A Story of Female Sterilization That Should Stress to Those Who’ve Been Violated by Fraudulent Abuse of Legal Process Why Reporting Judicial Tyranny and False Accusers Is by Itself Pointless (You Must Demand Change)

Posted on October 27, 2014


The point of sharing the explication below is to emphasize how forlorn prospective recourses for redressing rights violations stemming from false restraining order and similar prosecutions are. Accountability is zero, across the board.

If you’ve ever wondered why a judge may be censured for rude conduct but not for ignoring lies or misrepresenting evidence, here’s why.

Quoted from “The Plumb Line: So What Else is New?” (Murray N. Rothbard, Libertarian Review, 1978), reprinted on LewRockwell.com as “The Tyranny of the Bench”:

The United States Supreme Court ruled, in 1872, that judges were immune from any damage suits for any “judicial acts” that they had performed—regardless of how wrong, evil, or unconstitutional those acts may have been. When clothed in judicial authority, judges can do no wrong. Period. Recently a case of an errant judge has come up again—because his action as a judge was considered generally to be monstrous and illegal. In 1971, Mrs. Ora Spitler McFarlin petitioned Judge Harold D. Stump of the DeKalb County, Indiana, Circuit Court to engage in a covert, compulsory sterilization of her 15-year-old daughter, Linda Kay Spitler. Although Linda was promoted each year with her class, Mrs. McFarlin opined that she was “somewhat retarded” and had begun to stay out overnight with older youths. And we all know what that can lead to.

Judge Stump quickly signed the order, and the judge and mamma hustled Linda into a hospital, telling her it was for an appendicitis operation. Linda was then sterilized without her knowledge. Two years later, Linda married a Leo Sparkman and discovered that she had been sterilized without her knowledge. The Sparkmans proceeded to sue mamma, mamma’s attorney, the doctors, the hospital, and Judge Stump, alleging a half-dozen constitutional violations.

All of these people, in truth, had grossly violated Linda’s rights and aggressed against her. All should have been made to pay, and pay dearly, for their monstrous offense. But the federal district court ruled otherwise. First, it ruled that mamma, her lawyer, and the various members of the “healing professions” were all immune because everything they did had received the sanction of a certified judge. And second, Judge Stump was also absolutely immune, because he had acted in his capacity as a judge, even though, the district court acknowledged, he had had “an erroneous view of the law.” So, not only is a judge immune, but he can confer his immunity in a king-like fashion even onto lowly civilians who surround him.

The U.S. Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit, unaccountably didn’t understand the program, and so it reversed the district court, claiming that Judge Stump had forfeited his immunity “because of his failure to comply with elementary principles of due process,” and had therefore in a sense “not acted within his jurisdiction.” To allow Stump’s action to stand, said the appeals court, would be to sanction “tyranny from the bench.”

Now this was pretty flimsy stuff, and besides it opened an entertaining wedge toward holding judges accountable to the law and to the protection of rights like everyone else. But this would have shaken the foundations of our monopoly archist legal system. And so the U.S. Supreme Court, on March 28, set the matter straight. In a 5–3 decision in this illuminating case of Stump v. Sparkman, Justice Byron R. (“Whizzer”) White, speaking for the majority, sternly reminded the appellate court of the meaning of the 1872 ruling:

A judge will not be deprived of immunity because the action he took was in error, was done maliciously, or was in excess of his authority. Rather, he will be subject to liability only when he has acted in the “clear absence of all jurisdiction.”

Justice White conceded that no state law or court ruling anywhere could be said to have authorized Judge Stump’s action; but the important point, he went on, is that there was no statute or ruling which prohibited such an action by the judge.

Those interested in reading more are urged to click the link to Mr. Rothbard’s article at the top of the post.

What all of this should make clear is that for redress of rights violations stemming from false allegations made in restraining order and related prosecutions to be possible, the laws themselves must be rectified—and legislative reform will only be urged when more people loudly demand it.

For rights abuses to be capable of remedy by process of law, they must be illegal, which means the processes that authorize those abuses must be revamped or repealed by lawmakers (your state representatives). So long as the standard applied to restraining orders is merely a discretionary one, judges can rule however they want (that’s the statutory latitude they’ve been given), and they’re accountable for those rulings to no one.

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