Letter: Judges, bought and sold, threaten our foundation

Posted 9/28/22

Judges come in three “flavors,” coerced, independent, or toddy.

In places like The Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, judges seem fully coerced. Their processes are opaque; the …

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Letter: Judges, bought and sold, threaten our foundation

Posted

Judges come in three “flavors,” coerced, independent, or toddy.

In places like The Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia, judges seem fully coerced. Their processes are opaque; the laws are vague; their consistent pro-government rulings are harsh; but they and their families remain safe from vengeful, strong-man governments. Current news items from unimpeachable media outlets prove these assertions. America must not, of course, embrace or mirror this corrupt judicial “flavor.”

Independent federal judges have long populated the third branch of our American government. Now, however, independent judges are viewed as enemies by those on the far right. If independent judges sanction their leaders, friends, or associates, the far right seems just fine with death threats against them. These threats come from rabid right-wing political supporters, led or egged on by venal, corrupt politicians. Independent judges are, as if we need a reminder, essential to justice based on the rule of law. This is not the “flavor” of the month. It is the “flavor” of our best hopes.

What the far right clearly wants, as we learn nearly daily, are toddy judges, people who pay for their life-time appointments with rulings that satisfy their sponsors. This “flavor” is beyond sour. It is detrimental to our democratic republic. By the way, why would toddy federal district court judges fear appeals to their rulings when appellate courts have toddy judges, too? Indeed, the smug far right is thrilled to have toddy justices on the supreme court, the realization of their fevered dreams.

There’s an old, familiar question that haunts many Americans. It is ‘Who will protect the public when the police break the law?’ That question is at the heart of efforts to reform our police. Now a parallel question is ‘If the federal judiciary, the third branch of government, is full of toddy judges, can justice based on the rule of law endure?’ The answer is no.  

Will Newman

Tiverton

2022 by East Bay Media Group

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.