March 24, 2010

RE: Please request Senator Tanaguchi set a hearing for S.C.R. 91 Today

Dear Legislators:

Many have called requesting hearing on S.C.R. 91; Audit of the Family Court.  Senator Chun-Oakland is in support but Senator Tanaguchi is not, and when given opportunity, his intentions are not revealed to callers.

Is he slyly waiting for the clock to run out; trying to ‘back door' his way out of judicial accountability?

Reports are that Senator Tanaguchi is opposed to an audit of the Family Court based on 1) "separation of powers" and/or 2) "judicial independence". On behalf of its members, AngelGroup requests you assist Senator Tanaguchi's understanding..

Separation of powers is defined as:

Division of the legislative, executive, and judicial functions of government among separate and independent bodies. Such a separation limits the possibility of arbitrary excesses by government...

S.C.R. 91 was drafted and introduced based on "good cause"; documented evidence and testimony.  There is no "arbitrary excess(es)" on which to object. To date, the judiciary's position is that it has "no opposition" to the Audit.

Why then is the JGO Chair opposed?

It's beyond obvious that Family Court judges are substituting their own views for the law. Attributing the public's dissatisfaction to differences of opinion, or case outcomes is a tired argument on which to refuse investigation.  Further, by removing all avenues that could determine if the public's complaints have merit, citizens are crushed under the disproportionate weight of one branch of government...the judiciary. This undermines the administration of justice and confidence in our courts.

Separation of powers is more a NAME than a description. None of the three branches are clearly separate from one another. Split power yields split accountability.

It appears we may have a three-legged stool with one leg too long.

James Madison, in the Federalist explained:

The "oracle" of separation-did not mean: "departments ought to have no partial agency in, or control over, the acts of each other." Rather, it meant: "the whole power of one department [should not be] exercised by the same hands which possess the whole power of another department."

As for Tanaguchi's second argument of ‘Judicial independence'... It was not intended to be a shield from public scrutiny. It was a reaction of the founding fathers to persecution at the hands of the English monarchs. The intent was to prevent abuses of personal liberty (which is happening in the Family Court). The objective was to create a judicial branch able to rule fairly and impartially without fear of political retribution.

Therefore, the theory behind judicial independence is that a judge should not be held accountable for following the rule of law.  The judiciary has a right to independence. It does not have a right to disregard laws.

As evidenced by good cause shown to this Legislature, laws are not being followed in Hawaii's Family Court, and people are harmed daily. Judges are our most public servants. They protect us from the lawless and the other two branches of government, but they do not police themselves.

If there are issues with the law, or its enforcement, it is the right and duty of Legislators to investigate and apply oversight under Constitutional ‘checks and balances'.  The judiciary is not exempt.  Their ‘independence' does not put them in a position to determine their own powers.  The founding fathers never intended this.  The Legislative branch is co-equal with the judicial branch, not subject to it.

Disallowance of S.C.R. 91 is nothing less than the allowance of Legal Abuse; a psychic injury caused to those who are assaulted by ethical violations, legal abuses, betrayals and fraud.  Additionally, it is a public health menace leading to massive medical intervention costs; obligating insurance companies; adding to Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, and other federal and state aid agencies.

Ironically, allowance of Legal Abuse even torments the judiciary with appeals, reconsiderations and expanding litigation during a time when their budget has been cut, their docket is purportedly full, and they are preoccupied with a move to their brand new, state-of-the-art, architecturally designed courthouse...to serve the people.

An audit of Hawaii's Family Court is a reasonable, correct, legal, and ethical solution to address the credible complaints that have been courageously brought forward by court clients and survivors of Domestic Violence.

It should be clear by now that the demand for a Family Court Audit will not go away.  For efficacy and the higher good, it would be wise to address these relevant and credible complaints immediately, before the hole deepens.

If Senator Tanaguchi has valid concerns regarding Separation of Powers or Judicial Independence, please invite him to share these concerns in an open forum...the Senate floor.

In this spirit of openness, the People will at least understand why he is opposing the Family Court Audit when neither the Judiciary, the other 2 House committees, or his Co-Chair have an issue with it.  Give "the People" a chance to be heard, and to hear.

Please request Senator Tanaguchi set a hearing for S.C.R. 91 today.

In sincere appreciation of your support,

AngelGroup


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