May It Please the Court Weblog®
A Criminal Waste of Time
A book by Justice William W. Bedsworth
RSS feeds
Search This Site

The web This Site
ACWOS Translated!
ACWOS can now be read in the following languages:
Chinese  French  German  Italian
Korean  Japanese  Portuguese  Spanish


Weblog Comments

Return to the Weblog

Judges and Dwarfs Don't Mix

Judges are, by and large, not the flamingos of the justice swamp. Present company excluded, we tend to be temperate, conservative1 and ... well, judicious. For every one of us who wears Hawaiian shirts and cowboy boots to work,2 there are scores wearing rep ties and wing tips. That's just how we are.

It's also how we got here. I've been watching this system for 35 years and I've pretty much concluded that the first question — maybe not the most important one, but the first one — the governor asks about any judicial candidate is, "What are the chances I'll ever see this person's name again if I appoint him/her?" Only if the appointments secretary answers, "Zero. No chance. Zip, zilch, nada, bupkis, ain't gonna happen; fuhgeddaboudit" does the process go any further.

Because unless the appointments secretary can absolutely guarantee the governor that he will never pick up his morning paper and read, "Judge Arrested for Molesting Sheep," or "Local Jurist Marries 13-Year-Old Cousin," the application goes into the round file faster than a gum wrapper. Governors want their judges to "do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with thy God," but mostly they just want them to stay out of the headlines.

All of which, of course, makes my own appointment a miracle on the order of Fatima or Lourdes. My name shows up in newspapers and magazines every month. I had already published a book of psychotherapeutic meanderings — like the one you're reading now — by the time I reached Pete Wilson's appointments secretary. I am almost certainly the most over-exposed judge in the history of the state.3 As my colleagues would hasten to point out, I do not fit the profile.

Yet here I am. I can only assume I am a Roman Hruska appointment. You remember Roman Hruska. He was the senator from Nebraska who argued in favor of G. Harrold Carswell's confirmation to the United States Supreme Court on the basis that "Even if he was mediocre, there are a lot of mediocre judges and people and lawyers. They are entitled to a little representation, aren't they, and a little chance? We can't all be Brandeises and Cardozos and Frankfurters and stuff like that there."4

I assume John Davies, who has otherwise acquitted himself spectacularly as appointments secretary for two governors, went back into Pete Wilson's office after interviewing me and said, "They can't all be Brandeises and Cardozos and Frankfurters."5

But something about me must have reassured Davies. He required me to submit a copy of my first book while I was under consideration. Having read it, he probably figured I'd already said about all the crazy stuff I could say.6

By and large, though, governors tend to regard a tendency to say crazy stuff as a negative quality in a prospective judge. They're looking not so much for "flamboyant and entertaining" as "Trustworthy, Loyal, Helpful, Friendly, Courteous, Kind, Obedient, Cheerful, Thrifty, Brave, Clean and Reverent." Go figure.7

So it astounds me that there is a publication called ... so help me ... the Judicial Conduct Reporter. You would not think a group of people chosen in large measure for their ability not to crash and burn on the six o'clock news could support a quarterly magazine devoted entirely to cataloguing their sins. But they do.

Honest. I get this thing every three months. It's put out by the American Judicature Society, and exists solely to chronicle the peccadilloes of me and my colleagues, apparently in the futile hope that we will learn from our mistakes.

I'll pause here until you stop laughing at the concept of an educable judge.

Really, I'm not going to continue until you stop.

OK, are you done?


Every quarter the Judicial Conduct Reporter lands on my desk and I put aside whatever I'm working on to read it. Talk about psychotherapy. I start out thinking myself a flawed human being, struggling to get as many right as I can and hoping against hope I won't disappoint the people who put me here. By the time I'm finished, I think I'm ready for the Hall of Fame. Forget Brandeis and Cardozo, I feel like Gandhi. The things other judges are doing make me want to call Davies and ask what took him so long!

Usually the Judicial Conduct Reporters have a theme. Usually it's sexual harassment. Sexual harassment seems to be the judicial equivalent of the common cold. But there are other themes: bullying people, inappropriate gifts, ill-advised charitable activities.

One of my favorites was "Judicial Road Rage." This was a collection of guys8 who didn't just yell at another motorist or flip them off, but had them arrested. These people actually sent their bailiffs out, or called the sheriff, and had motorists whose driving offended them tossed into the hoosegow. Not just one guy who did that, several of them! A gaggle!

At the risk of sounding provincial, most of these do not involve California judges. Whether it reflects strong moral fiber or mere lack of imagination, our judges don't seem as prone to things like making decisions by flipping a coin (summer 2003) or falsely claiming to have won the Medal of Honor (summer 1995).

Nor do we talk to imaginary mystic dwarfs.

Yep. That's what it says: imaginary mystic dwarfs.

Until today, I would not have considered my lack of involvement with imaginary mystic dwarfs a great achievement. Until today, I would not have understood it as a compliment if someone said, "I've got some issues with Bedsworth; about the best thing I can say about him is he doesn't talk to imaginary mystic dwarfs." But today I found out the mystic dwarf thing is grounds for removal of a judge in the Philippines.

According to Reuters, "A Philippine judge who claimed he could see into the future and admitted consulting imaginary mystic dwarfs has asked for his job back after being sacked by the country's Supreme Court."

Wow. I'm too old to use the word "awesome," but I just don't know how else to describe that. As judicial flameouts go, that's Krakatoa. My hat's off to former-Judge Florentino Floro and his ... uh ... staff.

This beats the hell out of anything the Judicial Conduct Reporter's come up with lately. And I just love it. I love it because it appeared when I was right up against my deadline.9 I love it because it makes me feel superior. I love it because I've never previously gotten to type the phrase "imaginary mystic dwarfs." And I love it because the guy is APPEALING!

As near as I can determine, he's making this out to be a freedom of religion issue. He says, "They should not have dismissed me for what I believed." Certainly, I can sympathize with that position. The prospect of judges being removed because of their personal belief systems is anathema to all of us.

But I think once it's established that you, "told investigators that three mystic dwarfs — Armand, Luis and Angel — helped you carry out healing sessions during breaks in chambers," you gotta expect to trudge through a little grief. I mean, these aren't just your ordinary, garden-variety, run-of-the-mill imaginary mystic dwarfs. These are imaginary mystic healing dwarfs!

And you're on a first-name basis with them.

You gotta expect the local bar to be a little leery when you tell 'em, "Counsel, I regret that I cannot grant your motion. But if you'll just step into chambers, me and Luis and Armand will use our mystic powers to cure that arthritic knee of yours."

You've especially gotta expect it if you're able to see into the future. Reuters doesn't elaborate on just what the judge could see in the future — or whether Armand, Luis and Angel were not only mystic and therapeutic, but precognitive as well — but I'm not sure saying you can see into the future requires much elaboration. Certainly it made Judge Floro's future pretty clear.

I have no doubt that if I had told ANY of the lawyers who appeared before me, EVER, that me and the mystic healing dwarfs were gonna cure a little deafness and then go out for a run over the lunch hour and that when we returned we'd have the name of next year's Preakness winner, Davies would have docked me some points.

Certainly the Philippine Supreme Court thinks it lowers your score. Although they were very diplomatic about it. According to Reuters, "The Supreme Court said it was not within its expertise to conclude that Floro was insane, but agreed with the court clinic's finding that he was psychotic."

I'm not sure just what distinction they were drawing here. They may have been saying, "We're not psychiatrists, so we can't say he's gone stark, staring loony tunes on us, but we certainly agree with the doctors who said it." Or they may have concluded that, in today's world, one psychosis hardly differentiates you from the rest of society; it takes at least two or three to qualify for a diagnosis of insanity.

Either way, they confiscated his robe and his ruby slippers and fined him $780.10

And, mirabile dictu, Judge Floro is appealing. I don't have a clue who to.11 Who do you appeal to after the Philippine Supreme Court disrobes you? Seems to me, you and the dwarfs have pretty much topped out when you lose in your nation's supreme court. I can't really see The Hague taking this one on.

But Judge Floro has vowed an appeal, and, since he can see into the future, I have to assume it's gonna come to pass.

And I'm not about to take a chance that I might miss the outcome of this saga. I'm going online as soon as I finish writing this to subscribe to the Philippine Judicial Conduct Quarterly.

Then I'm gonna contact the dwarfs and see if they can do anything about my putting.

Beds' Notes: 

In the true sense of the word; not the one co-opted by self-serving politicians. back

And, come to think of it, there may only be one of us. back

3   “An ill-favoured thing, sir, but mine own.” back

Honest; he actually said “stuff like that there” on the floor of the United States Senate. back

The words “and like that there” could never come out of John Davies' mouth. Mine, yes; John Davies,' never. back

“That, General Napoleon, is the little town of Waterloo; it's of no strategic significance.” back

I am, generally, cheerful. back

Once again, the other gender lags sadly behind. Very few women make the Judicial Conduct Reporter. Apparently there is a glass floor beneath the glass ceiling. back

Deadlines are a ... well, having already used the word “hell” in this column, I'll just let you imagine what I think about deadlines. I don't want to show up in the Judicial Conduct Reporter for profanity. That's like going to hell for a dietary violation. back

10  I have no idea how they came up with $780. Maybe that was the cost of the psychiatric evaluation. After all, it couldn't have taken long. back

11  Yeah, I know the grammar is questionable, but how many times in your life do you get a chance to write six consecutive rhyming words? Go ahead, find six consecutive rhyming words in the works of Oliver Wendell Holmes — either of them — I dare you.back

Posted by William W. Bedsworth on Monday, June 12, 2006 at 18:01 Comments (3)
Comments by Lester F. Hardy from United States on Thursday, June 15, 2006 at 20:12 - IP Logged
Having read Judge Floro's posting on this blog, I am inclined to revise my suggestion. In his case I think sixteenth century Spain would be a far better choice than contemporary Iceland. Icelandic elves, at least in so far as I can judge from the available literature, have little or nothing in common with avenging angels and similarly disposed spirit guides. Torquemada, on the other hand, might have found a use for Judge Floro's unusual capabilities.

Comments by Lester F. Hardy from United States on Thursday, June 15, 2006 at 14:00 - IP Logged
I think perhaps that what Judge Floro needs is a simple change of venue. Consider Iceland, where government agencies consult maps identifying the location of elf-abodes before siting projects (a google search will readily turn up articles by Rolf Soderlind of Reuters, Colin Nickerson of the Boston Globe, and Sarah Lyall of the New York Times (7/13/05).
The consideration given in some nations to elf-habitat has prompted at least one observer to suggest that elves enjoy legal protection, or "elf rights", in both Iceland and Ireland (look for "Do Elves Have Rights" by Jeremy Harte; see also a discussion of elves in the context of a Yale Law School party at the Yale Daily News)
One has to consider the possibility that in Iceland, where according to some, 10% believe outright in the existence of elves and more than half think its possible or probable, including the President (opinion poll references shows up in a number of news articles, including those by Soderlind and Nickerson) a judge professing the beliefs expressed by Judge Soro might blend right in.
Come to think of it, the Ninth Circuit might want to consider a move as well.

Comments by Judge Florentino V. Floro, Jr. from Philippines on Wednesday, June 14, 2006 at 04:16 - IP Logged
Sir, {“May I air my side to your reports”]
I am Judge Florentino V. Floro, Jr. (a Regional Trial Court Judge of Br. 73, Malabon, NCJR, Metro Manila, REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES). My physical address is 123 Dahlia, Alido, Malolos, 3000 Bulacan, Philippines. my telephone number is (044) 662-82-03, digitel, Philippines.
On April 6, 2006, the Philippine Supreme Court RELIEVED (separated - it did not dismiss) me from judicial service, and paid me 3 years backwages, by reason of PSYCHOSIS, a medical incapacity - because I allegedly believed in dwarves, angel of death, inflicting sicknesses, psychic phenomena and (in writing) predicted the downfall of 13th Philippine President Joseph Estrada (on December, 1998) who was ousted by people power on January 20, 2001. [Court Decision penned by M. Justice Minita Viray-Chico Nazario, 75 pages, March 31, 2006.This is the FIRST time in world judicial history that this happened. The American and other Constitutions provide for dismissal or removal of judges, jurists and magistrates because of graft, corruption, misconduct, or bad behaviour; but resignation - only for those medically incapacitated. In the Philippines, this is the FIRST --- for since 1901, our Court never ever dismissed or removed a judge because of belief in the paranormal, religion and psi. Hence, REUTERS, AFP, AP, ASIAN REPORTER, MSNBC, MY WAY News, NEW24.com, ABC NEWS ONLINE, GULF TIMES, 7DAYS, AE, BUZZSPREE.COM, Foreign BLOGGERS, THE DAILY JUDGE, or a total of 70+++ foreign REPORTS, NEWS, BLOGS and 14 Philippine News Headlines, covered - REPORTED – the said LANDMARK DECISION.
On April 12, 2006, or 5 days later, the Philippines was shocked by the painful DEATH of Lawyer Atty. Luzviminda D. Puno, former clerk of court of the Supreme Court and wife of Senior Justice Reynato S. Puno, who passed at the St. Luke"s Medical Hospital in Quezon City, PHILIPPINES, due to complications from a heart surgery. She was 65. On May 4, 2006, I filed by APPEAL (81 PAGES, Partial Reconsideration) [of the 75 pages March 31, 2006 DECISION; and on May 30, 2006, I filed with the P.I. Supreme Court, my 87 pages SECOND SUPPLEMENT to my APPEAL (all these are attached with this letter for your perusal/if these can be accommodated, if not, please send me your E-mail addresses).
IN FAIRNESS, I write / e-mail to you and to all 70++ REPORTERS who reported me, because, I want to AIR MY SIDE, to THANK you, for NOTING my painful case. Let me therefore, tell you the TRUTH behind the DECISION, and these 66 WORLD REPORTS/BLOGS,etc.
TRUTH: I never used the word “DWARVES” in any DECISION, and I never consulted any imaginary dwarf to pen my decisions; my detractors submitted these false evidence or lies; and what I do believed in is: a) in the so-called (my) SPIRIT GUIDES or PROTECTORS: LUIS, is the KING OF ALL KINGS of ELEMENTALS/spirits worldwide (I opine due to his lights, violet and white); and b) he is GOD’s ANGEL (Genesis, Exodus, etc.) - what St. Paul teaches: Gifts of the Holy Spirit, Prophecy and Spiritual Healing. I am GIFTED; I never tried to develop my psychic powers, since these are God’s GIFTs to me - TO HEAL and TO PROPHESY.
I am not psychotic; the DECISION RULED that I can apply in other government positions that do not require dispensation of justice. I am a victim of INJUSTICE. On September 19, 1995, I stated that Atty. Teresita Cruz-Sison (Judicial and Bar Council Member) would suffer massive STROKE. HER VENGEANCE resulted in the submitting of FALSE EVIDENCE about DWARFS, ANGELS, PSYCHIC PHENOMENA, etc. Here in the Philippines, Judges, Justices are first NOMINATED by the Judicial and Bar Council (who selects 3) and the President of the Philippines appoints a Judge or Justice based on these 3 submissions.

I admit / believe that GOD has chosen me to be the instrument to CLEAN the Philippine Supreme Court and Judiciary of CORRUPTION and abuse of power --- by inflicting illnesses by my spirit guides. [Our Supreme Court commissioned the Social Weather Station, here, regading the state of judicial corruption and the SWS released the l996 and 2005 surveys that showed – “MORE lawyers nowadays complain of corruption in the judicial system compared to 10 years ago, according to the Social Weather Stations. One out of two lawyers know of a trial judge in their city or province who has taken a bribe but they did not report it because they could not prove it, said the SWS”. - I admit that the controversial DECISION was released as it is, RELIEVING me but PAYING me backwages because I was placed under PREVENTIVE SUSPENSION since July 20,1999 until now, or 6 ¾ years; so THE INVESTIGATION TOOK 6 ¾ YEARS, NOT 3 YEARS AS THE 70 world reports/blogs ALL REPORTED. I could not work nor practice my job because of that punishment.
NOW, the judge who was supposed to replace me on 1999, Judge ROSA CASAS REYES (lingering illness), who was appointed as Judge for the neighbor Branch 74, RTC, Malabon,was/ is on SICK LEAVE Assisting Judge Leonido was appointed in her stead. Last year, I was DISCRIMINATED, because, while I was forcibly tested by 5 mental health professionals, plus one psychiatrist, Judge Rosa Reyes was not even required to be examined by a panel of doctors, so as to RELIEVE her, as required by Philppine Constitution.
IN SUM, KARMA and the CURSE as we Catholics and Christians believe in have their own ways in unveiling/revealing the truth; my clerk of court, Atty. Esmeralda G. Dizon, who submitted false evidence about dwarfs and psychic phenomena, to make it appear that I have brain damage, was punished by my spirit guides: now, her first born, GELAY, 10 years old was inflicted with EPILEPSY, with 2x a week LIFE-LONG severe attacks. I admit that my spirit GUIDE LUIS did all these, to impress upon the Philippine Judiciary, that receiving BRIBE money, corruption, evil and abuse of powers, due to lust for glory, cannot remain unpunished in the laws of these UNSEEN, that are more REAL than we ever imagine. I REPEAT, LUIS, ARMAND AND ANGEL ARE NOT THE LOWLY DWARVES OR GNOMNES BUT SPIRIT GUIDES AND PROTECTORS THAT GOD CHOSE AS INSTRUMENTS TO RID THE PHILIPPINE JUDICIARY OF MISFITS AND ROTTEN EGGS.
The PONENTE in this case, Justice MINITA VIRAY CHICO-NAZARIO (the wife of ROD NAZARIO, the former promoter of WBC boxing champion MANNY PACQUIO) was a Sandiganbayan Justice of the Philippines who was promoted Supreme Court Justice on July 24, 2004. She fought so hard for me, and were it not for the many MEDICAL SURGERIES undergone by S.C. Justices, inter alia, due to this painful case, I would have been REINSTATED
But your 70++ WORLD REPORTS vindicated me: this is the FIRST in world judicial history that a CASE had been REPORTED with GREAT MAGNITUDE, with COMPASSION … in my favor.THANKS. The PEACE OF CHRIST. BEST WISHES, and sincerely,
{See: Times On Line, U.K. David Pannick, QC, June 6, 2006]
123 Dahlia, Alido, Malolos, 3000 BULACAN, PHILIPPINES,
Tel/# (044) 662-82-03;
(Presiding Judge, Branch 73, RTC, MALABON, NCJR, M.M., PHILIPPINES)

Comments are now closed.

Send your comments directly to the author at William.Bedsworth at jud.ca.gov (remove spaces and add @ symbol in place of the "at").