Sat, 23 May 2009 15:20:19 +0000 – By Patrick DorinsonPolitical Commentator
"I will seek somebody with a sharp and independent mind and a record of excellence and integrity."
So said President Obama recently when talking about what qualities he's looking for as he searches for someone to fill Justice David Souter's shoes on the Supreme Court.
Mr. President, for once you and I are in complete agreement.
On the Sunday talk show circuit, both Senator Leahy, the man who will guide your nominee through the process and Senator Specter, your new saddle pal, said you should look to someone with "'real world' experience". Mind you, this coming from two professional politicians who have none and wouldn't know the "real world" if they landed in it tomorrow.
Most of the names I have seen floated are men and women with degrees from many of America's most prestigious universities, like Harvard, Yale and Stanford. I am sure they are all nice folks and eminently qualified. Many are current judges on the appeals courts or have served in government. Forgive me Mr. President but that is not "real world" experience.
Many of them are also baby boomers. And as a fellow boomer I feel compelled to say, haven't we already inflicted enough pain on future generations with our narcissism and spendthrift ways, saddling them with a debt they will never be able to repay? Must we now put more of our generation on the Supreme Court where they can do more damage? I say no.
In an era of where common sense seems to have skipped a generation, the legal system has been made into a casino by trial lawyers and criminals have more rights than the victims, we need a smart, tough, no B.S. justice on the Court.
Mr. President, I hereby offer the name of Judith Sheindlin, better known as "Judge Judy."
Judge Judy would be a true independent voice on the court. I don't know her politics but I have a gut feeling after watching her for many years she would rule by what the law and Constitution says not by some political agenda--neither Democrat nor Republican but right down the middle.
She has the best "cattle crap meter" in America and she can spot a phony or a liar a mile away. As she is wont to say, "If it doesn't make sense, it isn't true." Simple and direct--no nuance.
Her opinions would be short and concise so that even us bumpkins who ain't lawyers could understand them.
You want "real world" experience Mr. President?
Judge Judy knows what it is like to make sacrifices and difficult choices. She had to juggle her career and also raise her children in the time before nannies and day care centers were the norm for professional women. It cost her dearly in her personal life, so she understands the lives of regular folks and how they live.
She succeeded even though in 1965 the odds were against her success because of her gender. Out of a law school class of 126 she was the only woman. She graduated first in her class -- and I would guess that she has been the most successful in her class.
Her own life experience is living proof that she understands the struggles that Americans of all stripes face every day. She understands because she has been there.
But anyone who watches her show will tell you she is no bleeding heart willing to accept excuses for either bad behavior or from recipients of government assistance who are living off the taxpayers. As she is wont to say, "If you can't find a job, pick up cans and bottles" which is another way of saying, if you're looking for help start by looking at the end of your own damned arm.
And imagine the benefit to the American legal system. A whole generation of lawyers would have a no nonsense jurist to emulate. She would be able to school and train law clerks in her image. Those who toil under her and later take their own places on the bench and as prosecutors and defense lawyers will bring a new fresh perspective to the law and its practice.
And if the Supreme Court ever allows television cameras she might even get people to follow its proceedings and realize that what those nine judges decide does affect them.
But the most fun would be watching her at her confirmation hearing sparring with Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Leahy and his two legal character assassins Senator Durbin and Senator Schumer. Schumer would have met his match--a New Yorker a helluva lot tougher and smarter than the image he holds of himself. That alone would be worth the price of admission.
And finally, Mr. President, if you want a nomination that will sail through confirmation and be extremely popular with the public select Judith Sheindlin as your nominee.
While she might not want to give up her lucrative and successful television show, she is exactly the kind of person we need on the Supreme Court. So as you are pondering your decision, listening to the cacophony of liberal interest groups pushing you to choose one of theirs and pontificating pundits telling you what makes political sense, keep Judge Judy in mind. Then try to find someone like her.
Because now more than ever we sure could use a person with her common sense, candor and plain speaking on the Supreme Court.