Monday, March 2, 2009

Judiciary Committee and LD 491

The judicial system in Maine is "precarious,"... the chief justice of Maine's Supreme Court, Leigh Saufley, even admitted it... on St. Patrick's Day actually.

I proposed reforming the judicial system in Maine a few months ago. There's a link to LD 491 "An Act to Reform the Maine Justice System" over to the right side of the webpage. At first, I didn't include Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (J.A.I.L.) in the proposal. But I've since given the entire judiciary committee the 4-page J.A.I.L., which is an amendment to a state's Constitution. It was written by Ron Branson of California nearly twenty years ago... though it was called "Judicial Reform Act of 1995" then. In Ron's biography at the national J.A.I.L. website, it's mentioned that there's a national following of people working towards amending J.A.I.L. to their Constitutions... "50 states and three foreign nations" to be more specific. However, to date, none have succeeded in passing the judicial accountability law. Why not? People in positions of power don't want to lose their status quo... that's the main reason; a lack of people exercisining their civic duties is another.

I've been listening to people in public hearings testimony at www.maine.gov/legis. You can click on "Shedules," then "Public Hearings and Work Sessions," to find out when public hearings will be held in each committee. Once you bring up a committee's schedule of bills, you can read more about the bills soon to be discussed. To listen, you go to Audio when the legislature is in session... live. You can record... I've done it using Freecorder.

Plaintiffs in medical malpractice cases are clearly being discriminated against, and nothing's being done about it. It's been difficult to abolish the law which has allowed this because legislators and judges are more loyal to lobbyists of the powerful medical malpractice liability insurance companies than they are to the public.

Write or call your representatives, and let them know that you support passage of J.A.I.L. so we can hold judges accountable when they violate a person's constitutional rights. The committee has listened to public testimony of people who've mentioned they've been the victims of abuse of discretion and clear violations of Constitutional rights by judges; however I don't believe the committee has mentioned J.A.I.L.! Why not write to them and ask about it?

To send a message to the judiciary committee, write to Susan Pinette, the clerk of the committee, or to the individual judiciary committee members whose emails I've listed here for you.

Susan.Pinette@legislature.maine.gov;

lawrence.bliss@gmail.com; RepCharles.Priest@legislature.maine.gov; RepMark.Bryant@legislature.maine.gov ; RepDawn.Hill@legislature.maine.gov; RepChuck.Kruger@legislature.maine.gov; RepSara.Stevens@legislature.maine.gov; RepMike.Beaulieu@legislature.maine.gov; RepJarrod.Crockett@legislature.maine.gov; waymitch10@hotmail.com; SenBarry.Hobbins@legislature.maine.gov; dhastings@hastings-law.com; RepJoan.Nass@legislature.maine.gov; dillesquire@aol.com; RepRichard.Cleary@legislature.maine.gov;

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