Too much pressure?

July 16, 2008
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We see them as the authority behind the bench, applying the law and dispensing justice on a daily basis. But what happens when a judge crosses the line – criminal conduct or not – and allows work or personal pressure to cloud judgment enough that it has a direct impact on their career?

A trial judge in Indiana faces misconduct charges for apparently going to a colleague’s courtroom during a sentencing hearing, while wearing his judicial robe, then causing a disturbance with a deputy prosecutor and verbally berating the defendant’s family. Earlier this year, another trial judge and his commissioner had several counts lodged against them alleging delays and dereliction of duty, including charges that the judge didn’t adequately supervise his staff and allowed delays in at least one case that resulted in a man being kept in prison almost two years longer than he should have been.

Don’t forget about other examples where judges have been disciplined for drinking and driving. Or high-profile examples of when a New York judge was tossed from the bench after jailing 46 people because a cell phone interrupted his courtroom proceedings. Or a federal bankruptcy judge in Massachusetts who resigned a week after he was arrested for driving drunk while reportedly wearing a woman’s dress, heels, and stockings.

What is the effect these examples have on the legal community and judiciary?
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  2. Hail to our Constitutional Law Expert in the Executive Office! “What you’re not paying attention to is the fact that I just took an action to change the law,” Obama said.

  3. What is this, the Ind Supreme Court thinking that there is a separation of powers and limited enumerated powers as delegated by a dusty old document? Such eighteen century thinking, so rare and unwanted by the elites in this modern age. Dictate to us, dictate over us, the massess are chanting! George Soros agrees. Time to change with times Ind Supreme Court, says all President Snows. Rule by executive decree is the new black.

  4. I made the same argument before a commission of the Indiana Supreme Court and then to the fedeal district and federal appellate courts. Fell flat. So very glad to read that some judges still beleive that evidentiary foundations matter.

  5. KUDOS to the Indiana Supreme Court for realizing that some bureacracies need to go to the stake. Recall what RWR said: "No government ever voluntarily reduces itself in size. Government programs, once launched, never disappear. Actually, a government bureau is the nearest thing to eternal life we'll ever see on this earth!" NOW ... what next to this rare and inspiring chopping block? Well, the Commission on Gender and Race (but not religion!?!) is way overdue. And some other Board's could be cut with a positive for State and the reputation of the Indiana judiciary.

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