Putting in a good word for a judge

Those who have read my blog for its fairly limited lifespan know that I'm not overly impressed with judges.  I find most of them so concerned with their own personal sense of what's "fair" (and in the area in which I live, fair usually means anti-business) that they have no time for actually considering the controlling law in any given case. 

There are, however, a handful of judges I've come to respect over the years, and one of them is up for re-election in Marin County.  If you're a Marin County voter, and you usually just abstain from voting for judges (since you can't tell one from the either), I urge you this time to vote for Judge John Sutro.  He is someone who gives serious consideration to the controlling law in every case before him and, in addition, has a truly judicial demeanor.  By the way, a judge with a real judicial demeanor is also a rarity.  So many judges believe that their power in the courtroom gives them the right to be rude and cruel.  

So, you can make a difference this election by casting a vote for a judge — something I suspect most of us never bother to do. 

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Comments

  1. says

    I tend to recall the Wild West and The Trail of Tears. The judges could make rulings, and they did about slavery, about Indians and their property, but the thing was that they could never enforce it. That was never a power given to judges. The reason why the rule of judges is enroaching on America is not that judges themselves are acquiring power, but rather the power brokers behind the judges like the legislative councils and fake liberal lobby groups.

    In a way, the FF’s designed the judicial system to be the weakest of the three branches, because in a way the duty of the judges is to make sure that law and order is maintained, not that it is spread to anywhere new (legislation) or enforced over rebelling sections (Civil War).

    The Judges ruled that the Cherokees should hold their land in georgia and not get evicted by Jackson, but he thing was the judges could not protect the Cherokees from being lynched by the native Georgians. That was always the check against judges, the judges could NOT enforce their rulings. They have no bureacracy to do it with, no police, no army, no control on the purse strings.

    The problem really comes about if people use the judges as pretext for their own power. Like using judges to decide slavery in their favor. Or using judges to decide gay marriage because legislation and executive are too hard to change. Or because it is more profitable to get imminent domain than to provide fair value for confiscating people’s homes.

    The judges checks laws for flaws, the legislation creates laws, and the executive enforces them. I think a lot of the problems with judges is not their rulings, it is that they are being used as pretexts to enforce and to create legislation that is reversed.

  2. jg says

    Bookworm, the image of Hugh Griffith (from the movie ‘Tom Jones’) brings all that is reprehensible about judges to mind. Fielding knew his subject. Are we in America today that much better than 18c London?

    TV and the media have so distorted the picture of what happens in our courts that I fear few understand. Ordinary citizens are often portrayed as puppets by MSM newsstories. From crime to schools, Americans seem to be controlled by unseen forces in far away courts who decide how our lives must be ordered.

    I’d really like to see Judicial Watches enacted in every community. That is the formation of a citizens’ group who patrol courts, report outrages, and assemble information. I’d like to see civic panels prominent in communities able to debate the place and action of courts and those who dwell therein, especially lawyers. These are our courts. And, as Alan Keyes observed, they are not our masters. The law should not be an arcane art.

    The League of Women Voters– a happy idea from a better time– has done much good in a similar fashion for the election process.

    I’ve been part of a county grand jury; have sat on several cases; and once had a venerable court servant describe his local judges as ‘tin gods.’ So Fielding’s portrait– most especially for the insane 9th Circuit–may yet carry authenticity.

  3. says

    I think local judges are okay. But the higher in the government bureacracy you go, the wackier things get. The local judges, I think, tends to get elected. But the federal judges are appointed. Difference there.

  4. says

    In response to Jg’s post from Thursday-

    “I’d really like to see Judicial Watches enacted in every community. That is the formation of a citizens’ group who patrol courts, report outrages, and assemble information… These are our courts. And, as Alan Keyes observed, they are not our masters…”

    Guess what, JG?! A brand new group with just this purpose has formed in Marin County and is having its first briefing on Weds. May 31st from 12n-1p at the San Rafael Corporate Ctr. Please Join Us!

    Our mission is to “Improve the Marin judiciary’s public accountability and restore and maintain the integrity of Marin County courts.” All concerned members of the Marin community are invited to join in our efforts. Together, we can rebuild the public trust in our courts, establishing the Marin judiciary as a well-managed model of integrity, justice & equality.

    One of the group’s primary goals is the establishment of a Citizen’s Oversight Commission for the Marin Judiciary. Sounds like Alan Keyes would approve! Check us out online at http://www.centerforjudicialexcellence.org.

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