You’ll have to forgive my choice of title — or not, I don’t really care — the story that inspired this post makes me angrier than just about anything I’ve heard recently. If it makes you feel better, pretend the actual title was “Ex Parte, In Parte.”
“Justice” Thomas — you know, the dude who was appointed to the United States Supreme Court notwithstanding allegations of repeated sexual harassment of a young woman who worked for him when he was a mere judge — says that criticizing judges decision-making is a bad thing.
“Justice” Scalia tells us that we’ve come a long way, baby, to get where we got to today, where the people involved in capturing and convicting “criminals” — with the average American committing three felonies per day, that would be most of us under the new regime — are so professional that we don’t need the exclusionary rule anymore.
And Scott Greenfield, a criminal defense attorney in New York, tells us about a case of a judge who was having an extramarital affair with the prosecutor during a murder trial which resulted in — surprise! — a conviction.
Now, okay, maybe the case would have resulted in a conviction anyway, even if the prosecutor was not screwing the judge. And maybe the judge wasn’t screwing the defense just because the prosecutor was screwing her.
Fact is, I don’t know.
What I do know is that it’s increasingly hard to imagine how “Justices” like Thomas and Scalia make the arguments they make about the professionalism of those involved in our “modern” legal system with a straight face.
Even more embarrassing than this, though, as Scott notes, is the attempt of the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to whitewash — Scott’s term, but one which seems indisputable — the behavior of the judge f**cking the prosecutor and attempting to argue that the accused man convicted during that trial was f**cked because he didn’t learn about the affair fast enough.
As Scott quotes the appellate judges — who “conceded that the phrase [intimate sexual relationship] was ‘literally true’” — this illicit act of adultery between a judge and prosecutor during a trial is no big deal.
“Theirs was hardly the torrid relationship of romance novels,” Judge Cochran clarified. It was, rather, “a close personal relationship that, on a few rare occasions, dipped into intimacy.”
Yes, no big deal. The prosecutor dipped his penis into the judge. Their relationship thereby dipped into intimacy. But the conviction was, fortunately, not even dipped into the well of apparent unfairness.
For her part, rather than be ashamed of what she’s done, the judge has asked the attorney general’s office to help her fight back. (Why not? Maybe he can get some lovin’, too!)
She was “tired of laying over,” she said, and “getting licked without any input.” (Adam Liptak, “Questions of an Affair Tainting a Trial” (February 22, 2010) The New York Times.)
Okay. That’s just too easy. I’m not going to go there. I’m tempted. But I won’t.
Perhaps this is why “Justice” Thomas doesn’t want the rest of us looking too closely into the decision-making processes of judges.
I tell you, it’s like they don’t even try anymore.