Ryan v. U.S. ⸻ Story │ Record │ Discussion
How Frank Easterbrook Kept George Ryan in Prison
In July 2016, the respected Valparaiso University Law Review published an extraordinary blockbuster article (styled a “Memoir”), written by a respected professor of law, Albert Alschuler, telling the story of how a respected(/“renowned”) judge, Frank Easterbrook of the 7th Federal Cir. Court of Appeals (and, incidentally, a colleague of Alschuler’s at U. Chicago), committed Judicial Misconduct from the bench, with the biased/illicit/illegal goal of keeping George Ryan (former governor of Illinois) in prison (the nature of the appellate action was to vacate part of Ryan’s prior criminal conviction/sentence; Alschuler was Ryan’s lead appellate attorney).
Publication of the Memoir amounted to a “scandalous”/“tell-all” exposé, breaking the legal profession’s “code of silence” regarding corrupt/criminal judges who commit obstruction of justice. The combination of the Memoir’s impeccable provenance from an unimpeachable source (knowledgeable/academic, not “mere/emotional sour grapes”), excruciating detail (fully documented), and masterful presentation, caused a major convulsion, reverberating throughout the American legal establishment (which unfortunately, though unrebutted to date, has not yet led to measurable reform in the judicial system):
- George Ryan Gallery ⌥.
- Greenbag ⌥.
- CrimProf Blog ⌥.
- Legal Ethics Forum ⌥.
- Crain’s Chicago Business ⌥.
- Chicago Daily Law Bulletin ⌥.
- ABA Journal ⌥.
- DC Circuit Review ⌥.
- Daily Journal ⌥.
- Justia Verdict ⌥.
- Albuquerque Journal ⌥.
- Injustice Watch ⌥.
The case of Ryan v. U.S. (a.k.a. “Alschuler v. Easterbrook”) represents, rather certainly, the leading instance/object-lesson of Judicial Misconduct on recordα (though it wasn’t formally/officially prosecuted as a case of Judicial Misconduct per se). Alschuler’s Memoir “speaks for itself,” is exhaustive, and cannot be bettered.β For that reason, we do no more in this place than offer a convenient repository for case documents, advertising/facilitating/urging readers to study this case.
α･ Perhaps the most notable previous fusillade, by professor Anthony D’Amato ⌥, also targeted Judge Easterbrook: (i) Chicago Tribune, John Branion Story ⌥; (ii) Illinois v. Branion (1970) ⌥; (iii) Branion v. Gramly, 855 F.2d 1256 (7th Cir 1988) ⌥; (iv) Chicago Tribune (1988) ⌥; (v) New York Times (1989) ⌥; (vi) 11 Cardozo L. Rev. 1313 (Jul/Aug 1990) ⌥; (vii) 26 U. C. Davis L. Rev. ℘527–582 (1992–93) ⌥.
β･ Well, there is one minor sense in which this case may be considered “deficient” (if that’s the best term), namely, it’s a “lawyer’s case,” that is, it’s full of low-level technical/legalistic twists-and-turns, that only a lawyer can fully appreciate. By contrast, Tuvell v. IBM is a high-level model of layperson-friendly simplicity, hence more suitable as a “perfect test-case” of Judicial Misconduct.
- How Frank Easterbrook Kept George Ryan in Prison (VULR ʋ50 İ1 ℘7–87) ⌥. ➔ The Memoir.
- Ryan v. U.S., Jury Instructions.
- U.S. v. Warner (& Ryan), 498 F.3d 666 (2007) ⌥.
- U.S. v. Warner (& Ryan), 506 F.3d 517 (2007) ⌥ ⌥.
- Ryan v. U.S., Docket.
- Ryan v. U.S., District Court Record.
- Ryan v. U.S., Appellant Brief.
- Ryan v. U.S., Appellant Appendix.
- Ryan v. U.S., Appellee Brief.
- Ryan v. U.S., Appellant Reply Brief.
- Ryan v. U.S., Appellant Additional Authority.
- Ryan v. U.S., Oral Argument (2011), audio ⌥; transcript.
- Ryan v. U.S., Appellant Post-Argument Supplemental Memorandum.
- Ryan v. U.S., Appellant Post-Argument Appendix.
- Ryan v. U.S., Appellee Post-Argument Supplemental Memorandum.
- Ryan v. U.S., Opinion/Decision, 645 F.3d 913 (7th Cir 2011) ⌥.
- Ryan v. U.S., Petition for Rehearing (2011).
- Ryan v. U.S., Petition For Writ of Certiorari ⌥.
- Ryan v. U.S., Brief in Opposition ⌥.
- Ryan v. U.S., Reply to Brief in Opposition ⌥.
- Skilling v. U.S. (2012).
- Ryan v. U.S., Opinion/Decision, 132 S.Ct. 2099 ⌥.
- Ryan v. U.S., Appellant Position Statement.
- Ryan v. U.S., Appellee Position Statement.
- Ryan v. U.S., Oral Argument (2012), audio ⌥; transcript ¬N/A⌐.
- Ryan v. U S., Opinion/Decision, 688 F.3d 845 (7th Cir 2012) ⌥ ⌥.
- Ryan v. U.S., Petition for Rehearing (2012).
Complaint of Judicial Misconduct
γ･ Note that anybody has “standing” to file a Judicial Misconduct Complaint, against any Federal judge (regardless of jurisdiction or any other consideration, such as statute of limitations): “A complaint … is filed by any person in his or her individual capacity or on behalf of a professional organization …” (JCDR 3(c)(i)). The only significant “Catch-22” is that a complaint will be dismissed pro forma if the judge is not currently in service (JCDR 4); this is how Judge Alex Kozinski “beat the rap” (for sexual misconduct) against him: by resigning, immediately after the complaint against him had been filed, but before it could be reviewed/processed (Accusation ⌥; Ninth Circuit Order ⌥; Reassignment ⌥; Supreme Court Transfer Order ⌥; Inaction ⌥; Dismissal ⌥; Dismissal Order ⌥).