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Saturday, January 25, 2014

Mark Steyn: The misplaced reverence for judges in America is perplexing to me

Read the whole article at his site.  Excerpts:

As I said to Mother Jones:
The misplaced reverence for judges in America is perplexing to me. In my cultural tradition, a judge is just a bloke in a wig. He may be a smart bloke in a wig, or he may be an idiot in a wig. But the wig itself is not dispositive.
After many years in America, I have never felt so foreign as reading the pile-up of commentary from supposedly sophisticated persons tutting about how my "assailing" the judge will not be "helpful" to the case. This absurd prostration before the bench is one of the biggest structural defects in this country. Jim writes to Mark's Mailbox as follows:
I'm certainly on your side on this one but would recommend not criticizing the judiciary or previous judges ("incompetence of the previous judge", "an act of jurisprudential hygiene", "procedural bungling", etc.) while the case is pending. The judges all work together and don't like litigants to take potshots at their colleagues and procedures. For a judge to bristle against comments like that is human nature and while it may not overtly cause the judge to rule against you on motions, etc., it is likely to subconsciously influence the judge against you.
Focus on the actions/claims of the plaintiff, not on the judges. You've apparently been through litigation before so you might have a strategy for doing this, but from my vantage point it's a bad idea.
So it's "human nature" for a judge to go into a big queeny huff because one of his supplicants is doing insufficient robe-kissing? So much for judicial temperament. David Appel headlined his post on the case "Who Knew? Judges Don't Appreciate Insults From Defendants" - implying (without evidence) that Judge Weisberg's ruling is some sort of pique at my dismissing his colleague Combs-Greene as an incompetent. As Mr Appel's first commenter responds:
It's a far bigger insult to the judge for you to imply they are not impartial - letting some perceived insult influence the case - than anything Steyn has said.
Exactly. Or as Tyler Null tweets:
If that uppity-peasant theory is true, we're all f**ked.

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