Judges – Impartial? Un-Biased? Fair?

erectile arial, symptoms sans-serif;”>By Leo G. Alvazrez
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There is a long held belief that Judges are impartial, and therefore fair in their rulings. I am more of a realist on that thought. I have always held that within every profession there the good, the bad, and the ho-hummers.

In the 1970’s A Ventura County Superior Court Judge was known as the “Hanging Judge” by Ventura County Law Enforcement. The reason? He was tough on convicted criminals when he sentenced them. He took them off the streets and therefore they could not commit new crimes.

Ever since then I have been very cognizant not only of the power held by these people but by the fact that without their robes they look like you and I and are no more intelligent or wiser. Why must they sit above the rest of us in their robes with a gavel in their hands and announce that theirs is a fiefdom where they rule by threats of unlimited confinement if things are not done to their liking.

With our adversarial court system where attorneys oppose each other as gladiators once did the Judge acts as a referee letting them know what may or may not be said or done in their Fiefdom. Justice for you and I has come down to this?

Let’s face it. Judges are human beings with all the foibles and emotions and biases you and I share.

No citizen votes for a Judge. Their first chance to become a judge is through nomination by a Governor or President.

Therefore, they can expect immediate opposition from an opposing political party because it is perceived that he shares similar political views as the nominator. Judges come with case histories and reputations for being conservative or liberal, Democrats or Republicans. Occasionally, some of them develop a reputation of being “swing votes” where law “experts” can’t seem to peg them with a title.

If judges were truly impartial, un-biased and fair why would they be opposed by anyone?

The truth is that that we all have philosophies and opinions and we all seem to believe that we can be fair, unbiased, and impartial yet know full well that we will not compromise on certain beliefs.
And we had a classic example of that when the Supreme Court of the United States rendered its ruling on a 5-4 vote to legalize same sex marriage. Chief Justice John Roberts said pointedly, “…celebrate the availability of new benefits. But do not celebrate the Constitution. It had nothing to do with it.”

What the five justices did was vote their conscience because our Constitution does not even mention marriage much less love. They had to stretch the written words to match their philosophical views. We may never know what role the Constitution played in their decision because its certain law played no role in it.

What really happened is once again judges created law instead of the Citizens, through their representatives. Ironically, had the Citizens done so, it would have wound up in the Supreme Court years from now. The will of the voters can be negated by one or nine votes.

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Leo Alvarez is retired from Oxnard PD and is President of the Children’s Wall of Tears™ www.thecwot.org

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