On Judicial Independence: 9/14/14
Ex. NJ Supreme Court Justice, Gary Stein, spoke at the Bergen County Ethical Society today, on Judicial Independence and Christy's interference thereto.
In comment section I said I concurred with all his conclusions but differed with his premise, that the judiciary must be independent. I cited Jefferson saying the Independent Judiciary did not even look like a part of the Nation, it was not answerable to anyone or anything: Not the Executive, not the legislature and not the people. A prime position for corruption to sink in. Justice Stein belittled the argument with two or three examples of Judges Standing up against pressure because their job couldn't be threatened.
I tried to get a rebuttal in but the moderator, correctly, cut me off.
After the presentation he approached me to tell me that voting on judges never works. I said if a judge makes a decision only because his job is not threatened, and would be, or could be, influenced to make another decision if his job wasn't threatened, he had no integrity and shouldn't have been a judge.
Further, later, I thought about independence for bricklayers, writers, actors, scientists, etc., and why they don't have it. They don't have it so that error can be rapidly pointed out and corrected, and the workers skills improved and his work product improve. Judges, free of any force of criticism, or from criticism, can error, never need to correct their errors, learn that they were errors, etc. Additionally, the impetus of higher courts to support lower court errors can't be removed or corrected. Once an 'Old Boy's Club ( or person's club) is formed, there's no breaking it up.
And no decision, by anyone, on any subject, is free of the influence of the decision maker's personality, education, belief systems, economic status, peer pressure, philosophical biases, etc.
If judges perform better without being answerable to anybody for their work product, why doesn't that hold true for all professions? The argument for independence is sophistical, conclusionary, prejudiced by judges and lawyers, and demeaning of the people and the peoples wishes. They demand independence because they have, in their opinion and the opinion of the legal profession, that they are superior to others. Their judgment must go unquestioned for it to be 'respected'. They interpret the laws, for 'our good', for the 'good of the people' and should never be challenged anywhere at anytime. Were they proven infallible the argument may have some semblance of accuracy. But we have the Dred Scott decision, 'The 'Separate but equal' decision. There are so many 5 to 4 Supreme Court decisions that obviously have nothing to do with the law but only with judicial and political philosophy that it is almost criminal: of the 9 Justices on the Court, all superior and experienced Judges and lawyers, 44% of them don't know a laws meaning until the other 55% tell them what the law is and what it means.
We must vote on our laws, vote on the administrators and executors of the laws, and vote on the interpreters of the laws. There simply is no evidence that any citizen is superior in judgment over another one, regardless of education, class, religion, or any set of combined human characteristics. There can be no way of selecting who a “Philosopher King” is, who an incorruptible dictator would be, who a 'good representative' would be, who a 'good judge for life' would be. Without the direct voting power of the people on our laws, our executive officers, and our judges, we are being ruled by a set of corruptible, fallible, human beings no better and no worse than each of us.