I write in consternation over the following:
- Flouting of loyalty oath laws by the Governor, Justices, and appointed jurists of Florida,
- Confusion associated with custodianship of loyalty oaths,
- Failure of the State Board of Payroll to verify judges' credentials before issuing them compensation for performing the duties of office, and
- Refusal of anyone and every in Florida's government to punish judicial officers and their "employers" for failure to
- Excise from government judges who fail to swear and have on file the requisite oaths, and
- File criminal complaints and charges against employers who fail to do number 4.1 above.
- I reported this "old" issue through channels to Chief Justice Lewis in 2006, and received assurance that the Justices would have appointment nominees swear the requisite oaths. I have attached the latest version of my report "Loyalty Oaths in Florida." If you lose it, just Google the title with my name Bob Hurt.
- The State Board of Payroll used to, before the state computerized payroll for state employees, require a certification from the Trial Courts Administrators that the judges had fully qualified for office, specifically through swearing their public employee oaths. The SBOP required this declaration on file every payday, I believe, before issuing paychecks to the judges. They did this because of the mandate in 876.05(2). They no longer do it, and they should resume the practice. The SBOP must adopt a Buck Stops Here policy regarding all credentials for office. A judge or justice who failed to qualify by failing to swear the candidate's oath and candidate's loyalty oath should NEVER hold office, perform the duties of office, or receive pay for that office.
- Judges and Justices must ultimately realize that they get brand new employment every term, and that means they must swear ALL oaths anew and prove qualifications anew as though for initial employment.
- In Sept 2008 the Quince Court issued the infamous Sibley opinion (
) that judges have sworn sufficient loyalty oaths, Florida Constitution's (FCon's) Article II Section 5(b) Public Officer's oath (appended below for reference) has even more rigorous oath requirements than the statutory oath, and that judges don't have to swear statutory oaths because they have complied with statute by swearing the FCon's oath.
- The Quince Court failed to note the salient reality that the FCon's oath requires swearing to support, protect, and defend the GOVERNMENT as well as the Constitution. This constitutes a philosophic and mental impossibility because the Government is the "good old boy's network" ENEMY of the Constitution and the main reason We The People demand that judges swear no less than SIX (6) oaths before we will let them rule.
- Elector's oath
- Bar oath
- Candidate's oath
- Candidate's loyalty oath
- Public Officer's oath
- Public Employee's oath
- The Quince Court neglected to point out that the Public Officer's oath language VIOLATES the mandates of both Article VI Clause 3 of the Constitution for the United States of America (CUSA) and 4 USC 101 (appended below for reference) which require swearing to support the Constitution, NOT THE GOVERNMENT. The additive words "and Government" in the Public Officer's oath VIOLATE the CUSA. The Quince Court failed to state that when they had the perfect opportunity to do so, in the Sibley opinion.
- The Quince Court complained of too many oaths to swear, as though too much of a chore. They forgot to note the Solemn Declaration of Kol Nidre, the pre-emptive unswearing and denunciation of all personal oaths for the coming year. Talmudic Jews make this oath-like Yom Kippur declaration at the end of September every year. Nothing keeps non-Jews from making similar declarations. In effect these potentially undo all loyalty oaths. So, bottom line, judges cannot swear too many loyalty oaths, and do not swear them often enough. The law should require them annually and by implication in concert with every official act. The Supreme Court should gladly embrace the practice and stop treating it like a terrible burden.
- The Quince Court's Sibley opinion did not address the issue of appointment nominees' failure to swear the requisite candidate's oath of F.S. 105.031 and candidate's loyalty oath of F.S. 876.05-876.10, and the Court admitted as much. Had they addressed it, they would have found themselves disqualified from even de facto public officer status because they never qualified for nomination to begin with. Note that I have appended the statutes below for your reference; also see oath form DSDE26.pdf, attached. (http://election.dos.state.fl.us/forms/pdf/DSDE26.pdf)
- State Department Counsel Gary Holland told me that the definition of candidate in F.S. 97.021 (see below) excludes nominees for appointment to judicial office. In fact, the definitions in chapter 97 seem to apply to Title IX, Elections, but they include nominees petitioning for office, and all nominees petition (seek) office one way or another. However, the operative statute, F.S. 876.05 exists in Title XLVI, Crimes. The definitions of Title IX do not extend to Title XLVI. Instead, the definitions in Black's Law Dictionary apply. That refers to nominees as candidates, and both as anyone seeking office. Thus, Gary Holland opined wrongly, and appointment nominee candidates must swear the oaths in F.S. 105.031 and F.S. 876.05-10 prior to and as a condition of placement of their names on the ballot.
- In point of fact, the Judicial Nominating Commissions have a mandate from F.S. 876.05-10 to require judicial nominees to swear the candidate's loyalty oath before putting their names on the ballot. From what I have learned, they universally fail to obey that mandate, and they have NEVER obeyed it throughout the history of Florida. Please correct me if you can.
- The Governor and Justices have the same mandate to require the appointment nominees to swear the candidate's oath before accepting them as candidates for the position of Judge, Justice, or Senior Judge. From what I have discovered so far, they have NEVER obeyed it throughout the history of Florida. Please correct me if I you can.
- I requested the oaths from OSCA Counsel Laura Rush for Senior Judges Starnes and Thompson of the 20th Circuit. She supplied one, dated 1978 (I love her responsiveness and graciousness - Please give her a pay raise). The public has no clue where to find the senior judges' oaths, which any number of people might possess. The public ought not to have to run hither and thither to obtain the oaths for judges. Judges should carry their credentials on their persons or their clerks or OSCA should have them. They are NOT judicial records that the Chief Judge should have. They belong with OSCA or the State Department's Bureau of Election Records, in my opinion.
- I only presume, perhaps wrongly, that Starnes and Thompson did not swear candidate oath and candidate loyalty oath prior to their names appearing on the Justices' nominee ballots. I presume this because I cannot get the Trial Courts Administrator for the 20th circuit on the phone, or even find an email address or email form on the 20th circuit's web site, an INEXCUSABLE impediment to communication.
- ACTION REQUIRED. So, consider this an official public records request for their candidate oaths and candidate loyalty oaths by return email.
- ACTION REQUIRED. I also request that you do what you must to fix this problem so that the people can view and download judges' and justices' full complement of qualifying documents from a central web site, like OSCA or the Bureau of Election Records. Surely the Supreme Court of Florida can manage the delegation of this relatively simple administrative task to someone competent. At the very least you can write a sensible policy directive and distribute it to all the trial courts administrators and marshals.
- Florida Statutes 876.05-10 impose oath-related burdens on every public employee and manager, particularly upon the Governor and Justices with respect to appointments. In 2007 two events happened in the wake of my complaining to the Supreme Court, OSCA, and the State Department about the jurat unlawfully missing from election forms and judges utterly failing to swear the public employee oath which the Quince Court believes judges may ignore with impunity.
- The State Department restored the jurat to election forms.
- Chief Justice Lewis (Hear, Hear!) told the OSCA Personnel Director to tell the Trial Courts Administrators and Marshals to encourage judges throughout the state to swear the 876.05 public employee oath becauue it was a crime not to do it. I find it odd that the Quince court, almost a year later, opined that the judges may ignore 876.05 with impunity. Will the REAL LAW please stand up!? Can we PLEASE have some CONSISTENCY from the Court?! Fortunately most of the judges went our and swore their public employee oaths, some for the very first time after decades in office. Anyway, figuratively speaking,
"Christians 2, Lions 0."
- ACTION REQUIRED. Now I seek to chalk one more up for the figurative Christians, whom the lions nearly always eat. I want the Governor, under leadership of and in concert with the Supreme Court, and the Judicial Nominating Commissions, henceforth to tell every nominee for judicial appointment that their names will not go on the ballot until they swear the candidate oath (105.031) and the candidate loyalty oath (876.05). IS IT TOO MUCH TO ASK FOR YOU JUSTICES TO OBEY THE LAW? I don't think so. PLEASE DO IT, so I don't have to make an outrageous stink about it in the media and on YouTube and to every bar member in the state, many of whom feel an irresistible itch already to file Quo Warranto petitions against high-handed despots like Starnes and Thompson of the 20th Circuit Rocket Docket courts.
- Take note that I might not have brought this muddy issue up again had not Senior Judges Thompson and Starnes not behaved so terribly, demonstrating insufferable arrogance, churlish manners, high-handed flouting of law and rules, and incessant stomping on litigants' Constitutional Rights to due process, access to the courts, and justice without sale, denial, or delay. These dastards have no business hiding behind judges' skirts, without which litigants would surely and deservedly have run them out on a rail by now. They enjoy such impunity for their meanness that they don't seem to care how judges invite visitation of disasters upon themselves by refusing justly to give relief, remedy, and opportunity to be heard. In a recent public meeting, Starnes repeatedly referred to foreclosure defendants as "borrowers" instead of "defendants," showing foregone judgment of their status without any investigation of the facts of the case. He doesn't seem to have a clue that the vast majority of foreclosure plaintiffs committed a mountain of frauds against the defendants and the court, drawing into question the validity of the loans they allege. Eary in the meeting Starnes stood and ordered a complainer out of the room, typical of his belligerent method of disturbing the peace through abuse and intimidation. And he allowed only 7 minutes out of 2 hours for the public to address him with comments and questions. I shall make certain that counsel, administrators, and justices receive a tape of his outrageous behavior. How could this man POSSIBLY hold office validly? His kind of behavior makes me want to search frantically for every possible means to challenge his authority.
- Please forward this message to Starnes and Thompson. Had I known their email addresses I'd have put them in the cc list.
- Please note also that I loathe having to give horrid reports like this one against those two rogue senior judges who ought to know better than to behave like sophomoric buliies toward hapless litigants in fear of losing the biggest investment of their lives to utter criminals posing as foreclosure mill attorneys and their incessantly lying clients. I realize that I put myself in grave danger of reprisal by these two targets of my scorn. But I have to let the justices who appointed them know the misery those appointees have heaped upon the foreclosure victims of the 20th Circuit. You well know that NOTHING the citizenry can do aside from a lynching will work to stop them from tormenting and rushing their victims to an unjust fate. I can only hope that you will see fit NEVER to appoint them or people like them again, not EVER.
Black's Law Dictionary, 8th Edition
CANDIDATE,n.[fr. Latin candidatus, “clothed in white”; fr. candidus, “white,” from the white
toga worn by a can-didate for public office in ancient Rome as a symbol of clean government] An
individual seeking nomination, election, or appointment to an office, membership, award, or like
title or status. • A candidate for election becomes a “nominee” after being formally nominated. Cf.
U.S. Constitution Article VI Clause 3
Florida Constitution Article II Section 5(b)
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