Ryan v. U.S. (“Alschuler v. Easterbrook”)

Ryan v. U.S. ⸻ Story │ RecordDiscussion
Governor George Ryan
Governor George Ryan
Judge Frank Easterbrook
Judge Frank Easterbrook
Prof. Albert Alschuler
Prof. Albert Alschuler

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):

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.

Complaint of Judicial Misconduct

On July 13 2017, a Complaint of Judicial Misconduct was formally filed with the Seventh Circuit Judicial Council, based on the Memoir (in conjunction with this website).