Friday, April 18, 2008

Rep. Emery (R) Called Out

Rep. Ed Emery is one of the lead Republican representatives in the Missouri House. If you like Ed, you like the Republicans.

As reported by Dan Margolies of the Business Section of the Kansas City Star, here's a great email from Judge Charles Curless to Rep. Emery of Lamar, Missouri:

Ed, Congratulations on reaching an all-time low in your so-called "representation" of the 126th District.

I am, of course, referring to your incredibly scandalous preferential treatment of the folks at Aquila, regarding the unlawful power plant in Cass County. Aquila knowingly built a plant in that county without a permit and in violation of county zoning laws. The trial court ordered the plant dismantled, and his decision was upheld by the Western District Court of Appeals. Now, you have led the charge in approving legislation to overturn the lawful and correct decisions of the courts. I wonder if your ruminations on the situation would have brought you to the same conclusion (to adjudicate from the legislature) had the plant been in your backyard. You certainly must be aware that the vast majority of us who, unfortunately, live within your district are respectful of the rule of law, and are disdainful of activist legislation, such as that which you have ramrodded through the House Special Committee on Utilities. Although I suppose we should not be surprised at your abhorrent actions in this situation after enduring incessant, baseless attacks on the judges of this state, and after six long years of your trying to undermine the constitutional provision of checks and balances by making the judicial branch subject to the political whims of the legislative and executive branches, it is deeply disturbing to see what is happening under your watchful eye.

Perhaps the most interesting and telling evidence of your true colors is your statement regarding your actions in committee, and I quote: "You have two competing principles involved. One is the principle that they should follow the law. The other is the principle of logic."

What in God’s name are you thinking? You have railed, both in your weekly "report" and in many orations, about how judges must follow the law. Now we find that it is your opinion that your friends at this powerful corporation, Aquila, are above the law, and that when it comes to your friends, "logic" trumps the law. Who else’s pocket are you in?

It seems to me that as you go about the area selling your "Character First" program, you should include this dichotomous anecdote in the "Integrity" chapter, or maybe use it to start another chapter entitled "Shame and Dishonor". "Character First", indeed.

You have pulled many boneheaded stunts during your time in the legislature which are contrary to the interests and wishes of the citizens of this district, but this one gets the blue ribbon.




whistleblower said...

Judge Charles Clueless...

I'm appalled that Stephen would have the gall to post your letter. Your letter is a perfect example of the problem we have within our courts. -The judges want to legislate, and they want the legislators to surrender to their rulings.

Further, as Article V, Section 25(f) of the Missouri Constitution prohibits judges from taking part in any political campaign, you should be publically chastised for letting your letter slip into this public forum. (I somehow doubt that Rep. Emery sent Stephen Bough this letter.)

Perhaps you should return to civics class. "Activist legislation"? -The legislature is supposed to be activist. That's their job – you nitwit! If a law that has been created doesn't make sense, it's the job of the legislature to repeal it, and create new "logical" law.

Your criticism of Rep. Emery lacks foundation. He is not obligated to merely sit in judgment. -You are!

You have it backwards.
That's not the way it works!
In case you forgot "Judge":
The Legislature creates the law.
The Executive enforces the law.
And the Judiciary interprets the law.

If you don't like the laws that Rep. Emery is trying to create, TFB! Get off the bench and then you can get involved in politics. It is not Rep. Emery’s job to enforce the court’s rulings.

A judge attempting to interfere with a legislator in the performance of their duties should be removed from the bench. This type of activity by a sitting judge cannot be tolerated.

You just gotta love it when a judge violates the Constitution in order to go on a rant. -Especially when that rant demonstrates such an ignorance of the legislative process.

Anonymous said...

If you know Judge Curless and if you know Ed Emery and if you know the law and understand the Constitution, then your remarks are worthy of consideration. For those of you who don't, ask those who have been in his court, even those who lost their cases, about the character and fairness of Judge Curless. Even Rep. Emery spoke favorable of Curless.

Curless is not legislating, simply pointing out that his (and other people's) repeated efforts to discuss with Rep. Emery the duties and obligations of the three branches of government, etc. and to actually work together, have been ignored or rejected.

Rep. Emery seemingly doesn't want to deal with the reality of the Constitution, and chooses to continually accuse "the judiciary" of not following the law. This is simply another case of judges doing just what they should be doing - "interpreting the law" and making rulings based on the law.

Suddenly, when Rep. Emery doesn't like the results of the process of "interpreting and following the law", he wants to back up, ignore the law and change things. He actually commented that there is the law and then there is logic. Apparently, he feels it is okay for him to dismiss the law in favor of his own logic - when needed.

When a representative does not listen to his constituents or feel the need to follow the law, yet expects to be re-elected, perhaps these things should be clearly and directly pointed out to him - and the voters.

whistleblower said...


I have no problem with how the judge acts in his courtroom, and neither does Rep. Emery. I do, however, have a problem with a judge that ignores the Missouri Constitution. The judge’s letter violates the Missouri Constitution. I provided a hyperlink to the Article in the Missouri Constitution, but as you know, you can only lead a horse to water.

It is not Rep. Emery's job to enforce the court’s rulings. He has not been granted that authority. Any judge that knows the Constitution would recognize such.

As Rep. Emery is currently serving his 3rd term, his constituents must be satisfied with the job he is doing. (Maybe not all of them, but the majority, have demonstrated their approval at the place it counts- the voting booth.)

When a legislator finds a law to have an unintended adverse effect, it is the legislator’s job to create new law. They don't do it alone. A majority of the lawmakers in the state (currently 99) must agree, and then the Governor must also agree, before anything Rep. Emery would submit could become law.

The case that the judge is referring to is currently in the appellate process. It may be there for years. Until all available appeals are finished, the court's ruling will have to wait. The judge might not like that, but it's the law.

craig said...


With all due respect, I have to disagree with you here. Emory and the rest of the Legislatures that want to retroactively change the law after the courts have already decided against Aquila are way out of line. Judge Curless has it right, the legislature should not be able to retroactively change a law for special interest groups.

whistleblower said...


We are talking about two different things. One is done pursuant to the Constitution; the other is a violation of the Constitution.

When it comes to retroactive laws, the provision excluding such is a door that only swings one way.

The Legislature is prohibited from creating any law that would retroactively apply a burden that did not exist when the act was committed.

However, a law may have an ex post facto effect without being technically ex post facto. For example, when a law repeals a previous law, the repealed legislation no longer applies to the situations it once did, even if such situations arose before the law was repealed. The principle of prohibiting the continued application of these kinds of laws is also known as Nullum crimen, nulla poena sine praevia lege poenali.

The judge's personal attack on Rep. Emery is not only unconstitutional, it's also ridiculous. It takes 98 other members of the General Assembly and one Governor, minimum, to agree with Rep. Emery before anything he proposes becomes law.

If special interest groups are controlling our legislators the voters are the ones to stop it. Judges are prohibited from using their position to influence that process.

whistleblower said...

Look at what happened when a lay municipal judge did the same type of thig that Judge Curless has done.


craig said...

I will admit that you are much more versed in the Missouri Constitution than me. I am just a layman with a pretty decent understanding of the law. My question is this. Did Curless write that letter as a Judge or as a constituent?

You stated;
"The Legislature is prohibited from creating any law that would retroactively apply a burden that did not exist when the act was committed."
But what they are trying to do is retroactively remove a burden. I am sorry if I am not a constitutional scholar, but I do know basic right from wrong, and this is a perfect example of it.

whistleblower said...


I understand how it can be confusing. Judge Curless only added to that confusion with his "activist legislator" claims.

The Kansas City Star reported that Judge Curless sent the e-mail to "several hundred recipients". He used the power and prestige of his position to influence one side. -A judge is not permitted to do that. -My previous post includes a link to a similar case.

The retroactive law thing can be confusing. Over the years, our Legislature has created many laws that were later found to be unfair, obsolete, or just plain stupid when viewed in a different light and time.

An example: Until the 1980's Missouri had a law on the books that made it illegal to perform marriage on someone with epilepsy. I know; it sounds ridiculous to have ever had such a law. The Legislature repealed that law.
Those activist bastards!

Other laws, now viewed as ridiculous have been on the books in Missouri.

Missouri used to have a law that stated it was not illegal to speed. (That law was repealed by "activist legislators")

We still have some stupid laws on the books.

Did you know that oral sex is illegal in Missouri?

RSMo 566.010
(1) "Deviate sexual intercourse", any act involving the genitals of one person and the hand, mouth, tongue, or anus of another person or a sexual act involving the penetration, however slight, of the male or female sex organ or the anus by a finger, instrument or object done for the purpose of arousing or gratifying the sexual desire of any person or for the purpose of terrorizing the victim;

It's still on the books. However, I don't think any legislator would be called "activist" by Judge Curless for working to repeal a law that would send someone to jail for a BJ.

YES. –If the law changes, and you are in jail for what is no longer a crime, you will be freed.

Some cities still have stupid laws on the books.

A milk man may not run while on duty. (St. Louis)

Installation of bathtubs with four legs resembling animal paws is prohibited. (Kansas City)

I hope this explanation helps.

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