Sui Juris – The Official Blacklisting of a Patriot Philosopher Lawyer
by John E. Wolfgram, JD (*)
[Ed: With minor editing to Format and HTML text and correct links.]
How the Judiciary Stole the Right to Petition
Constitutional Democracy, The Unknown Ideal
Democratizing the Judiciary
At 17 years of age, John E. Wolfgram dropped out of high school to join the U. S. Marine Corps in 1961. In 1965 - 66, as a deep penetration Recon Marine in Viet Nam, he began asking questions about the war, and more importantly, about the morality of the system of government that got us into it. After a five year tour of duty, he returned to school. At first it was part time, but by 1971 he was deeply interested in the crossover of the philosophies of science and ethics. After exhausting the philosophy department at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee, in 1973 he transferred to the higher powered Philosophy Department at Madison. There he determined that what America needed and did not have, was a scientific understanding of its own "philosophy of law"; not just as an academic mater, but how it really worked to allow the depth of systemic corruption that caused massive domestic injustice and international war.
There was no one in the existing "philosophy of law" that even understood the issue, let alone anyone that was studying it enough to teach it. So, he determined his own logical course of study on how to become a real Philosopher of Law. Naturally, since law was the topic, he would become a lawyer, and then about ten years later, he would become a judge, and then an appeals court judge. Then, about twenty five years after he left the University of Wisconsin, he would be ready to write about, and teach, The Philosophy of American Law, from the inside. That was his plan.
He graduated from Southwestern University School of Law at Los Angeles in 1977, passed the California Bar the first time and entered law practice at Sacramento later that year. For most of the first 10 years his law practice was a normal practice in civil law and criminal defense. In the mid-1980s a series of events came to the Sacramento Grand Jury that set Wolfgram on an irreversible course of political dissidence. In one year a Superior Court Judge was busted getting a "Lewinski" from a prostitute, in his car. The District Attorney got in a fight in a gay bar in San Francisco and tried to use his position to get out of the arrest; and the Sacramento Sheriff got drunk and crashed his squad car.
The Grand Jury thought these events might involve moral turpitude and wanted to investigate. The Judges wanted to sweep it all under the carpet. When the Grand Jury issued a report with such findings, the judges refused to publish it. And when they recommended that the next Grand Jury take the investigation farther, the judges appointed a retiring judge to be the grand jury foreman to control it
Wolfgram was alarmed at the audacity of the judges, to take that investigation away from the people. But worse, the law was written in such a way as to allow the judges to control grand juries for whatever end they wanted. That seemed to defeat the very purpose of having a grand jury.
By mid-1988, Wolfgram had 11 years of practice, and he thought it time to become a judge. So, he ran for judge in a neighboring county on an anti-corruption platform where as judge, he would set the Grand Jury free to explore corruption in government. To say that he was not very well received by the corrupt powers that be is the understatement of the decade. He was harassed and arrested by police, and even by a prosecutor while in trial with the blessing of the judge. He was arrested while going about his business in the court house, taken to jail and brutally beaten by deputies to point of breaking four ribs, falsely charged with crimes and run through phony trials where he was not allowed to defend himself.
In all, he has been jailed over 25 times and has never been convicted of a jailable offense. When he sought help from the State Bar, they charged him with "mental incompetency" and tried him for his philosophic beliefs and ordered him involuntarily inactive, because Wolfgram believes, as the basis of his legal philosophy, "that the Constitution, as it is written," (not as interpreted by judges) is the Supreme Law of the Land, and that is the law that he was developing into a legal practice.
His "competency trial", with hearings one or two days a week, lasted for almost a year. At trial, Ed Rosenthal, an expert on marijuana (Editor of High Times Magazine) who had worked with Wolfgram in trial defense, and with over forty other attorneys was asked to rate Wolfgram against the broad spectrum of attorneys that Mr. Rosenthal had worked with. This is what he said at Vol. XV, page 38:Q. "How would you rate Mr. Wolfgram against the broad spectrum of attorneys that you've assisted in marijuana cases?
A. Well, in dedication, he's way at the top. In putting in time into the case and actually dedicating himself to the case, he's way at the top. In terms of preparation of the case and understanding the case, he's in the top quarter. And in trial room work, I have to tell you that I have two different things to say. Sometimes I do think that he ranges a little wide of the mark or of the issue, but that's up, really, for the court to determine that. And, on the other, he gets out all the points that he's supposed to get out, which is the more important thing, because he brings to the court the issues that are really at stake. So, I would say he's very effective."
On recross examination, the State Bar prosecutor wanted to know about Wolfgram's "ranging a little wide of the mark". So, she asked at XV-41:Q. You mentioned in your rating of Mr. Wolfgram that he ranges a little wide of the mark; what were you referring to when you made that statement?
A. He has a 19th century view of the Constitution in that – in terms of being a 19th century Libertarian, I think, and so that he tries to relate Constitutional issues directly to the courtroom and the courtroom procedure. And so, rather than sticking with just the evidence and issue at hand, he brings in larger implications and significance and symbols of what those - of the meaning of the issue - or the facts, I should say.
Q. Just of the facts or the issues as well?
A. Oh, and the issues."
That is why, as a lawyer, Wolfgram is "mentally incompetent". He is very effective for the defense, and he brings the constitutional implications of the facts and the issues into the courtroom, for the Jury. No lawyer, the State Bar commands, should be allowed to do that. They control lawyers with their license, so they pulled Wolfgram's.
Had he followed through on his basic plan, Wolfgram would have become a "Philosopher of Law" much like Judge Robert Bork. But things went "wrong" and in the end, Wolfgram could never be an "insider" like Judge Bork, because he dared to challenge the basic premises of the legal system as no insider could. If you wish to compare Wolfgram's Philosophy of Law to that of Judge Bork, bring up "Bork" on the WWWeb.
You can judge for yourself whether Wolfgram is "mentally incompetent", or has done, as a blacklisted lawyer and philosopher, what no American has ever done: Developed and articulated an American Philosophy of Law, and through it, accurately describe what went wrong and why our system is so corrupt. Wolfgram is presently writing a book addressing that issue. Bring up "Prelude" to get a summary of what he is writing. Judge his mental competency for yourself.
John E. Wolfgram, J.D.
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