Two federal judges in Manhattan have started a program to educate students, and adults, about the judicial system.
Brace yourselves because that headline is not a metaphor. I’ve bolded the obvious. Story begins:
The divide between the criminal justice system and much of the public has become an urgent topic of conversation in recent years, with voices rising from all sides.
Now, those voices include one of the most powerful judges in the Eastern United States.
Robert A. Katzmann, chief judge of the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, has begun a wide-ranging program that casts the entire circuit in an unusual role, not as an adjudicator set apart but as an engaged and approachable teacher.
“The vitality of our governmental institutions, of our courts, depends upon understanding by the public and support from the public; that’s critical to what we do,” Judge Katzmann said.
“But something like 70 percent of Americans can’t identify the Constitution as the supreme law of the land,” he said. “Ten percent of college graduates think that Judge Judy is a Supreme Court justice. That gives you a sense of the context.”
A muted ovation for Judge Katzman’s judicial deadpannery in that last sentence. (He is the chief judge of one of the most powerful courts in the country, before the Supreme Court. I mean the actual Supreme Court. The one Judge Judy has not yet sat on.)
Ah, well. It comes down to this. No, people: Judge Judy, a/k/.a Judith Sheindlin, is not a real judge any longer. She was once; she sat on the New York Family Court bench.
I worked for a guy who had a painful case in front of her. He would return from her court silent in rage, would go into his office and slam the door.
Judge Judy had a bad reputation when she did sit on the bench. Nasty, cruel, lacking in compassion and judicial temperament. (I’ve searched for a link supporting the opinions of lawyers who had to defend families and children in front of her but haven’t found one yet. Hard for lawyers who have to practice in front of a judge to offer an honest, in-print assessment.)
So, hey no. She isn’t on any Supreme Court anywhere and wasn’t even when she was on the bench. (Although Trump doesn’t seem to understand this. Or at least he didn’t when he made one of his wild campaign promises.)