WHY NEW YORK IS BLUE: Free legal services ("Civil Gideon")? Immigrant crimes absolved?

Two stories in today’s New York Times illustrate why New York is bankrupt. You would think that someone would try to cut spending and address the state’s most important problem, but the liberal paradise never surrenders to sanity.

New York’s Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman is your basic New York lefty Democrat Jewish judge (and a good friend of Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver), but this is insane:

Top New York Judge Urges Greater Legal Rights for the Poor
Published: May 3, 2010
New York’s chief judge called on Monday for a new guarantee of a lawyer for poor people in civil cases, like suits over eviction and other disputes where basic needs are at stake, pushing the state to the forefront of a national effort to expand the right to representation for the indigent.

In a speech in Albany, the chief judge, Jonathan Lippman, said his proposal, the first such plan by a top court official in New York, reflected a commitment by the state’s courts “to bring us closer to the ideal of equal access to civil justice” that he described as one of the foundations of the legal system.

“I am not talking about a single initiative, pilot project or temporary program,” Judge Lippman said, “but what I believe must be a comprehensive, multifaceted, systemic approach to providing counsel to the indigent in civil cases.”

There was no price tag on the proposal, which could cost many millions of dollars. But Judge Lippman sought to avoid having it fall victim to the politics of the recession by announcing that he would hold hearings before pushing a detailed plan forward next year.
Advocates for the right to a lawyer in civil cases — some of them call it a “civil Gideon” right, referring to the 1963 ruling for criminal cases — said Monday that Judge Lippman’s speech was one of the most notable steps in their efforts.

Free legal services for the poor in civil cases? Sure! Why stop at free food, free health care, free housing, free education, or free access to the internet?

Message to Jonathan Lippman: Who pays for all this? The middle class that’s leaving New York?

Second message to Jonathan Lippman: The poor usually don’t get sued. You know who gets sued a lot? The rich. You know who gets sued and can ill afford it? The middle class.

Third message to Jonathan Lippman: New York is bankrupt. The state has no money. Why don’t you tell the teachers unions to sacrifice just a little bit from their overly generous pensions to help the poor? How will that work out?

A “civil Gideon” (from Gideon v. Wainwright, which gave the poor access to a lawyer in a criminal case) is likely to be on agendas in other states as well.

The moochers have no shame.

If you work, you owe everyone else a living.

More brilliant ideas from New York’s accidental governor:

Paterson Move May Help Immigrants Facing Deportation
Published: May 3, 2010
ALBANY — Gov. David A. Paterson announced on Monday that the state would accelerate consideration and granting of pardons to legal immigrants for old or minor criminal convictions, in an effort to prevent them from being deported.

The move sets up a confrontation between the governor and federal immigration officials, who have taken more aggressive action to increase deportations in recent years. Immigration lawyers on both sides called the step extraordinary and said it could ultimately affect thousands of people in New York.

“Some of our immigration laws, particularly with respect to deportation, are embarrassingly and wrongly inflexible,” Mr. Paterson said in a speech on Monday at an annual gathering of the state’s top judges. “In New York we believe in renewal,” he added. “In New York, we believe in rehabilitation.”

So if you’re female, male, black, white, Jewish, Muslim, handicapped, not handicapped, whatever, the crimes stick. But if you’re an immigrant, New York State will reconsider your crimes? That’s equal protection under the law?

I remember when I was with a fellow administrative law judge in New York City. We spotted someone selling pirated movies illegally, in full view of a cop (who did nothing).

“He won’t get arrested,” my colleague told me. “It’s too much paperwork to arrest an illegal immigrant.”

So immigrants don’t get charged with many crimes, but if they do, the governor will review that to clean their records.

What a country!

New York addresses everything except its main problem–the money’s gone. The Democrats never stop destroying. Never.

If you live in New York, if you’re middle class, if you’re struggling to get by in the private sector, no one in the Democrat party cares about you. In New York, no one even represents you.

Did I tell everyone that I now live in Texas?