matter of procedure, the public and its attorneys are denied access to records and proceedings that result from a formally filed judicial complaint. Bradbury claimed that, by denying him the right, ...to participate in the hearing infringed on his right as a lawyer to act on behalf of his client and violated his right to procedural due process guaranteed by the 14th Amendment.
Bradbury's suit was filed in the wake of a case wherein his clients lost their property to an opportunist who was a friend of the judge -- an obvious conflict of interest that influenced the outcome of a civil case.
Bradbury's suit was dismissed by the Supreme Court. The decision effectively gives Idaho judges total license to act as they please without fear of sanctions. The public has no oversight into the actions of the IJC when it reviews complaints of judicial misconduct.
Bill sponsor Senator Clyde Boatright (R-Rathdrum) excused himself from attending the meeting citing a scheduling conflict even though he had promised to address meeting attendees with his report on J.A.I.L. initiative status in the legislature. Senator Boatright also rationalized that he was no longer able to work with Idaho J.A.I.L. Chapter President Rose Johnson whom he charged with what is tantamount to hurting his feelings.
Freshman Representative Kris Ellis, who has openly expressed her beliefs that the system is broken and needs to be fixed, did address the meeting. She gave insight into the legislative process and boosted attendees with words of encouragement.
Bradbury commented that problems with the Idaho judiciary are not because of the system, it is because of their own character, he said in reference to the judges themselves.
He also said that the judiciary is the silent branch of our government since there are no checks and balances to keep it in line.
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