Judges as Bullies

 In Symposium

It can’t be easy being a judge. The responsibility is enormous: to protect and maintain the rule of law; determine facts and law; resolve disputes large and small; and, in criminal matters, decide whether a fellow citizen remains free or not. In essence, we look to judges to articulate the meaning of “justice”—no doubt knowing all the while, as Clarence Darrow famously noted, “There is no such thing as justice, in or out of court.”

I like and respect some judges, but not as many as I should. While some judges have the requisite ability and temperament for the bench— knowledge of the law, independence, fairness, patience, courage, compassion, and humility—too many do not. Too many are mean- spirited and arrogant, going out of their way to insult, ridicule, and demean those who come before them. In short, they are bullies.

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