I’ve always been close to the legal profession. My father is a lawyer and a full-time law professor. My mother is also a lawyer. So is my sister. I do hate to admit it, but I have a naive sense of the role of justice in our society.
I believe that the courts stand above. I wrote a paper in college entitled (something like) “The Judicial Branch: First Among Equals” Basically, the judicial branch is the most important. It trumps the others. It does so because it rules. It has final say. Forgive my brief explanations of these important cases (they are my own adlibs and are not exactly correct).
- Marbury v. Madison: The Supreme Court decides what’s constitutional – not you politician.
- Brown v. Board: Stop pretending separate is equal you fucking hillbilly lawmakers. Yes, you, lawmaker: We decide what is.
- Gideon v. Wainwright: The judicial system is so important, and where all the action is, that defendants are entitled to counsel when dealing with the executive branch.
- US v Nixon: Even the president answers to the judicial branch
When I was in law school, I realized that litigators campaigned on behalf of judges – the same judges they would later appear before. Huh? That offended my naive sensibilities. I still haven’t quite gotten over it. I don’t donate to judicial campaigns. (With rare exception, I don’t donate to any campaigns. I try to be neither for, nor against any causes unless it’s the causes of my family or clients.)
Justice is Being Bought
Judicial elections are being bought by individuals and groups that need favor in later court cases. The links between judicial decisions and the money that put the judge in the robe are getting more obvious all the time. Everything above is really only intended to say…
Please read this article from PopTort about judges being bought. This is America, man! Really? This happens here?
In other countries, Nixon could have just seized the Army and said, “No, thanks. I think I’ll keep power.” In other countries, when folks are injured at work, they are basically told, “Tough shit.” In some countries, court’s don’t have the power to say, “No, you can’t just flog people. That is cruel and unusual” or “No dictatorman, we are going to let women vote and wear what they want.”
We Are a Selfish Species
We don’t care about something until it impacts us. We don’t care about global warming until we can’t go snowboarding or until the beach in front of our second home starts to erode. We don’t care about medical malpractice caps until we have a baby born with cerebral palsy because some doctor didn’t pay attention to the strips.
By and large, it’s okay because we catch things in time to fix the problem. But some problems might be too big too fix unless you start early. Global warming might be one. A crumbling integrity in the judicial system is definitely one.
I’m clearly just rambling on, but PopTort isn’t.