It has come to my attention that there have been allegations that conservatives hate the idea of legal aid and indignant defense. Allegations that the republican party wants to prevent the poor who can't afford a lawyer from getting one when they are accused of a crime or suffer civil injustice or whatever. Thoughts of a poor single black mother wrongfully accused in a court with rich plaintiffs with 7 digit salary attorneys all alone against a complicated legal system also come to mind.
Relax. It isn't true. In fact it has been found in some cases to be the opposite...
The founding fathers, many of whom were lawyers knew all about the horrors of facing Britain's unjust and complex legal system. They were also aware of how many others suffered at the hands of British Admiralty courts and so on in the years preceding the American revolution. That is why the founding fathers wrote the sixth Amendment into the Constitution.
In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
This, from the same founding fathers that libertarians and Conservatives have long supported and whose wisdom we enshrine in our attitudes and how America should be run. The founders included this and other checks and balances so that defendants could have due process and be given a fair trial.
But liberals however hate the idea of freedom and liberty. That is why bit by bit the Constitution has been torn up. The liberals have supported and promoted gun control to ban the right to self defense and to prevent the people from overthrowing their reign and by suppressing freedom of speech and freedom of the press, ETC. So it should come to no surprise that if liberals oppose at least one amendment that they should be against all of them including rights to due process.
Consider a law passed by the flaming liberals of Michigan in 1999. This law barred poor defendants from seeking legal counsel in a criminal appeal. This was passed by the same communist legislature that soaked Michigan with enormous business taxes and regulations that has caused economic meltdown. Michigan currently ties with Maine in having the worst climate for setting businesses and creating jobs. Now they are taking away our due process rights. The law was recently struck down by the Supreme court with help from the ACLU.
Too bad... Conservatives could have taken the initiative over the ACLU to point out how liberals are the ones trashing our civil liberties instead of this Bolshevik lie that the GOP is out to get everyone.
So you might ask, what about Conservatives? What about those in the middle doing a deed for the poor?
Enter Nebraska Legal aid. NLA especially its offices in Lincoln and Omaha are busy helping those in need. Although NLA doesn't hold to any one viewpoint, they do support libertarian and Conservative viewpoints. One of NLA's biggest supporters is Republican congressman, Lee Terry.
Ann C Mangeamelli is one of the attorneys hard at work in the legal aid firm, helping the poor in a variety of cases from criminal to denial of Social Security benefits. One of her cases involved a client named Kyle who was being denied retroactive benefits by his abusive father and former rep payee and by the Social Security administration.
Kyle lived in a run down apartment building in downtown Omaha and made only 577 a month in benefits. His rent was 320 a month. He had very little to pay bills and food and had difficulty getting enough to eat. To make matters worse because the retroactive pay was due to him he could not get food stamps or government assistance. He had to rely on soup kitchens such as the Open door mission and Angels on wheels ministry.
The Social security administration, made up of liberals did not care. In fact they even supported the abusive payee against him and even attempted to force him to have another abusive payee. When Kyle called to complain or inquire about his retro funds, he was always told false information and many agents were rude to him. One, after revealing that Social security no longer has anything for him immediately hung up.
Aren't liberals supposed to be caring and sympathetic to the poor?
Nebraska Legal Aid however went to work on Kyle's case and threatened a lawsuit against Kyle's father and former payee if the money was not returned. In addition, NLA confronted SSA and demanded an inquiry. Although no charges were filed against Social security in Omaha NLA succeeded in retrieving the funds.
"I hate the government." Says Ann who has experienced many hang ups and difficulties in pursuing cases for beneficiaries and others who have been unfairly short changed by the state the liberals claim will take care of us. "Its not necessarily that they don't want to its just they can't get their act together. I called about the funds and they said that they didn't have it. Then when I explained that it should be there she said, oh! Wait! Let me update my computer... OH! There it is."
Ann also helped defend Kyle from being forced to have another payee. "I asked why social security what the hold up was and they said that they had concerns that he needed a payee." The concerns came from phone calls from Kyle's dad. His father invented lies about his son and with only hear say evidence made Kyle's dad rep payee. After appealing Kyle won but did not get back the funds and was homeless for awhile. Kyle Struggled with the SSA but they were unsympathetic. They did not care or have sympathy and even swept the problems under the rug.
Ann confronted them saying "What makes you think my client needs a payee? I'm not a psychiatrist but Kyle's paying rent and bills on time, he's rented an apartment before, he's not on drugs or alcohol so I don't understand what the deal is? Then she said, OH! Okay! I thought he was still at the rescue mission!" It turned out that Social Security failed to properly update his address. Although it was known he had an apartment, the computers did not properly update that information. Social security has a history of making mistakes with addresses.
In the end Kyle won. It was not from the help of liberals but people who were moderate to conservative against liberals. The opposite it turns out is true.
Psychiatrists have a tendency to be hard core leftists. They oppose letting their patients appeal involuntary commitment with the help of legal aids. A refutation of diagnosis after all undermines their authority. It wasn't until half a century ago that involuntary commitment hearings allowed defendants to have legal counsel.
Dr. Tai P Yoo is in charge of the involuntary commitment ward of Kern Medical Center in Bakersfield California. One of the patients in his ward suffered from Post traumatic stress brought on from an abusive relationship that lead to homelessness. The victim arrived there and was found to be poorly nourished and had low blood sugar and was under weight. The victim had lost everything due to the relationship and was in a bad state.
Despite the history of physical and psychological abuse, Tai P Yoo and his staff dismissed the allegations of abuse as delusions. There were no mention of it in evaluations. Dr Yoo got in touch with the abusive relative and arranged for the victim to be discharged back into his care. The victim was denied legal counsel and involuntarily put back into the relationship.
Six months later, the victim was physically assaulted and was homeless again.
Sylvia Klieber of Modesto California was also placed under similar circumstances. Wrongfully placed under state guardianship, Sylvia was denied legal resources and was forbidden to call an attorney. Her only contact with the outside world was her mother who was the only one providing her calling cards for her attorney and food. Beverly Bresso, the guardian in charge and the leftists of California DHHS and protective services neglected her and prevented access to legal resources.
Finally a rebuttal for one other argument. One of the libs biggest arguments has to do with a policy by Ronald Reagan where he made cuts to federal legal aid. Reagan even intended to cut it off completely. Why?
First of all, Reagan only wanted to get rid of Federal legal aid. States already had their own programs and Reagan encouraged funding to them but at a state level only. Reagan in fact had good reason to abolish the program. First because it was ineffective and second because it was being used for promoting left wing ideology.
Victor Vancier AKA Chaim Ben Pesach was the former chairman of the New York Jewish Defense league. In the eighties, Pesach and several other Jews launched attacks against pro communist targets that promoted the USSR or did business with them such as Chase Manhattan Bank and Soviet Embassy. Pesach also tear gassed the Russian ballet while it visited. His actions helped force the USSR to allow Russian Soviet Jews to leave and go to Israel.
Chiam had federal charges leveled against him. Federal legal aid came to provide service but he got no sympathy from them. Chaim's attorney was a liberal who botched his case deliberately. He also lied to the New York Times about certain points of the case.
Federal Legal aid funds have also been used to advance liberal causes such as abortion, gun control, affirmative action and so on. No doubt Reagan had a good intention of shutting down this organization. It was doing no good but liberals want to fund useless organizations. If it moves tax it. It not, subsidize it.
Now there may be a few people out there on the Internet who call themselves Conservative but oppose legal aid for certain reasons. I have heard some people tell me that the poor should not get a free attorney. Well imagine what will happen when the Democrats put you on trial, confiscate your wealth and violate your rights? Who will protect you then? How will you be protected from the liberal police state that looms before us?
In conclusion, the right to legal counsel is one of the most important cornerstones of our justice system. Especially in an age when the Liberals are undermining our freedom, tearing down our civil liberties and blaming everyone else we need it more than ever, especially now in Obama's America.