An omnipresent myth universally marketed by American legal culture is that judges are experienced, honest, impartial, and of proven integrity. To anyone with any significant experience with either a state or federal court system or in the selection either by appointment or election of judges, this myth is a joke. Somehow, it continues. Most likely it continues because most people are so frighten of getting involved in legal disputes that they do not even want to think about those involved. Once they do become involved, such people become “litigants” (or worse, criminal defendants) and thus lose credibility with the rest of society desperately trying to avoid getting involved.
Most judges start out as average human beings with one serious defect: they want to be judges. That is, they want to have a lifetime job in which they sit in judgment on the lives of their fellow human beings; cold-bloodedly view their problems; and then make their lives worse in some way so as to maintain whatever social order exists — be it the order of a North Korean dictatorship, a Russian oligarchy, or an American oligarchy. Judges maintain such status quo by the sacrifice of the individual — unless the judge is sympathetic to the individual — with all decisions required to be universal and not accepting of diversity nor individual personality or morality. There is no curing of disease, no invention, no epiphany, no theorem proven, no joy of pure analytical thought, no joy of experiment, no critical thinking to a solution, no scientific method, no glory of winning, and no agony of defeat — any type of honest emotion and good faith belief in a principle or good or evil is to be avoided (other than “law and order” that actually means just order). The only joy is in the power of playing god except for the fact that they lack the courage to do any killing themselves but have others do it for them — however, the judge cannot admit to such playing but must hide behind the smokescreen of law, pretending there is something more to their decision-making than just their arbitrary decision of what personal ethics and morals to enforce and which not to enforce. Hiding this reality of the judge’s job, American legal culture in all federal courts and in most state courts gives life tenure to average human beings with such an obvious character flaw plus grants them no accountability for their acts — forgetting power corrupts.
For example, present Supreme Court Judge Sonia Sotomayor stated in an Associated Press interview that she wanted be a judge by age 10 after watching a Perry Mason episode at which point she “realized that the judge was the most important player in that room”. What were you dreaming about at age 10? At age 10, I was just trying to survive until the next day. If I did dream, it was to become an astronaut, an explorer of the world and the universe, to cure cancer, to become a military hero, about the girl sitting next to me in class, or of having love and a happy family, or doing something great to help my fellow humans. The few times I watched Perry Mason, I sympathized with the innocent defendant being railroaded through the system by the powers — including the moron judge — miraculously saved from imprisonment or worse only by the hero Perry Mason. Ms. Sotomayor despite having a loving, extended family supporting her path not only to survive but to prosper in life instead was dreaming of being the moron judge simply because he had the most power. What a sick mentality. This sick mentality gets worse as we go up the power chain to such power fiefdoms as the Supremes. Lower court judges are actually the most fair and wise since they must work with real people in real world situations instead of living in ivory towers of power being an end in itself.
Have you ever read or even heard of any judge, in the present or in history, leaving their judgeship because of stress, worry, guilt, overwork, in rebellion, or as a matter of principle? Neither have I. In fact, especially at the federal level, judges have to be carried out in their senile old age while desperately trying to hand-on to their job of being a demigod. The federal system is full of “senior” judges past the suggested retirement age of 70. The idea of becoming part of humanity that is judged instead of those doing the judging is their greatest fear.
There are no merit or competency tests or requirements for being a judge. The only test, regardless of whether a judge is elected or appointed, is a political one. They are usually former government prosecutors or big firm attorneys who spent their whole professional career following orders, not making waves, and taking whatever politically correct position they believed was necessary to get them the needed political credentials for appointment to a lifetime umbilical cord of a government job. They are supposed to be the best and the brightest of an adversarial legal system in which the best attorneys are supposed to take the greatest risks defending the unpopular and powerless of society such as did Attorneys Atticus Finch of “To Kill a Mocking Bird” and Abraham Lincoln — neither of which could ever be appointed to a judgeship but instead would most likely be disbarred in our modern legal culture for their antics. Instead, as attorneys, most judges were the bottom of the barrel in terms of adversarial and analytical skills and courage — their only skill was politics but they even lacked the courage to run for political office.
This myth is present in all legal systems even going back to the sophisticated legal system of the Roman Empire. In fact, it is this myth that is the greatest weakness in the monopoly of violence that is the law and is usually the one way that it can be beaten. Eventually, as the status quo empowered by judges gets further and further out-of-step with technological and material progress, those charged with executing the judgments of judges get tired of their incompetence and stop executing the judgments. Since judges are incapable of doing their own dirty work, this is when things finally start to change. Judges and the “rule of law” consistent with their dishonest nature take credit from our Honored Dead for historical progress that led to the abolishment of slavery, of Jim Crow laws, of forced segregation, of denial of equal rights to women and minorities, of destruction of unions and the imprisonment of their members, and of almost all injustices that in their time were legal and enforced by judges. In reality, judges have throughout history always been on the wrong side of history and were on the wrong side of these listed now abrogated laws. Violence or some type of civil or military revolution has always been required to get judges on the right side of history.
This reality is still true despite judges’ present claims, again, that they are on the right side of history. These present claims by them and their worshipers hint at more than just character flaws to the presence perhaps of insane delusion. “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. — Albert Einstein. For a more detailed analysis of this myth, please see two of our sponsoring books The Law Illusion and Between the World and Us .