The Judge

May 10, 2010

The judge is more than a car or a phrase that appears in the guest book from my sister’s wedding.  It is a person, of which you are aware.  But I have little desire to discuss just any judge, especially today.  So I guess this should be called “The Justice”.  As a refresher there are nine Justices, one of whom is a Chief Justice.  They are appointed for life.  A president will nominate and the Senate gets to debate and approve.

Currently, with the retirement of Justice Stevens, all the them went to Yale or Harvard law.  Four of them hail from the five boroughs of Manhattan.  Not exactly what I would call diversity.  I am not saying that some should be Ivy League, some from a mid-major and  one or two with on-line degrees, but it would be nice to know that they had experienced something outside of the high stone walls of over-priced academia.  There is however good news on the diversity front.  There are currently two female Justices and a third has been nominated.  Not quite representative of the 51% in the rest of society, but at least the fairer sex is getting a leg up. But there is something even better going on.

I would hope that a wise White man with the richness of his experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a Latina female who hasn’t lived that life.  Does that sound a bit off to you?  Well that is a quote from Justice Soto-Mayor.  I have of course switched the white male and latina female bits.  When written as it appears here, it’s a bit racist, however when she said it, no one seemed to mind.  I did.  But it was almost a good thing.  We’ve got some real weirdos under the flag.  Why shouldn’t we have someone on the supreme court that represents the crazy ones?

Sure they all meet the Harvard/Yale standard but like a good batch of brownies, why not throw in some nuts.  Maybe Kagen has a lower back tattoo, or participates in roller derby.  Maybe they all deep fry a turkey each year while sitting on the tailgate of Justice Robert’s truck.  I bet there’s a Wii in the chambers and difficult deliberations are settled with doubles tennis.

This would represent America.  That’s what the supreme court is for.  The president was supposed to represent the people, but now only represents a single party and is practically forbidden from stepping across the aisle.  Congress can’t make decisions for fear that their party won’t support them when it comes to re-election.  The Supreme Court is our last hope.  They have a lifetime appointment.  There are like the old man who wears sweatpants tucked into his socks and hasn\’t brushed his hair this decade, they don’t have to care.  They can order a glass of milk at fine restaurants and wear velcro shoes.  Their decisions will be criticized but can’t be thrown in their face at election time.

So, as much as I don’t like Soto-Mayor and think Kagen may be way too out there, especially given the recruiting incident, they should be in the mix.  As a friend of mine once said describing “Lost”  “they bring you slowly into the crazy.”  I don’t want the justices all playing disc golf on the weekends, but they don’t all need to be card carrying members of Martha’s Vineyard country club.


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