As I get older or more mature, I often wonder about things I know I have no control over, but still wish I could get resolved before I leave this old planet.
Among these items is’how is the best way to put judges on the bench’ In some states they are all appointed and in others they are elected and in still others it’s a combination of the two. I can see advantages and disadvantages to all three options. If they are appointed, then the person or group doing the appointments have an advantage over the members of the court. This has certainly been used unfairly many times in the past.
The election of judges also carries some bad elements since elections cost money and those running for office often solicit contributions from the very persons or firms who would practice before them. Obviously elected judges who received campaign contributions from one source or another would choose to say that the contributions they received would have no effect upon their decisions. But who knows if they do or they don’t’History is replete with instances of strange court decisions which have come into question but for the most part never really resolved.
I am a history fanatic and love to read historical fiction books. I’m reading a series now about a lawyer during the time of King Henry VIII. This attorney gets involved in various mysteries and murders which make for good reading. The interesting part is the authors description of how much infighting and political intrigue was going on among those closest to the King. It was a dangerous time to live in and your words, spoken to the wrong people could result in having your head chopped off, or worse. The King was heavily influenced by those around him and justice wasn’t always served in equal portions to all parties. Nothing really changes from our present day, does it’
Every day seems to bring us news of some new catastrophe or another which, for the most part, can be traced to someone’s greed. Take the Madoff scandal last year. A large number of people have lost their entire fortunes as a result of this man. If you go back and examine the causes you will find that these investors were looking for above average returns on their money. In most instances, their judgment was clouded over by their own greed. Any time something seems to be too good to be true, it usually is. You would think the people who have the kind of money Madoff required would have been more astute in their investment practices, but perhaps not.
I tend to get weary of reading or hearing about various corrupt officials or persons placed in positions of trust as they are found out to be involved in frauds and thefts. I think it was Diogenes who went around holding up a lamp and looking for ‘an honest man’ in about 400BC. If he couldn’t find one then, why should we expect to do so today’Our modern day affinity for the media allows us to keep up with the trials and tribulations of our society as it is happening in real time. And yet we still see doctored resumes, insider deals, corrupt court decisions and unexplainable events taking place on a regular basis. There is so much being reported it is hard to keep track of it all.
In truth, some of the corruption in our society is so overwhelming that those who are deemed guilty are let off without any penalty of any sort, just a mental stain whenever their names are brought to mind. Sometimes not even that. Their offenses are removed and forgotten allowing them to carry on for another day. It seems as if we have progressed as a society to the point where we almost expect failure and corruption from those we choose to lead us or administer us as a nation. Infidelity, theft and unjust practices seem to be the order of the day rather than an isolated instance.
The old adage espoused by many of those who happen to get caught seems to be one we all used in elementary school”everyone else is doing it’why can’t I”But do we continue to accept this type of behavior or do we stop this downward trend and demand more from all levels of government’
We are just over 120 days until the coming elections. I would hope each of us starts now to examine those seeking office and reviewing whether or not would have considered them as worthy of his investigation.