There Goes the Judge?

Photo Source Patrick Feller | CC BY 2.0

I don’t trust judges. My experiences with those who sit above the rest of the courtroom wearing robes and assuming all will rise when they enter have rarely been positive and never worth repeating. The idea that another human whose primary difference from the rest of us is that they feel they have the knowledge, understanding and most of all the right to sit in judgment of others is one I have unwillingly acknowledged but never accepted. Like a confessor priest is to Catholics, the men and women on the bench dole out punishments and demand obedience from those who stand before them. Also like a Catholic confessor, the more arrogant among the judiciary probably think they too are doing the work of their god.

Me, I’m not buying it. From John Roberts to Earl Warren and Felix Frankfurter to the first Chief Justice John Jay, the judges in the highest court in the land are just as human as that lawyer advertising their personal injury business on TV. More than anything else, it is their ambition that got them to where they are now. Bob Dylan once sang that he was “ashamed to live in a land where justice was just a game.” His words ring truer than ever these days, when cops walk free after murdering unarmed people and privileged white rapists are barely punished by judges whose understanding of the law all too often seems to depend on the wealth and social position of the defendant. Like virtually all those in powerful positions, many…

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