Monday, March 10, 2014

Kansas, Meet the Queen of Judicial Lobbying: Maura Corrigan

Rep. Lance Kinzer Chair of the Kansas House Judiciary Committee is going to hear HB 2583 (Prohibiting Judicial Lobbying)Monday March 17, 2014 @ 3:30pm.

In short, Judicial Lobbying is when a judge attempts to make law while sitting on the bench.

Meet the Queen of Judicial Lobbying:  Former Supreme Court Justice Maura D. Corrigan.
Queen of Judicial Lobbying Maura D. Corrigan.

Madame #MauraCorrigan (said in a high British accent through clenched teeth) first caught my eye with judicial lobbying when she headed up the Pew Foster Care Commission while sitting on the Michigan Supreme Court (if I recall correctly, as Chief Justice) where she made the ostentatious recommendation that "judges who adjudicate child welfare matters should go advocate for reform by sitting on the boards of the foster care agencies." 

Is this a conflict of interest when a judge is sitting on the Board of Directors of a foster care agency that has a case before the same judge who will rule in their favor?  

Of course it is.  Hell, it is even in violation of several of the Judicial Cannons of the American Bar Association. Madame Corrigan (do not forget the clenched teeth and accent) used to be a Board Member of Vista Maria, what I like to call the national think tank for foster care policy. 

(NOTE:  Presiding Chief Justice Robert Young also sat on the Board of Vista Maria.)

Rumor had it she was "blue slipped" to be nominated for the U.S. Supreme Court during the time.I even caught her on a national radio interview advocating a case in public that was right in front of her court. 

Now, one will ask: "Why is it a bad thing to advocate for foster care?" 

Now, I will answer: "Because Michigan was covering up one of the largest child welfare false claims schemes in the nation."Madame Corrigan is a brilliant and refined liar.  (Make sure to click the link.  This was the main reason she resigned from the bench to become Director of Michigan Department of Human Services.) 

Well, some will argue that if a judge volunteers it is not considered lobbying because there is no financial compensation.  Au contraire, mes amies! When a judge does something nice for an organization, albeit public or private, profit or not-for-profit, there are monetary gifts.  These gifts are called campaign contributions and voter mobilization. 

In Michigan, it is unknown how much in financial contributions a Supreme Court candidate receives as it is not mandatory to report it.  Ergo, these Child Welfare Agencies will campaign and contribute to the judges. Quid pro quo: Wash my back, I wash yours. 

Watch out Kansas, Madame Corrigan still has ties. 

Individuals wishing to appear and provide verbal testimony before the committee MUST notify the committee secretary 24 hours in advance of the hearing, unless a hearing is scheduled with less than 48 hours notice.  In case of the latter, 6 hours prior notice MUST be given. Testimony MUST be in written form and 50 copies made available to staff prior to testifying by10 a.m. Additionally, an electronic copy should be sent to the committee assistant, Connie Bahner, ( by the 10 a.m.

Voting is beautiful, be beautiful ~ vote.©

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Kansas Supreme Court using their Administrative office to lobby for and against bills that the Kansas Bar Association and the State Courts desire. We have District Court and Administrative Judges writing letters in their current positions and providing opinions and positions for and against proposed legislation. Judges have violated their own “professional rules” by lobbying against pending legislation. This lobbying raises serious constitutional separation of powers and judicial ethics issues. The Supreme Court has ruled in past cases that enacting laws and setting public policy are the sole function of the Legislature. The role of the judicial branch is only to interpret and apply the law.