The Cubas-Izquierdo custody case is now just a torn page in the history of judicial malfeasance. The decision by the Florida Department of Children & Families to challenge Circuit Judge Jeri B. Cohen's holding that Rafael Izquierdo was at the least a marginally fit parent, has removed the case for the present from her jurisdiction to the Third Circuit Court of Appeals, which shall decide for itself whether Izquierdo abandoned his daughter or condoned her abuse. The second phase of the trial, which would have determined what was in Elenita's best interest, whether to stay with the foster parents with whom she had bonded or be returned to her marginally-fit father and marginally-inhabitable country, has been automatically stayed pending the appellate court's decision. If it upholds Judge Cohen, the case will be returned to her courtroom for further adjudication. If, however, the higher court rules that Izquierdo does not meet the definition of a marginal father, then the second phase of the trial is unnecessary. This is Elenita's best hope. However, even if the Appellate court upholds Judge Cohen's flawed decision, this does not necessarily mean that Izquierdo (or, rather, Castro) has prevailed. There still remains the hearing to decide what is in the best interest of the child. Kurzban and Montiel-Davis are arguing that reunification with a birth parent is always in the child's best interest if the parent is at least marginally fit, as Judge Cohen proclaimed Izquierdo to be. What needs to be decided this time is whether wishing to consign his own daughter to slavery is sufficient grounds to consider Izquierdo an unfit parent. That, of course, can't be done unless one considers the nature of the place to which he wants to take her. Judge Cohen's proscription against the use of the "C-word" (as she called it) in her courtroom, made such an assessment impossible.
We have carefully outlined in more than 20 posts the reasons that we believe Judge Cohen's courtroom was the setting, and the judge herself the instrument, for the greatest custody fraud ever perpetrated in an American courtroom. All the defense witnesses perjured themselves at the urging and with the connivance of their own attorneys, and confessed to it in open court without being held in contempt. Kurzban and Montiel-Davis were shown to make soborned perjury at the very least, and orquestrated a campaign of deception and legerdemain that would have amounted to obstruction of justice in any other courtroom but Judge Cohen's.
One of the judge's favorite mantras — there were several — was that she was not going to do anything that might lead to the reversal of her decision. In other words, she admitted not once but a hundred times that she was playing to the royal boxes. She saw this case as one that would advance her career. She is right insofar as a great number of her constituents can now put a face to her hood and even jurisdictions outside of Florida are now acquainted with Miami-Dade's version of Judge Judy (or is that an oxymoron?). But publicity is not enough for advancement. She must also exhibit judicial probity and the appellate court would be the sole judge of that. Rather than do her best and be judged accordingty, Judge Cohen has strained for the last 6 months to divine the appellate court's wisdom in this matter, hoping that by second-guessing them she won't herself be second-guessed.
Well, she's going to get her long-awaited report card. In fact, she even begged her judges to act quickly and deliberately in rendering what she hopes will be the highest grades. It would not surprise us if she were disappointed in her expectations. Then we would have to add ignorance of the law to all her other judicial shortcomings. It is doubtful whether her career can survive a reversal. It is one thing to act like an ass and quite another to be certified as an ass. She forgets that there is another audience that will be judging her — her constituents. The comings and goings of other politicians are mostly inscrutable. A politician-judge's actions are all a matter of record and open for public view.
Anything that takes Judge Cohen out of the picture, potentially forever and certainly for a very long time, will benefit Elenita's chances of remaining in this country without the threat posed to her life and liberty by her birth parents.