On April 27, 2006, Senator Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) and House Judiciary Committee Chairman F. James Sensenbrenner (R-Wisconsin) introduced separate proposals for a federal court, Inspector General under the Judicial Transparency and Ethics Enhancement Act (JTEE), S. 2678/H.R. 5219. Chairman Sensenbrenner explained that the "... IG will serve as a public watchdog to root out waste, fraud, and abuse and ensure the Third Branch's taxpayer-funded resources are utilized in an appropriate manner, just as IGs do throughout the Executive Branch." On May 3, 2006, Gina Holland of the Associated Press quoted Justice Ginsburg as she encouraged members of the American Bar Association to '... speak up and "say these efforts are wrong" as ... Judges cannot lobby on their own behalf.'
As executive director of Redress, Inc., a nonprofit organization that advocates for victims of injustice, and Coalition for Legal Reform, a PAC, Juli Star-Alexander reports that many "find it ironic for the U. S. Supreme Court to scorn a federal court Inspector General when it left so many at the mercy of public employers and those legislative, administrative, and judicial bodies charged with regulating them."
According to Betsy Combier, president of the E-Accountability Foundation which promotes internet based activism, "several grassroots activists resolved to organize and speak up in a big way to say as to the JTEE, Justice Ginsburg and like-minded jurists are wrong." Andrew D. Jackson, Project Coordinator for National Judicial Conduct and Disability Law Project,Inc., explains "the result is a web-based, Speak Up campaign to support congressional judicial reform efforts that promote individual rights; the ongoing charge among government whistleblowers and their advocates to '. . . protect on the job duty speech . . . ' and; strengthening the No FEAR Act, a law intended to make federal agencies accountable for civil rights violations."
government workplace while fighting for human rights as a Board member for Amnesty International, the worlds largest human rights organization.
Primarily grassroots activists launched and manage what is now a national Speak Up campaign through what they appropriately call the "High Grass Council." Sherry Swiney, president of a popular prisoners' rights group called the PATRICK Crusade, says "the effort largely amounts to many people circulating the same or similar email messages that direct people to our Speak Up website which receives input through Action Pages." Tom Saunders, her colleague and founder of the Bill of Attainder Project, estimates the broad based, national effort will start "a perfect storm of judicial reform and protection for government whistleblowers." It appears that the US Supreme Court's recent decision has awakened a sleeping giant.
The High Grass Council (HGC) is a national association of primarily grassroots activists who manage the web-based, speak up campaign at www.wespeakup.org by determining all aspects of the underlying campaign, including site contents. The views and opinions thereby expressed are not necessarily those of the HGC nor any member thereof.