Why are so many lawyers politicians?

by on January 23, 2008 at 6:14 pm in Law, Political Science | Permalink

Johan Richter, a loyal MR reader, writes to me:

As the primary elections are coming up is is interesting to note that so many of the contenders are lawyers, something that is also true of the members of Congress, where I believe half are lawyers. Why are so many US politicians lawyers? It seems odd considering that A) Legal training seems unnecessary for performing the main job of a politician, regardless of whether one takes that to be courting public opinion or governing the country. And there is hardly any deficit of lawyers in Washington to ask for advice if legal knowledge turns out to be needed. B) Being a lawyer isn’t very prestigious as far as I know. Being a military, doctor, police officer, businessman or perhaps even a academic would surely be regarded by many voters as more respectable professions than being a lawyer. C) Other countries don’t have nearly the same over-representation of lawyers in their parliaments as the US does.

I thought Google would yield a paper on this question but I can’t find it.  My guess is that lawyers are good at fundraising and good at developing personal contacts.  This helps explain why fewer politicians are lawyers in many other countries; money is more important in American politics.  A lawyer also has greater chance to exhibit the qualities that would signal success in politics, such as the ability to persuade and the ability to speak well on one’s feet.  Not to mention that many lawyers have ambition.

Natasha, who is a lawyer, adds that law generates an outflux of people to many other fields, not just politics.  There is also a path-dependence effect, by which a previous presence of politicians in law breeds the same for the future.  What else do you all know about this?

Addendum: I’ve posted a version of this query over at Volokh.com as well; I expect they will have something to say about the question.

Second addendum: Over at VC, Shawn says:

You will also find that Real Estate and Insurance agents are
disproportionately represented in politics, at least at the more local
levels.

These professions (along with practicing law) provide the career
flexibility for would be politicians to put their jobs on hold or scale
them down a few degrees while pursuing elected office or serving is
such an office.

This flexibility also is what attracts people who wish to be career
politicians, so that they have a job to fall back on between election
seasons that won’t trap them into long term obligations, keeping them
from the next election cycle or serving if elected.

These careers also give would be politicians a good place to get recognition and network within their communities.

Third addendum: Bob Tollison writes to me: "McCormick and I devote a chapter 5 to why lawyers
dominate legislatures in our book– Politicians, Legislation and  the
Economy, Martinus Nihoff, 1981. Lawyers are better at combining being in the
legisture with making outside income. Hence, lawyers dominate low legislative
pay states because seats have a higher present value. Women dominate high pay
states."

Danny from Milwaukee January 23, 2008 at 6:05 pm

Maybe because being a lawyer sucks. So lawyers look for other opportunities to make a living more often than doctors, military, academics etc. And since others have blazed that trail alread, politics is a good option.

Chris Lawrence January 23, 2008 at 6:11 pm

My guess (as a political science professor who never really had any desire to get a J.D.): many politicians went to law school after being political science majors in college because they “liked politics.” I think it’s almost seen as a career path.

Lawyers (and medical doctors, who are also overrepresented in Congress) probably also have more of the flexibility in time that it takes to be a state legislator in the U.S., which doesn’t pay enough to be a full-time occupation in most states; they can shut down or backburner the law practice for 2-4 months of the year while they’re at the state capital and earn money the rest of the year, which isn’t an option for most folks. And since it’s hard to get into Congress without experience at the state level, that could be a major factor limiting the career paths of other potential politicians.

MLKH January 23, 2008 at 6:15 pm

Actually, I think that in many practice areas
being a lawyer offers a fairly holistic, “top-down” view of the subject
matter, whether that be a business, industry, deal, piece of litigation.
The same seems true of government, and so an aptitude
(or preference) for that aspect of the law wouild seem to translate
to government well.

And I don’t agree that law is necessarily not prestigious. The prevailing
opinion of laywers may be one of dislike, but it is also that lawyers are
intelligent. Such a presumption would seem to be positive for a
lawyer-candidate when running for office.

esq January 23, 2008 at 6:20 pm

many people who would have ordinarily gone into politics, bide their time by going into law first. this applies to those for whom politics is a family business (e.g., Ted Kennedy, Al Gore); and to those who are interested in government and politics (such as poli-sci majors), but who need to get a job and suddenly realize that there are no english or philosophy factories out there.

the other reason is that many of the “best” (and by best, you might as well substitute “most prestigious”) legal jobs are in government – the top of the heap is often considered being a clerk for a judge, but there is also the chance to work in the Solicitor General’s office, or the DOJ (in DC), or working the regional US Attorneys’ offices around the country. these jobs naturally lead to politics (e.g., giuliani).

two other categories of lawyer-politicians apply more generally to pretty much any occupation. one is for those who have made shit-tons of cash, and thus can run for government just like all the other gazillionaires (compare Edwards with Corzine). finally, there are those who married in law school, were fortunate enough that their spouse did very well, and could then ride their spouses’ coat-tails to power (compare Hillary with Elizabeth Dole).

and then there’s Obama. as with so many other categories, he just doesn’t fit the mold.

happyjuggler0 January 23, 2008 at 6:24 pm

I don’t have any insight here as to why we have so many lawyers in politics, and I apologize for commenting anyway. That said….

I am personally disturbed by the large number of lawyers in politics. Lawyers are effectively trained that your gain is my loss, that I can gain only if you lose. This is probably why lawyers are more likely than any other profession to not tip at all in restaurants (US anyway).

Why is this disturbing? Because economics is not zero sum, and often the best path, regardless of one’s normative biases, is counterintuitive, especially for those trained in zero sum thinking. This explains why someone like John Edwards promises “to stick it to the corporations” (I’m paraphrasing, although I wouldn’t be surprised if that was verbatim), despite the fact that the people most hurt by corporate taxation in the long run are workers.

Not to mention the fact that zero profits equals zero employees, a concept I suspect he hasn’t thought of. Certainly his beloved union organizers haven’t thought of it, or at least hope to con their victims into beleiving.

Sune January 23, 2008 at 6:29 pm

It seems like a lot of the lawyers contending in the primaries started their careers in the district atorneys office doing public prosecution. Rising in ranks and gaining popularity by winning trials enabled them to get seats in important offices like mayors, senators and such.

In Denmark however, the current and former prime minister are economists.

antonio January 23, 2008 at 6:34 pm

I don’t know the exact numbers but in Brazil a lot of politicians are lawyers too. In fact, this is true since the student’s political movement (which in Brazil tend to be the begging of most politicians’ career) while people are still in college and the students from Law School tend to be extremely overrepresented.

Patrick January 23, 2008 at 6:35 pm

Australia has a very similar situation, with economists coming in second!

David Zetland January 23, 2008 at 6:40 pm

Zippy is right — remember that the US legal system is more prescriptive than common law. It takes lawyers to write the laws, understand the laws, bend the laws and “reform” the laws they break.

Lawyers are upper caste; they speak a secret language the voters do not understand, but voters DO realize they need to reelect a lawyer if they are going to get anywhere.

If laws had to be written in plain language, the path-dependency would end.

Mike Mogie January 23, 2008 at 6:54 pm

“B) Being a lawyer isn’t very prestigious as far as I know.” I couldn’t agree more. Attached is a NY Times article from 2 weeks ago solidifying that statement.

hrh January 23, 2008 at 7:03 pm

Lawyers can speak about the details of a law much more effectively than someone from a different profession. Furthermore, they can usually write well quickly and to the point.

Look at the laws of any state – these are things that a politician either needs to understand himself or have someone explain to him. Obviously, lawyers have an easier time “getting involved” with legislation as an insider. Furthermore, one of the big tasks of government appointees is the drafting and implementation of new legislation. If you want to go into state government as a representative, it is helpful to have some experience a state level appointment position – and lawyers have the relevant experience for that.

Michael Bishop January 23, 2008 at 7:07 pm

There are a lot of reasons, a couple that I didn’t see mentioned above.

1. the sheer number of lawyers in the U.S.
2. path dependence (people become lawyers because they want to be politicians)
3. more speculative, perhaps its because they know they’ll end up as lobbyists afterwards.

Sean Towey January 23, 2008 at 7:09 pm

I would have to disagree with the idea that money is less important in other political systems outside the United States. Money politics is known basically world-wide, with Japan being an excellent example. Though the LDP did lose several elections, they regained their prominence because they have all the money.
The sheer number of lawyers the USA pumps out each is probably a contributing factor. We simply make too many lawyers, so it makes sense that these guys go into other professions where they could be more successful.

Robert S. Porter January 23, 2008 at 7:11 pm

It’s not quite half if you look at the numbers. 37.2% of the House of Representatives are lawyers. 58% of the Senate. Overall it’s 41.1%.

You are probably correct to assume that that it is higher than most places. Canada for example: 15.3% of the House of Commons are lawyers. 25.7% of the Senate. For a total of 17.9%. So that makes the US have more than double the amount of lawyers.

Strangely though, 77.2% of Canadian Prime Ministers have been lawyers, while only 59.5% of American Presidents were lawyers.

Is it possible that the United States simply has a higher rate of lawyers in total as compared to other countries?

robert January 23, 2008 at 7:22 pm

Legal practice is wretched work. You deal with debased and or greedy people. You become cynical and debased yourself
You watched LA law and thought it would be cool to be a lawyer. The right or wrong of your views don’t matter so long as you win. What is so difficult to understand why lawyers are typical among politicians. Poltics in the U.S.
is dirty business who better than lawyers……Also recall: U.S. has 5% of world population but like 60% of lawyers……Also the power of white shoe law firms cannot be underestimated. I know you guys belive in the fantasy of the free market and the virtue of all things u.s.a, but the large white shoe firms and their regonal counterparts exert
a great deal of influence and tend to line up their own for political power. Yep there are elections but guyes who chooses who gets on the ballot–understand the real world kiddies–its not like intermeidate micro or poli-scie….Capish?

hwinva January 23, 2008 at 7:34 pm

Some info about prestige of various professions, as detailed in Harris Polls, at http://www.harrisinteractive.com/harris_poll/index.asp?PID=793 .

Dave January 23, 2008 at 7:40 pm

New dumbest thing I have read today: “But the empirical evidence in politics supports my contention that lawyers think (or at least act and talk) in zero sum terms more than other elected officials, such as entrepreneurs, doctors et al.”

Matt January 23, 2008 at 7:53 pm

“The fact remains that if you talk to anyone in the waitstaff industry they will all tell you that lawyers and foreigners from countries where tipping is automatically included in the bill are the most likely to not tip. If lawyers aren’t inculcated with zero sum thinking, why do they act that way?”

Every day the sun comes up and it sets – if the sun doesn’t circle the earth, then why would it appear this way?

steve January 23, 2008 at 8:13 pm

Maybe its because even rats dont want to be politicians.

Steve

Fin Fang Foom January 23, 2008 at 8:30 pm

As a reason for lawyers’ ambitions to become politicians, the practice and study of the law is the only place where one comes into daily contact with the law and problems with the law as it stands. Nearly every other profession is only going to run into things they don’t like about the law with respect to the narrow aspect of their profession.

Wes Johnson January 23, 2008 at 8:43 pm

Ok, I guess I have to speak up for my profession.

First, I have heard every critical thing about lawyers ever, but I have never heard we are bad tippers. Personally, I go out drinking or to lunch or dinner with lawyers all the time, and I’ve never seen evidence of failure to tip, generously. I’m appalled at low tippers, and its not a trait of lawyers that I have ever observed or even heard about until now.

BUt the real reason that is obvious BS, is how would a waitperson know they were waiting on a lawyer? I have never had a waitress ask me if I was a lawyer. If you’ve got anything besides “ask any waitperson” I’d love to see it. I think you are trolling with that comment.

Second, the notion that lawyers think in “zero sum” terms is incoherent. I don’t know what you think that even means in a legal context.

“Lawyers are effectively trained that your gain is my loss, that I can gain only if you lose.” I must have been absent that day. It makes no sense as a measure of damages in a legal context, so I would love to hear a specific example of what you think shows that kind of thinking for lawyers.

guy in the veal calf office January 23, 2008 at 9:44 pm

I agree with the comment above: if you are running for the job of legislating, having training in laws is pretty useful. I wonder why non-lawyers even apply for a job they have no training for.

Why are there so few academics who flow into politics?

Mo January 23, 2008 at 9:57 pm

why you are always hearing about “synergies” and the like when they and their clients talk about the benefit of strategic M&A.

Isn’t it the MBAs, not the JDs, that figure out those synergies? Each side’s lawyer tries to get away with as much as they possibly can and it’s the fact that each side had lawyers that they get worked out.

rod January 23, 2008 at 10:31 pm

uh, because Congress passes laws? in fact, being a lawyer, or having fine lawyers tell you what is going on, is essential to the work of Congress. Am I missing something, or isn’t this totally obvious? I can’t tell you what could be less useful than, for instance, economics as a the field of study that prepared one for Congress. No, that’s wrong. Pest control would be less useful, although not totally debilitating.

Nonpareil January 23, 2008 at 10:47 pm

When Tyler posts a question like this, it reminds me of how little he understands beyond his own particular specialty. I don’t see an actual economic issue involved here, but perhaps someone can connect the dots for me.

W January 23, 2008 at 11:21 pm

Practicing law teaches future politicians how to passionately argue for something they don’t really believe in. Only lawyers have this background, a fundamental part of campaigning.

As a test of this, do trial lawyers become politicians more often than other types (How many former patent lawyers are in Congress)?

kranky krittet January 23, 2008 at 11:56 pm

Eazy-peazy, in 2 points:

1. Lawyers love to argue.

2. The rank and file almost always aspires to run the joint, so law practitioners aspire to be chief lawmaker.

yank_in_Oz January 24, 2008 at 4:16 am

I can’t believe only one commenter mentioned de Tocqueville.

“Lawyers belong to the people by birth and interest, and to the aristocracy by habit and taste; they may be looked upon as the connecting link between the two great classes of society…

I am not ignorant of the defects inherent in the character of this body of men; but without this admixture of lawyer-like sobriety with the democratic principle, I question whether democratic institutions could long be maintained…

In America there are no nobles or literary men, and the people are apt to mistrust the wealthy; lawyers consequently form the highest political class and the most cultivated portion of society…

The influence of legal habits extends beyond the precise limits I have pointed out. Scarcely any political question arises in the United States that is not resolved, sooner or later, into a judicial question. Hence all parties are obliged to borrow, in their dail controversies, the ideas, and even the language, peculiar to judicial proceedings.”

I think the short answer is the countries with civil law (i.e. those colonized by the English) are countries where lawyers are more likely to have relatively more influence.

John Dewey January 24, 2008 at 7:57 am

Consider also why there aren’t more MBA’s and engineers in Congress. My guess is that they would find the work boring, and a severe deviation from their ultimate career plans. I assume that brilliant men who spend a few years studying law must enjoy law. For me, business law was the most boring class of my MBA program.

To those readers who work for law firms: wouldn’t holding state public office increase one’s chance of becoming a partner? Wouldn’t a state or national office holder add prestige to most law firms?

jn January 24, 2008 at 9:10 am

It seems there are two issues: 1) why lawyers are suitable/attracted to politics and 2) why politicians in the USA are especially likely to be lawyers.

Most of the comments address 1. Few really touch on 2. As the commenter about China suggested, in many countries, engineering and economics are more prevalent in politicians’ bios than in the US. I suspect that’s because those countries have a narrow elite pool from which politicians and civil servants are drawn. And in many/most of those places engineering and other technical disciplines are consistent with a school based meritocracy as a means of filtering for raw ability.

In contrast, top US universities are not as consistently meritocratic (on purely test-based academic standards) as other countries and going to a top school does not guarantee a position in management and the civil service with the same degree of certainty. It is probably true that in the US, a top degree gets you your first job but doesn’t do much afterwards.

Tocqueville January 24, 2008 at 9:28 am

In America there are no nobles or literary men, and the people are apt to mistrust the wealthy; lawyers consequently form the highest political class and the most cultivated portion of society. They have therefore nothing to gain by innovation, which adds a conservative interest to their natural taste for public order. If I were asked where I place the American aristocracy, I should reply without hesitation that it is not among the rich, who are united by no common tie, but that it occupies the judicial bench and the bar.

Matt Clifford January 24, 2008 at 9:53 am

I think the point about lawyers as the professionals who can most afford to take a few years off from their work to dabble in politics is important. Bankers and business executives are more likely to wait until they retire to enter politics (see Paulson, Corzine, etc) because they would find it much more difficult to continue their careers if they were to leave the political arena.

It’s an interesting question, though, what would make the best background for a politician. I’ve tried to answer that a bit here.

bccheah January 24, 2008 at 10:55 am

There was a book by Alan Ehrenhalt called the United States of Ambition which is out of print which deals with this question: Why do we get the politicians that we get? He explores several elections at the local, state and national level and tries to discuss why certain types of politicians enter the race. It’s a little date so may no longer be relevant today. The point I took away from the book was that there was a certain self selection process as politics evolved from part time low paying job (which tended to appeal to housewives, business people taking advantage of the position to further their business opportunities) to the full time job that it is today (which attracts a professional type that knows how to organize and package themselves e.g. activists (who may be lawyers by training, but never practiced law).

On another note, HW Brands’s biography of Andrew Jackson (who was also a lawyer) also noted that the surest way for someone to enter politics was to become a lawyer although I don’t know the basis for his assertion.

Thomas B. January 24, 2008 at 11:05 am

This is like asking why so many architects are trained in architecture.

Law school primarily educates you to the unexpected effects of hastily implemented legal rules. The law reaches across many subjects, but a working knowledge of the law can help in drafting any statute. That cannot be said of any other study (except perhaps economics).

“Lawyers are effectively trained that your gain is my loss, that I can gain only if you lose.”

My J.D. missed this point, instead emphasizing a variety of scholastic theories of justice and equity, so I have to side with Dave here.

The J.D. also emphasized the high ethical duties of anyone in the profession. After the J.D., ethical knowledge is tested both on the bar and on the MPRE, and ethical behavior is scutinized by the state bar association.

So lawyers have 1) attained a knowledge and training uniquely relevant to all lawmaking, and 2) undergone some ethical scrutiny.

The question should be: why aren’t more politicians lawyers?

H man January 24, 2008 at 11:15 am

One reason I haven’t seen and maybe I simply missed it is the opportunity cost. A lawyer can take a sabbatical from work to spend the large amount of time that a campaign requires. In fact their bosses/partners may even encourage it due to the ability to build a client base as mentioned above. Most other people can’t do that. The only other people I can think of who can do that are business owners who are also represented fairly well and academics who generally are not interested in political office.

Dave January 24, 2008 at 12:18 pm

Johan-

Nobody said lawyers were good politicians. Being a lawyer, however, is very helpful in being a legislator. To the extent that people back and vote for candidates that are going to be effective, having a law degree will be helpful.

In the US, at least, very little of the study of law is an exercise in memorization. Law school and the bar test law students ability to apply law to facts.

Yes, anyone can look up a law. But context is important. That’s the reason why law school is not specialized, since laws do not exist in a vacuum.

Doug January 24, 2008 at 2:06 pm

The thing that is most striking to me is the gross misconception of what a modern legal education entails. Statements like “Lawyers are effectively trained that your gain is my loss, that I can gain only if you lose.” and “learning what the law says is just an exercise in memorization” are laughable. This is not what is taught in law school. It just isn’t.

Lawyers do not memorize the law. They learn how the law works. They study cases in which the law has been applied in the real world, which demonstrate how unintended consequences arise in the application of the law, and how such consequences have been dealt with in various jurisdictions. They also learn to apply the law to specific factual scenarios, and study the evolution of law through time. Law school also teaches the different theoretical frameworks which form the basis of our law, and explain why the law works the way it does, such as natural rights theory, public choice theory, and law and economics.

As for this “my gain is your loss” stuff, lawyers (at least in modern law schools) usually take a course or courses in alternative dispute resolution, which stresses exactly the opposite. Even for those lawyers who were not expressly trained in this area, litigators usually learn pretty early how to come up with practical and creative solutions to settle cases out of court (as most cases do), which benefits both sides.

When I was in law school, I used to think how could anyone be a legislator and NOT know the things I was learning. How can you change the law if you don’t even know what the law is now, much less what laws were tried in the past, and how things actually work in application once laws are enacted? So many people have misconceptions about how the law really works that it is scary that someone without legal training can be entrusted to change our laws.

A non-lawyer going into the legislature is like a peace-activist thinking he can disarm a nuclear bomb by the shear force of his good intentions, even though he knows next to nothing about how the bomb actually works. So really, my question is why there are ANY non-lawyers in the legislature.

Anthony January 24, 2008 at 5:48 pm

Robert Heinlein, in “Take Back Your Government” (ISBN-10: 0671721577) discusses this; the answer is, in part, career flexibility, and some experience dealing with government. Successful lawyers are also good salesmen, a skill which transfers directly into campaigning success.

Scott Wood January 26, 2008 at 1:06 am

I haven’t had the time to read all 70+ of the comments, so this might have been hashed through already, but wouldn’t it make sense that both the legal profession and politics would disproportionately attract people who like law? So, therefore, we would expect a lot of overlap between the two?

As thought provoking as the legal profession’s affording it’s practitioners the ability to put their careers on hold for the campaign season, I’m not really sure that we even have to go there.

Jeff January 27, 2008 at 8:22 pm

Perhaps it’s just that both lawyers and politicians have a positive view of government,
and its ability to be a force for good. Alot of the business people I know, for example,
view government as bloodsucking parasites. Why would they want to be a part of that?

And don’t quite a number of lawyers and politicians believe in the forced
redistribution of wealth to achieve some social ends? Is it really that different to
sue to transfer wealth, or impose taxes to achieve it? Most other professions
rely on voluntary trade, that presumably benefits both buyer and seller.

Lucas January 28, 2008 at 3:27 pm

Lawyers often serve as intermediaries between people with very different interests (sometimes across deep social divisions like race and class), and translate the interests of lay clients into the mechanisms of the legal system and back. They regulate conflict, negotiate, and (at least sometimes) seek common ground. I think those are key skills for representatives in a legislative body, and they are not necessarily cultivated by, for instance, medical, military, or academic work.

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TC May 23, 2008 at 10:18 am

At the risk of being quoted as the dumbest thing someone read today, I’ll phrase it in question form.

·Why do we need so many lawyers OR politicians OR laws?
·Do we honestly need to make a new law every day / week / month?
·Why do we need someone to decipher or find loop holes in the “beast” (A.K.A. law)?
·If a new law is important enough, does it make sense to let the population vote on it?
·What are the checks/balances against passing too many laws?
·Off on a different tangent, what are the checks/balances against a disillusioned voting populace?
– Why can’t I vote on the important issues, but only on someone who will “represent” me?

I realize there are downfalls and logistic problems with the population voting on everything. However, what is going to keep bureaucracy from becoming an uncontrollable beast? Lawyers?

DOUGLAS FIELD August 29, 2008 at 3:20 pm

SENATOR OBAMA,PLEASE TELL AMERICA YOUR FEELINGS ON THIS US JUDICIAL INJUSTICE ???

WITH 80% OF THE BLACK AMERICAN VOTERS SAYING THEY SUPPORT SENATOR OBAMA IN THIS NEXT PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, IT IS ONLY FAIR FOR EVERYONE TO KNOW PRIOR BEING ELECTED THE NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HOW THIS DEMOCRATIC SENATOR TRULY FEELS ABOUT THIS AMERICAN JUDICIAL HORROR CONTINUING TO INFLICT GRAVE HARM ON THE BLACK AMERICAN FAMILIES AND THEIR COMMUNITIES NATIONWIDE ??????

** SADLY THIS REPRESSIVE JUDICIAL INJUSTICE HAS BECOME AN AMERICAN ART FORM !!!

THE US SUPREME COURT GAVE ENEMY COMBATANTS FEDERAL APPEAL HC RIGHTS LAWYERS AND PROPER ACCESS TO US FEDERAL COURTS,AND POORER AMERICANS (MANY EVEN ON DEATH ROW) ARE DENIED PROPER FEDERAL APPEAL LEGAL REPRESENTATION TO OUR US FEDERAL COURTS OF APPEAL, AND ROTTING IN AMERICAN PRISONS NATIONWIDE ?????????

**** INNOCENT AMERICANS ARE DENIED REAL HC RIGHTS WITH THEIR FEDERAL APPEALS ! THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE $LOWLY FINDING OUT HOW EA$Y IT I$ FOR MIDDLE CLA$$ AND WORKING POOR AMERICAN$ TO FALL VICTIM TO OUR U$ MONETARY JUDICIAL $Y$TEM.

****WHEN THE US INNOCENT WERE ABANDONED BY THE GUILTY **** The prison experts have reported that there are 100,000 innocent Americans currently being falsely imprisoned along with the 2,300,000 total US prison population nationwide. Since our US Congress has never afforded poor prison inmates federal appeal legal counsel for their federal retrials,they have effectively closed the doors on these tens of thousands of innocent citizens ever being capable of possibly exonerating themselves to regain their freedom through being granted new retrials.

This same exact unjust situation was happening in our Southern States when poor and mostly uneducated Black Americans were being falsely imprisoned for endless decades without the needed educational skills to properly submit their own written federal trial appeals.

This devious and deceptive judicial process of making our poor and innocent prison inmates formulate and write their own federal appeal legal cases for possible retrials on their state criminal cases,is still in effect today even though everyone in our US judicial system knows that without proper legal representation, these tens of thousands of innocent prison inmates will be denied their rightful opportunities of ever being granted new trials from our federal appeal judges!!

Sadly, the true US *legal* Federal Appeal situation that occurs when any of our uneducated American prison inmates are forced to attempt to submit their own written Federal Appeals (from our prisons nationwide) without the assistance of proper legal counsel, is that they all are in reality being denied their legitimate rights for Habeas Corpus and will win any future Supreme Court Case concerning this injustice!

For our judicial system and our US Congressional Leaders Of The Free World to continue to pretend that this is a real and fair opportunity for our American Middle Class and Working Poor Citizens, only delays the very needed future change of Federal Financing of all these Federal appeals becoming a normal formula of Our American judicial system.

It was not so very long ago that Public Defenders became a Reality in this country.Prior that legal reality taking place, their were also some who thought giving anyone charged with a crime a free lawyer was a waste of taxpayers $$.

This FACADE and HORROR of our Federal Appeal proce$$ is not worthy of the Greatest Country In The World!

***GREAT SOCIETIES THAT DO NOT PROTECT EVEN THEIR INNOCENT, BECOME THE GUILTY!

A MUST READ ABOUT AMERICAN INJUSTICE:: 1) YAHOO AND 2) GOOGLE MANNY GONZALES THE KID THAT EVERYONE FORGOT IN THE CA PRISON SYSTEM.
** A JUDICIAL RIDE OF ONES LIFE! (lawyersforpooramericans@yahoo.com )

DOUGLAS FIELD October 5, 2008 at 7:51 pm

SENATOR OBAMA,ANOTHER POSSIBLE INNOCENT poorer black american NEEDS YOUR VOICE FOR JUSTICE ???

DOES GOD NEED TO LOBBY OUR US CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD ON BEHALF OF OUR POORER AMERICAN’S SENATOR OBAMA,OR ARE YOU WATCHING OUT FOR THEM ??

***SURELY OUR US CONGRESS & US SUPREME COURT BOTH KNOW THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A STATE MURDER IN GEORGIA OR A POSSIBLE EXECUTION IN GEORGIA THIS WEEK ???

OUR US CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS OF THE FREE WORLD CONTINUE TO DENY MIDDLE CLASS AND WORKING POOR AMERICANS PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION EVEN THOUGH WRONGFUL EXECUTIONS & FALSE INCARCERATIONS CONTINUE ALL ACROSS AMERICA ???

*** 700 BILLION $$$ AVAILABLE FOR US BAILOUT, & NO $$$ FOR ALL POORER AMERICANS PROPER LEGAL REPRESENTATION ???????

WHERE ARE AMERICA ‘S RELIGIOUS LEADERS ??
SENATOR OBAMA, THIS JUDICIAL INJUSTICE HAS BECOME AN AMERICAN ART FORM, AND NO LONGER CAN BE KEPT HIDDEN OR SECRET FROM THE AMERICAN PEOPLE EVEN IF CERTAIN (501c3) U$ RELIGIOU$ LEADER$ HAVE BEEN $ILENCED ??

LETS ALL HOPE OUR MEDIA FRIENDS CONTINUE TO SHOW AN INTEREST IN REPORTING ON THIS AMERICAN HORROR FACING THESE (TENS OF THOUSANDS) FORGOTTEN AND TRAPPED POORER AMERICANS, AND HOW THIS PRESIDENTIAL CONTENDER HANDLES THIS VERY SERIOUS ISSUE FACING AMERICA’S LATINO AND BLACK AMERICAN COMMUNITIES ????

WITH 80% OF THE BLACK AMERICAN VOTERS SAYING THEY SUPPORT SENATOR OBAMA IN THIS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION, IT IS ONLY FAIR FOR EVERYONE TO KNOW PRIOR BEING ELECTED OUR NEXT PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES HOW THIS DEMOCRATIC SENATOR TRULY FEELS ABOUT THIS AMERICAN JUDICIAL INJUSTICE CONTINUING TO INFLICT GRAVE HARM ON THE BLACK & LATINO AMERICAN FAMILIES AND THEIR COMMUNITIES NATIONWIDE ??????

*** WHEN GOD’S FACE BECAME VERY RED ***
THE US SUPREME COURT GAVE ENEMY COMBATANTS FEDERAL APPEAL HC RIGHTS LAWYERS AND PROPER ACCESS TO US FEDERAL COURTS,AND POORER AMERICANS (MANY EVEN ON DEATH ROW) ARE DENIED PROPER FEDERAL APPEAL LEGAL REPRESENTATION TO OUR US FEDERAL COURTS OF APPEAL, AND ROTTING IN AMERICAN PRISONS NATIONWIDE ?????????

**** INNOCENT AMERICANS ARE DENIED REAL HC RIGHTS WITH THEIR FEDERAL APPEALS !
THE AMERICAN PEOPLE ARE $LOWLY FINDING OUT HOW EA$Y IT I$ FOR MIDDLE CLA$$ AND WORKING POOR AMERICAN$ TO FALL VICTIM TO OUR U$ MONETARY JUDICIAL $Y$TEM.

****WHEN THE US INNOCENT WERE ABANDONED BY THE GUILTY ****
The prison experts have reported that there are 100,000 innocent Americans currently being falsely imprisoned along with the 2,300,000 total US prison population nationwide.

Since our US Congress has never afforded poor prison inmates federal appeal legal counsel for their federal retrials,they have effectively closed the doors on these tens of thousands of innocent citizens ever being capable of possibly exonerating themselves to regain their freedom through being granted new retrials.

This same exact unjust situation was happening in our Southern States when poor and mostly uneducated Black Americans were being falsely imprisoned for endless decades without the needed educational skills to properly submit their own written federal trial appeals.

This devious and deceptive judicial process of making our poor and innocent prison inmates formulate and write their own federal appeal legal cases for possible retrials on their state criminal cases,is still in effect today even though everyone in our US judicial system knows that without proper legal representation, these tens of thousands of innocent prison inmates will be denied their rightful opportunities of ever being granted new trials from our federal appeal judges!!

Sadly, the true US *legal* Federal Appeal situation that occurs when any of our uneducated American prison inmates are forced to attempt to submit their own written Federal Appeals (from our prisons nationwide) without the assistance of proper legal counsel, is that they all are in reality being denied their legitimate rights for Habeas Corpus with our US FEDERAL COURTS and will win any future Supreme Court Case concerning this injustice!

For our judicial system and our US Congressional Leaders Of The Free World to continue to pretend that this is a real and fair opportunity for our American Middle Class and Working Poor Citizens, only delays the very needed future change of Federal Financing of all these Federal appeals becoming a normal formula of Our American judicial system.

It was not so very long ago that Public Defenders became a Reality in this country.Prior that legal reality taking place, their were also some who thought giving anyone charged with a crime a free lawyer was a waste of taxpayers $$.

This FACADE and HORROR of our Federal Appeal proce$$ is not worthy of the Greatest Country In The World! ***GREAT SOCIETIES THAT DO NOT PROTECT EVEN THEIR INNOCENT, BECOME THE GUILTY!

A MUST READ ABOUT AMERICAN INJUSTICE:
1) YAHOO 2) GOOGLE
MANNY GONZALES THE KID THAT EVERYONE FORGOT IN THE CA PRISON SYSTEM.
** A JUDICIAL RIDE OF ONES LIFE !

lawyersforpooramericans@yahoo.com
(424-247-2013)

Greg Dickman October 22, 2008 at 6:48 pm

I still contend that so much of the trouble is in this country is due to Lawyers being accepted as a part of the Legislative and the Executive branches of government. The way I see it, Lawyers are Officers of the Court—making them members of the Judicial branch of government. The US Constitution requires three distinct and separate branches of government, the separation of their powers is to protect us from any single branch of government gaining too much power or being able to vote themselves outrageous incomes. So I believe it is unconstitutional for Lawyers to hold political office.
It is also a conflict of interest to vote for anything you could directly profit from. Lawyers are the only ones that can always directly profit from the LAWS they write, because they are members of the branch of government that is paid to interpret and adjudicate the laws. By having Lawyers holding elected offices and being officers of the court, they are able to overly fund all members of the Judicial branch of government including themselves. Not only by allowing excessive litigation, but also by structuring the laws to allow huge attorney awards, unrestrained jury awards along with excessive fees and fines charged by the courts. Can anyone currently serving as an officer in the military also serve as a legislator? No, because they are an officer of the Executive Branch (under the Commander an Chief). Why? Because they could help assure that the Commander an Chief gets all the funding he wants for the military.
I feel they are violating the constitution and committing malfeasance by voting on the laws that make them or their branch of government money. Only the House can in-act bills appropriating money, then the Senate must approve them, with currently 39% of the US Congressmen and 58% of US Senators with Law Degrees, I think the Judicial Branch is effectively appropriating the money to themselves.
I know that I will never knowingly vote for any attorney, Republican or Democrat. Personally I believe this is a matter that the Supreme Court cannot hear because it would be a conflict of interest. It is up to us to vote them out.
Do you want the Judicial branch representing all three branches of the government at the same time again? I know I don’t. We have a Constitution to protect with our votes.
Remember the old adage – “Never trust a Banker, a Lawyer or a Politician.† So if you vote for a Politician who is also a Lawyer – you’ll get a double whammy in the pocketbook.

Richard Tucker December 16, 2008 at 8:25 am

Let’s be honest folks. Lawyers are typically wealthy enough to run for office, well-dressed and well-spoken, and adept at manipulation and stretching the truth. In short, they have the financial wherewithall and the verbal mouthiness to qualify as politicians.

John June 5, 2009 at 5:54 pm

This interesting statistic, the in proportionate number of lawyers in congress, is appalling. These individuals make money on lawsuits that are predicated on an individual or business that are negligent or fail to act in a reasonable manner. Legislation perpetrated by this group seems to have been of great benefit to all lawyers. An example of which is our current war on drugs or America’s criminal justice system. Hundreds of billions, annually, in taxpayer money wasted decade after decade combating individuals cursed with the disease of addiction. Just like our jails, if the current policy worked we wouldn’t need to be spending more each year, we would be spending less. Jails work the same. If jails worked we wouldn’t be building more we would be tearing them down.

These lawyers whom become elected legislators need to be sued for legislative malpractice. The irresponsible spending of money enforcing demonstrably failed laws is more criminal than the crime its self. In the end lawyers benefit and everybody else must suffer and or pay up.

Jonathan Cid August 1, 2009 at 7:26 pm

Has it struck anyone that law, politics, and government are virtually synonymous?

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