Washington, D.C. (PRWEB) October 29, 2009
Community meetings are set to begin across America on the topic of judicial oversight and accountability. The National Forum On Judicial Accountability (NFOJA) is coordinating this historical effort.
Zena Crenshaw-Logal, NFOJA Administrator, describes the program as a grassroots legislative initiative. "We promote the creation of a citizens' panel on judicial misconduct in each state of the United States" says Crenshaw-Logal. She explains "these panels would be agencies of their respective state legislatures with exclusive jurisdiction to discipline state judges and the power to indict them when appropriate, much like a grand jury."
NFOJA's model legislation coined the "Citizens' Panel on Judicial Misconduct Act" is an outgrowth of the "Citizens' Forum On Judicial Accountability", a 2008 event on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.
New York resident Betsy Combier recalls the 2008 forum addressing judicial oversight and accountability "through an academic debate and the testimony of five (5) private citizens including me." Combier's nonprofit group, Parent Advocates.org, was a forum cosponsor as was National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project, Inc., The 3.5.7 Commission on Proliferation of Summary Judgments in Employment Discrimination Litigation, and Congress Against Racism and Corruption in Law Enforcement.
Like Combier, Nancy Swan of Alabama testified at the 2008 citizens' forum and sits on the Strategic Planning and Management Board which oversees NFOJA, its state affiliates, and their operations. Swan interjects, "I feel honored to continue the work of our Founding Fathers by encouraging neighbors to assemble and consider the Rule of Law and how to best protect it in America."
Echoing Swan's sentiments are fellow board members and family rights activists L. Wilson of Ohio and Josie Perez of Florida. Wilson and Perez describe NFOJA as a "critical tool in regulating family courts and child protective services."
In addition to deterring judicial misconduct, NFOJA's proposed legislation would provide venues for addressing alleged judicial misconduct ". . . that do not rely almost exclusively for effectiveness on judicial integrity."
The proposed Act is not meant "to suggest that judges, lawyers, and public officials . . . controlled or substantially impacted by judges are not generally honest people of great integrity." Instead the Citizens' Panel on Judicial Misconduct Act "decries a judiciary that is essentially final arbiter of whether it has been corrupted and exclusive regulator of any attorney or judge who would object."
NFOJA officer Dr. Andrew D. Jackson explains that "we emphasize the imbalance of power between judges and other Americans resulting when judges directly or substantially control all the government processes for proving or disproving their misconduct."
Exempt from and ineligible for service under the "Citizens' Panel on Judicial Misconduct Act" would be "current and former judges, justices, public and private sector attorneys, full-time employees of local, county, state, and federal government as well as elected and appointed government officials."
Dr. Karen Inman of Minnesota is President and Dr. Shirley Moore of California is Vice President of NFOJA's Strategic Planning and Management Board. Comparing NFOJA to a commercial franchisor, Dr. Inman notes that it "utilizes uniform imagery, messaging, and strategies for public awareness, lobbying, and ballot initiatives while maintaining flexibility to accommodate diverse views and circumstances." She adds, "NFOJA is part of the online Meet Up community committed to revitalizing local communities and helping people self-organize by getting off the internet and meeting face to face."
Dr. Shirley Moore says participants "will begin implementing the best judicial oversight and accountability practices apparent from the official report on our 2008 forum which legal scholars considered without objection throughout America." Fellow NFOJA board members Dr. Glenn Vickers Bey of Maryland and attorney Michael McCray of Arkansas both conclude "while there are alternatives, our proposed Citizens' Panel on Judicial Misconduct Act incorporates the best of the best judicial reform strategies."
To preview community forums on judicial accountability, visit http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4_Iqsub3SiE
To learn more about and/or participate in NFOJA's community forums, visit http://www.meetup.com/NFOJA-meetup/
National Forum On Judicial Accountability (NFOJA) is a project of National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project, Inc. and the official network of Community Forums On Judicial Accountability (CFOJA).