The Grievance Project

For nearly two years, I have been watching intently the consistent and continuous dismantling of the Constitution by the President. Through December of 2006, the Congressional Republicans enabled the President both actively by passing legislation and passively by failing to fulfill their Constitutional oversight responsibilities.

When control of both houses of Congress was unexpectedly transferred to the Democratic Party in the 2006 midterm elections, I was cautiously optimistic that there might be some change in the operation of the federal government. Instead, the Bush Administration continue to daily violate the Constitution, Congressional Republicans remain more loyal to their party than to their country and Congressional Democrats have failed to exercise the full powers provided to Congress by the Constitution.

Accordingly, it quickly became clear that the Congressional Democrats would be unable to enact any legislation or stop the occupation of Iraq until 11/18 – not November 18, but until the eleven Republican Senators needed to stop their party’s unprecedented use of filibuster and the eighteen Republican Senators needed to override a veto of that legislation crossed the aisle. It’s simple arithmetic that leaves Congressional Democrats with two – and only two – effective powers: stalemate and subpoena.

For whatever reason, Congressional Democrats have been timid – too timid, in my opinion – in their use of these weapons. Although Congressional Democrats have undertaken an oversight role by issuing subpoenas and holding hearings, each new revelation of incompetence and wrongdoing only leaves me thinking ‘Well, that’s finally enough.’ But it never is.

Congressional Democrats have also failed to recognize the power of stalemate. They apparently don’t believe – as I do – that repeatedly drawing lines in the sand will not defend the Constitution from this Administration and its Republican enablers in Congress. The mere fact that they are making any legislative concession on core American issues such as the use of our military for an occupation of Iraq and the protection of our civil rights is inexcusable.

I fear that the Congressional Democrats, even if they begin to move more aggressively, have run out of time to restore our rights.

While watching this agonizingly slow progress, I have long felt powerless. Although there have fleeting moments of hope, such as the sporadic shows of force by Congressional Democrats, the occasional aisle-crossing Republican or the inexorable turning of the tide of public opinion, they have been effectively neutralized by the continued upward creep of both the number of deaths in Iraq and the number of days in Keith Olbermann’s post-Mission-Accomplished-declaration count. Throughout all this, I have noticed a significant number of attorneys in both the legislative and executive branches of our federal government participating in these various scandals and, as a result, committing what I believe to be breaches of their respective codes of professional conduct.

In his speech to the Virginia House of Burgesses on March 23, 1775, Patrick Henry urged military action against the encroaching British military force. He ended his plea with his most famous words:

Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!

But that was before the Constitution and death was a realistic possibility for Henry for just having spoken those words. As an American citizen, I shouldn’t have to worry about death or other retribution for exercising my right to free speech. However, after having seen how willing this administration is to destroy anyone perceived as a threat, including their own, I am undertaking the Grievance Project anonymously in the vein of Thomas_Paine who anonymously published Common Sense, his first pro-independence pamphlet, on January 10, 1776. In The American Crisis, a collection of pamphlets supporting the Revolution, Paine later penned the famous lines:

These are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.

Trying times have indeed returned for those who demand liberty and reject tyranny. While reflecting on these ‘trying times’ over the past months, an idea took root in my mind that has morphed into the Grievance Project in which I will provide information on various attorneys in the service of our federal government who are committing professional ethics violations, links to resources documenting those ethical violations, and links to the information necessary for any citizen-activist to file a grievance against those attorneys.

Each post on an individual attorney will include links to that attorney’s state bar(s) of admission, pertinent grievance information, grievance applications, on-line state bar member’s directory and the applicable rules of professional conduct. I also provide a statement of allegations of alleged ethical violations with links to resources in the public domain that support the allegations and the text to the relevant rules of professionals of professional conduct. With minimal cutting and pasting, it should be a simple process to prepare and submit a grievance. Additionally, I have compiled the links to each state’s, including Washington, D.C.’s, grievance procedures, rules, complaints and member directory that will permit you to file a grievance against any attorney who has committed ethical violations and for whom I have not prepared an individual post.

Please e-mail a copy of any grievances filed, especially if I have not specifically addressed that attorney. Please do not send me a copy of the grievance if it would violate any confidentiality requirements or other restrictions on disclosure.


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One Response

  1. […] I was thinking about sending Judge Fuller a copy of my post, I read about the recent engagement of Grievance Project-eligible Monica Goodling at Above the Law. Scrolling down the page, I came across this reference to […]

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