The article below should not shock people but in reality Judges are very aware of their role in the public forum as this article discusses with regards to the Supreme Court and the role Justice Roberts will play post election.
Then we have the saga of Judge Moore who has no problem shying away from being an asshole whoops I mean controversy.
And locally here in Dumbville we have a Judge who seems to be too busy to be on the bench.
And there are numerous stories, some of which I have recounted, about Judges bitch slapping, scolding and violating rights of individuals under the guise of tough love or whatever bullshit they believe allows them to as they wear a robe. I wear a robe, a bathrobe, does that mean whatever I say goes?
We should not be electing Judges and we should not allow appointment of Judges without clearance and vetting by a panel of qualified individuals who understand the needs of their community and in turn can monitor Judges to ensure that they are doing their job without bias.
Judges Who Are Elected Like Politicians Tend to Act Like Them
By ADAM LIPTAK
THE NEW YORK TIMES
OCT. 3, 2016
WASHINGTON — “Judges are not politicians, even when they come to the bench by way of the ballot,” Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. wrote last year in a case from Florida that took a small step toward insulating elected judges from political pressure.
Judges in 39 states face elections, and it is only natural that they might find it hard to take an unpopular position. But Chief Justice Roberts wrote that both appointed and elected judges must ignore public sentiment.
“Politicians are expected to be appropriately responsive to the preferences of their supporters,” the chief justice wrote. “A judge instead must ‘observe the utmost fairness,’ striving to be ‘perfectly and completely independent.’”
He was quoting Chief Justice John Marshall, and it is a fine aspiration. But any number of studies have found that elections can affect judicial behavior.
One released last week, for instance, found that elected judges are less likely to support gay rights than are appointed ones. The effect was most pronounced in cases decided by judges who ran in partisan elections.
That seemed the case on Friday, when Roy S. Moore, chief justice of the Alabama Supreme Court, was suspended for the rest of his term for ordering the state’s probate judges to defy federal court orders on same-sex marriage.
Appointed judges who must face retention elections also have reason to be sensitive to public opinion. In 2010, voters in Iowa removed three State Supreme Court justices who had joined a unanimous opinion allowing same-sex marriages.
Earlier studies have shown that judges facing re-election are more likely to impose harsh criminal sentences, including death sentences.
“Proximity to re-election makes judges more punitive — more likely to impose longer sentences, affirm death sentences and even override life sentences to impose death,” a report from the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law concluded last year.
It is not hard to see why. Most negative advertisements in judicial elections attack candidates as soft on crime.
The new study was commissioned by Lambda Legal, which litigates cases on behalf of lesbians, gay men and bisexual and transgender people, and was conducted by Anthony Michael Kreis, a professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law, and two colleagues. They looked at 127 decisions from state Supreme Courts since 2003, when the United States Supreme Court struck down a Texas law that made gay sex a crime.
That is not a particularly large number of decisions. They addressed various legal questions, and they gave answers at various times in a period of rapid change in public attitudes on gay rights. And methods of selecting judges are not evenly distributed around the nation.
But the results lined up predictably: the more political the selection mechanism, the less support for gay rights. State Supreme Courts whose justices were elected in partisan elections supported gay rights 53 percent of the time. The number grew to 70 percent for nonpartisan elections, to 76 percent for retention elections and to 82 percent for appointed systems.
The difference between systems that relied on partisan elections, where judges run as Republicans or Democrats, and all others was statistically significant, the study’s authors wrote.
In an interview, Professor Kreis said the findings concerning partisan elections may reflect the added element of political primaries, which can reward candidates who take positions that are more attractive to a party’s base than to the general electorate.
Timing matters, too. Other studies have shown that judges seeking re-election start ruling differently as Election Day approaches.
They issue harsher sentences for serious crimes, studies in Pennsylvania and Washington State have found. “All judges, even the most punitive, increase their sentences as re-election nears,” Gregory A. Huber and Sanford C. Gordon wrote in the Pennsylvania study, finding that judges there added as many as 2,700 years of additional prison time, or 6 percent of total prison time, in aggravated assault, rape and robbery sentences over a 10-year period.
In Alabama, where judges can override jury recommendations of life sentences in capital cases, they are more likely to do so in election years. “What could explain Alabama judges’ distinctive proclivity for imposing death sentences in cases where a jury has already rejected that penalty?” Justice Sonia Sotomayor asked in a 2013 dissent.
“The only answer that is supported by empirical evidence,” she wrote, “is one that, in my view, casts a cloud of illegitimacy over the criminal justice system: Alabama judges, who are elected in partisan proceedings, appear to have succumbed to electoral pressures.”
Judicial elections are essentially unknown in the rest of the world. In the federal system, judges are appointed for life, shielding them from political pressure.
Electing state-court judges, on the other hand, ensures a measure of popular accountability. That is a conscious choice, rooted in Jacksonian populism.
It does what it was intended to do: make judges more responsive to the will of the people. That choice has consequences that may be in tension with Chief Justice Roberts’s wish for “the utmost fairness.”