ANSWERS: 7
  • You are going to have to give examples of what you are saying. I'm not at all sure if it is true.
  • How would you test for that? It would be impossible to please everybody that the test was fair and true. Yes judges do have a powerful position but that is why we have a hierarchy of courts within the (British) legal system and an appeals process. Judges in lower courts have to follow precedent anyway so there isn't always room for ego and media intervention!
  • Which countries are you talking about? With respect to the UK, I don't think your assertion is true. Yes, occasionally there are cases where a judge will make a stupid and closed-minded decision. There are rare, but are (quite reasonably) highlighted by the press. But I think you do not take account of the hundreds of judges making thousands of perfectly sensible decisions every day. And there is a considerable risk in putting judges under the control of, say, politicians. It is quite correct that they are hard, but not impossible, to dislodge.
  • The political appointees are a reflection of those who appoint them. You have to start at the top since the appointees just do the bidding of their "lord and master" so to speak. Local elections where we the people get to vote are less tricky. You can investigate the record and choose among the candidates the one who seems the best. Political appointees are sacrosanct untouchables appointed by "big daddy"! :(
  • Rosie mostly hit on my take to this question. Most judges are elected by the voters and if the judge has a bad record he won't get the votes. (ideally) Now the judges that are "appointed" are put there by people who were voted into office again by the voters. So in a perfect world it's the voters fault for keeping in lousy judges! The Supreme Court is kind of an exception, because if you get appointed and approved, you are in for life. (by a guy that was elected into office)
  • Yes they should have a test for that. An ethics test that tests one's code of conduct measured against one's personality (including ego). I find that your statement about judges applies to doctors and university professors as well. It seems that people with all the "important", "high status" professions seem to be that way. Perhaps these professions attract individuals who seek "status, money, and fame" in society. In other words, they attract big egoed, antagonistic individuals.
  • Judges must operate within the judicial code of conduct. Yes, they do hold a powerful position. However, they need not be open or closed minded or particularly logical. They must rule based on law and the facts and evidence before them. If they fail to do that, their decisions are subject to reversal on appeal. Where the problem comes in is their discretion regarding sentencing, even though the sentence minimum and maximum is stipulated by code. Some of that has been taken care of with mandatory minimums, but in my opinion, mandatory minimums are horrible. I prefer allowing the judge discretion in the sentencing. Believe me, most defendants benefit from judges' discretion because the mandatory minimums are very harsh. Also most state and local judges are elected where federal judges are appointed. Judges who are elected are subject to not being re-elected if they do not prove to be worthy of the position.

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