In my youth, about 22 years ago, I worked for a judge of impeccable honor and integrity—the (really and truly) Honorable Kenneth L. Rykamp. How honorable was he? He was sufficiently honorable and righteous to be denounced on the Senate Floor by the late (and sadly not so very honorable) Senator Edward (“Ted”) Kennedy of Massachusetts….at a time when former Chief Justice Warren Burger was saying privately that Ryskamp should be promoted not just to the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals but the SCOTUS itself. Ryskamp was sufficiently honorable that he (sua sponte, without request or motion of any party, and to the dismay of all involved) recused himself in the middle of a case conference when he realized that there was an extremely indirect conflict of interest with one of his former law partners.
Yes indeed, I left my Judicial Clerkship in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida with only the absolute highest regard for the profession and role of judges and the integrity of the American judicial process, state and federal. I knew there were some serious problems (notably the “war on drugs”) that were incarcerating way too many good people for no good reason, but I saw that the Judges of the Southern District of Florida were actively, actually debating this issue along with that of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines…. which were manifestly unjust and unfair. So it seemed to me that even the problems within the system were resolvable.
That was so long ago that my own son (born during that clerkship) is now a grown man in Law School—and I hope his road is easier than mine way—although I doubt it will be. I doubt it because in the intervening 22 years, I have come to see and believe that the judiciary is a farce, especially in my natal state of Texas, my son’s natal state of Florida, and my sometimes but repeatedly adopted state of California. (These just happen to be three of the biggest and richest states in the Union, and I’ve seen enough of the systems in Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Massachusetts, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico and New York to believe that the problem has spread nationwide.)
The latest developments in Florida are nothing short of demoralizing, however. Here in this state, the first state where I was ever licensed to practice law, I would not now recommend it (the licensed practice of law, that is, except as a subservient act of service to the most corrupt system I have ever seen).
I want someone to tell me how William Todd Overcash’s Petition for Prohibition could justifiably have been denied in this state. See attached Exhibits: Fifth District Court of Appeal Case Docket
Fifth District Court of Appeal Case Docket
Case Number: 5D14-2079
Family Prohibition Petition from Marion County
WILLIAM TODD OVERCASH vs. LORI A. FOULTZ
Lower Tribunal Case(s): 2002-4655-DR-FJ
06/10/2014 Case Filing Fee
06/10/2014 Petition Filed Pro Se – Appellant
06/10/2014 Acknowledgement Letter 1
06/10/2014 Docketing Statement
06/10/2014 Miscellaneous Docket Entry
06/11/2014 Emergency Motion To Stay Pro Se – Appellant
06/12/2014 Miscellaneous Motion Pro Se – Appellant
06/12/2014 Appendix Pro Se – Appellant
06/13/2014 Order Denying Original Petition
06/13/2014 Denied – Order by Judge