CROWN POINT, Ind.
- Aug. 14, 2014
-- They call it “The Law Project” (TLP). It is a nonprofit corporation that sponsors a variety of good government advocacy groups, programs, and initiatives. The latest is a wiki cataloguing what TLP founders say is “a unique form of judicial misconduct in America that is difficult to document for a variety of reasons.”
“While our advocacy addresses a wide spectrum of human rights and good government concerns, TLP founders are, at heart, judicial accountability specialists”
says Zena Crenshaw-Logal, a TLP co-founder and its Executive Director as well as an attorney before the Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. She notes that in 2007, the prestigious anti-corruption coalition known as Transparency International
confirmed that “(f)or whatever reason and whether petty or gross, corruption in the judiciary ensures that corruption remains beyond the law in every other field of government and economic activity in which it may have taken root.” TLP focuses less on specific instances of judicial misconduct than underlying systemic problems according to Crenshaw-Logal.
TLP reportedly coined the phrase Judicial Engineering®
which is the subject of its wiki known as JEDI, Judicial Engineering® Documented and Impeded
. The site’s mission is “to help define the parameters of misconduct cloaked as permissible acts of judicial discretion.”
This Judicial Engineering®
supposedly takes place “when a U.S. state or federal judge . . . uses his or her discretion to resolve part or all of a case in a way that parallels some clearly prohibited judicial conduct.” Yet, according to JEDI, this questionable conduct “is likely to be condoned” via government review processes unless virtually the same act is condemned “by some binding legal authority”.
TLP’s Deputy Director and co-founder, Dr. Andrew D. Jackson, has graduate degrees in history and law. He explains, “that cases condemning conduct tantamount to Judicial Engineering®
tend to be old and sporadic, making them easy to miss.” JEDI laments that “devising search terms (for) cases addressing (this) subtle form of judicial misconduct requires a mysterious mixture of historical knowledge, skill, and luck.” Dr. Jackson reports that he and attorney Crenshaw have been collecting these relatively rare cases since 1997. “We are reviewing files and will gradually post the few, but valuable examples.”
Attorney Crenshaw-Logal elaborated, “I got pulled into representing one of our former volunteer administrators on an employer appeal of his unemployment benefits eligibility determination. Any reasonable person would think the ruling against us is patently unfair, but appealing it could easily become a futile battle of opinions between me and the Hearing Officer -- futile for my client that is
. Many claimants and litigants face this same basic predicament which is why it seemed that the time had come to launch JEDI.”
Only “JEDI Wiki Organizers” can edit the site, but anyone can submit proposed entries for and view the wiki free of charge. “JEDI is likely to become America’s most comprehensive documentation of Judicial Engineering®
and how it is addressed by U.S. government agencies” say Jackson and Crenshaw-Logal. “TLP administrators consider supplying this encyclopedia an act of patriotism and a labor of love” they added.Visit JEDI at https://jedi1.wikispaces.com and learn more about “The Law Project” at www.njcdlp.org