‘Person of ordinary prudence’ hailed as Hooker fights judges for local economy

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John Jay Hooker, right, and Cliff Jones. Jean-clad attorney Mr. Hooker wears jeans and a sports jacket with its sleeves cut off (to get some air).

John Jay Hooker, right, and Cliff Jones. Jean-clad attorney Mr. Hooker wears jeans and a sports jacket with its sleeves cut off, and writes a mean brief. (Photo Facebook)

[The brief below peeks into a battle for local economy and self-government in the high-flung courts of Tennessee. John Jay Hooker, an attorney who in is youth at bar helped the World War I war hero Alvin York fight his domestic enemies among “the good people,” is trying to give back to us commoners our constitutional right to vote for appellate court judges. This right has been stolen by the state, which has engaged in a substitutionary practice favoring the interests of the state’s cartel of lawyers.

Long active in state politics as a Democrat, Mr. Hooker here is trying to convince several judges to recuse themselves since they have a financial and professional interest in the illegal status quo. An operative phrase is along the lines of “it could appear, to a person of ordinary prudence, knowing all the facts known to Your Honors’, that Your Honors’ impartiality might reasonably be questioned.” Don’t worry; this text is short. — DJT]

IN THE COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEE AT NASHVILLE JOHN JAY HOOKER ET AL. v. LT.

GOVERNOR RON RAMSEY ET AL.

Circuit Court for Davidson County No. 13C‐5012 No. M2014‐00144‐COA‐R3‐CV

A MOTION AND A DECLARATION, IN ACCORDANCE WITH SUPREME COURT RULE 10B SECTION 3.01 ET SEQ, WHICH IS BASED ON PERSONAL KNOWLEDGE, UNDER PENALTY OF PERJURY, NOT FOR ANY IMPROPER PURPOSE, TO SEEK THE RECUSAL AND OR DISQUALIFICATION OF JUDGES COTTRELL, FARMER AND FRANKS IN THIS MATTER INVOLVING THE INTEGRITY OF THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM.

AND

A MOTION FOR AN ORAL ARGUMENT IN KEEPING WITH THE INVIOLATE RIGHTS OF THE PLAINTIFFS AND THOSE WE REPRESENT, INCLUDING THE FEMALE POPULATION OF THE STATE UNDER ARTICLE 1 SECTIONS 1, 8, 17, 19, 23; ARTICLE XI SECTION 16 OF THE CONSTITUTION OF TENNESSEE AND UNDER THE FREE SPEECH RIGHTS OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT AND THE DUE PROCESS RIGHTS OF THE FOURTEENTH AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION OF THE UNITED STATES, TO SEEK REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES, IN AN EFFORT TO REFORM THE GOVERNMENT, IN SUPPORT OF THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS OF THE PEOPLE TO VOTE FOR ALL JUDGES WHO JUDGE THEM.

BACKGROUND

1) Your Honors Judge Cottrell, Judge Farmer and Judge Franks have each been previously appointed by the Governor, recommended by the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission and Retention Elected under TCA §17‐ 4‐101 et seq., and §17‐4‐201, and Supreme Court Rule 27 and therefore have had an economic interest in the Constitutionality and enforcement of said provisions under Article VI Section 11 and will continue to have an economic interest in the subject matter of this lawsuit as a consequence of the fact that each of Your Honors will draw a retirement, based upon your appointments by the Governor, your unlawful recommendations by the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission composed of seven men and four women and your Retention‐Election. Furthermore Your Honors have a rooting interest in the constitutionality and enforcement of the aforesaid provisions because if said statutes were unconstitutional, then Your Honors will have for many years unconstitutionally judged the rights of the litigants of this State in violation of the Rule of Law.

2) This case involves the highest public interest, the integrity of the judicial system and the Judges who serve and the Rule of Law. This case is brought by Plaintiffs claiming that the appointments to the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission are discriminatory against the female population which were made under TCA §17‐4‐201 by Lt. Governor Ron Ramsey and House Speaker Beth Harwell. Judge Hamilton Gayden in the Trial Court held that the Commission, composed of seven men and two women violates the requirements set forth in TCA §17‐4‐201(b)(6). Judge Gayden as a consequence held the members of the Commission sit in violation of that statute, the Due Process Clause of the Tennessee Constitution and both the Due Process and Equal Protection clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

3) Furthermore, Judge Franks presided upon the case of Hooker vs. Haslam (Case No. M2012‐01299‐SC‐R11‐CV) and held that the Retention Election Statute is constitutional, notwithstanding the fact that a motion was made seeking Judge Franks’ recusal on the basis that Judge Franks had an economic interest in the subject matter of that case as a sitting Retention Elected Judge and consequently should be disqualified under Article VI Section 11 (interest) and what is now Supreme Court Rule 10, Canon 2 Rule 2.11 (impartiality).

4) Moreover, Judge Franks declined to recuse himself notwithstanding that all other Judges on the Court of Appeals did recuse, based upon the challenge to the Retention Election statute, which circumstance raises a question of whether a person of ordinary prudence would believe that Judge Franks’ impartiality might reasonable be questioned in this case.

5) Likewise, Judges Cottrell and Judge Farmer have agreed to sit on this case notwithstanding they have been Retention‐Elected and accordingly recused themselves in the case of Hooker vs. Haslam supra.

ARGUMENT

1a.) One of the issues in the case at Bar is the constitutionality of both the Retention‐Election Statute TCA §17‐4‐101 et seq., and the Judicial Performance Evaluation Statute §17‐4‐201, both of which must be read in para materia, in view of the fact that Your Honors were appointed by the Governor, recommended by the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission for election, and elected by the People in a Retention‐Election under said statutes. Consequently, it could appear, to a person of ordinary prudence, knowing all the facts known to Your Honors’, that Your Honors’ impartiality might reasonably be questioned. See Bean vs. Bailey 283 S.W. 3rd 298, 806 (2009).

2a.) Furthermore, it could appear, to a person of ordinary prudence, knowing all the facts known to Your Honors, that Your Honors’ impartiality might reasonably be questioned because Your Honors were recommended for Retention Election by a Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission in 2006, that likewise sat in violation of the gender requirements of §TCA 17‐4‐ 201(b)(6). The issue in this case involves a determination of whether the Court of Appeals is going to overrule the Trial Judge, in holding that the seating of the Commission members is invalid, because it likewise violated the gender requirements. Therefore, it would appear that Your Honor’s are incompetent to sit on this case, because in effect, under the facts, Your Honors, will be sitting, in a sense, as Judges in your own case, in violation of the holding in the case of Harrison vs. Wisdom 54 Tenn. 99, 108 (Tenn. 1872), which forbids any Judge to be a Judge in his own case.

3a.) In addition, it would appear, to a person of ordinary prudence, knowing all the facts known to Your Honors, that Your Honors’ impartiality might reasonably be questioned because it would appear that Your Honors have prejudged the issues in this case based on the fact that Your Honors were unlawfully recommended in 2006. Consequently, it is claimed you’re your Honors are incompetent to sit on this case.

4a.) Judge Franks should consider, how it appears to an person of ordinary prudence that he is sitting on this case, challenging the constitutionality of the Retention Election statute, TCA §17‐4‐101 et seq read in para materia with TCA §17‐4‐201, in view of the fact that Judge Franks presided in the case of Hooker vs. Haslam (Case No. M2012‐01299‐SC‐R11‐CV), still pending before the Special Supreme Court wherein it was claimed that the Retention Election Statute is unconstitutional. Furthermore, it was claimed in that case that Judge Franks was doing so for his own benefit, as a consequence of the fact that he had been several times recommended by the Judicial Performance Evaluation Commission for Retention‐Election. Consequently, it is claimed that it would appear to a person of ordinary prudence that Judge Franks has prejudged this case and that Judge Franks has a vested “interest,” in the outcome of this lawsuit as well as a vested “interest” in the case of Hooker vs. Haslam supra. In addition, it is claimed that Judge Franks is incompetent to sit on this case under the scope of the Rule laid down in Harrison v Wisdom 54 Tenn. 99, 108 (Tenn. 1872), holding that no Judge may be a Judge in his own case.

5a.) Due to the fact that the regular members of the Supreme Court have an interest in the outcome of the Hooker vs. Haslam case, and each of the members recused themselves in that case, then each member of the Supreme Court has an interest in the subject matter of this case. Therefore, the members of the Supreme Court were incompetent to have the designee of the Court appoint Judge Franks to sit on this case. Consequently, any ordinary person would question Judge Franks’ impartiality, See Bean vs. Bailey, 280 SW 3rd 798 but likewise would question the impartiality of the members of the Supreme court of appointing a Judge in this case involving the integrity of the Judicial system.

Respectfully submitted,

John Jay Hooker, 115 Woodmont Blvd., Nashville, pro se

and three state citizens

Sources: John Perry, Sgt. York[;] His LIfe, Legend & Legacy (Nashville: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 1997), Page 291

 

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