Riding Life!

Riding Life!
Life is like a wild horse--Unless you ride it, it will ride you! (from the movie: "Princess of Thieves.")

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

RANT WARNING. C: Fitness to Serve?

Here’s the scenario:

He’s a fifty-something married judge looking for a new law clerk.  She’s a bright, beautiful 24-year-old graduating lawyer.  She comes to work for him.  He has a policy of a one-year-only term for law clerks.  He breaks policy for her, ostensibly because she is so very competent in her job…She stays on two years.  Only one to do it…

She marries and begins her family.

Flash forward five years to right now.  He’s in his late 50’s and has his eye on the state Supreme Court, the highest judicial office in the state.  She has been in private practice for three years with a big firm in town.  She has two children ulustnder four years of age with a handsome man her own age.

She works on the Judge’s campaign.

You’re already onto this story, I know.  It burst into our papers over the weekend: She and the Judge have been having an affair.  It has broken up her household.  Her husband has actually named the judge in his divorce action.

What the Judge’s wife has to say about it has not been revealed.  I can imagine.

The scuttlebutt in the community is that “This is the ‘real’ thing…they are truly in love,” like that matters to the grieving spouses and the two little children.  Like that makes it okay.

Election is right around the corner.  Judge is not disputing the facts as stated (“No comment…this is a personal matter”), nor is his wife saying anything.  What the Judge says is, “Dirty politics!!”

Really?  Amazing. 

In the meantime, he is sitting on the bench.  He does not hear all that many dirty politics divorce cases, but he does hear some.

Adultery is a stated ground for divorce in our state (which still requires grounds).  It is an issue that is often before a divorce court.

Should I be uneasy taking my adultery cases before him?  Is there going to be a tendency for him to “understand” when a person “strays” from the marriage because of “love,” “lust,” or “we just grew apart?”  Is that okay?

Is he fit for office at the highest legal level?  Or is this purely a “personal” matter, and should we elect him on his merits as a judge, disregarding any personal matters?

To the right you will see a survey of two simple questions, the top two items in the right-hand column.  Please take a moment and click on the responses.  I need your balance here—I need to be checked if I’m wrong.  I’m listening.  C.


Karen said...

I'm afraid I don't think this is a black and white thing. ALL humans are an emotional baggage, I don't believe anyone is exempt from a large range of emotions including love for one that is not your spouse - age regardless, career regardless. I suppose you can argue that if those emotions are experienced and you're in a position of power, then they should be disregarded. That must be incredibly difficult, given many US Presidents have conducted affairs while in office. There is no more scrutinized position of power than that.

Do I think adultery is right? No. Do I think this man can't do his job properly because he had this affair? I don't think we can say that. How can you possibly know. It is your right to either vote him in or out of office, and there in lies your voice.

Paul C said...

This is a tough one. Emotionally one wants to ridicule him and say that he will not be impartial. But can the judge separate his emotions from his intellect?

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Wooo--ee! I see a follow up post...I really want to examine this question but will wait for other comments.

Karen and Paul, thanks for the thought-provokers. C

Vickie said...

May I put in my two cents? I think I may disagree. I believe that a person in a highly responsible position like a judge or other political official should set an exemplary example to his constituents. Of course, everyone makes mistakes. But if his personal life might could cloud his decision-making abilities, or if it is perceived by the public that it could, personally I feel that he should step down. I wouldn't want to go before him as a judge. It's about character, it's about integrity.

I'm also a Christian. In the church, if someone in our leadership ever finds themself in a similar position, that person steps down or is asked to step down. We're all human, but people in leading roles should set good examples and be above reproach.

I know I sound harsh, but that is my belief. Allowing our elected officials to continue ruling when their lives are in shambles does not promote confidence in their abilities. It does not set a good example for our kids either. How can you teach your kid integrity when public figures, elected or sports heroes or hollywood starts, live their lives doing whatever they want and appearing to get away with it????? Allowing these figures to continue only reinforces the beliefs that for the rest of the public, "whatever goes" is a fine way to live! It's the "ME" generation! If it feels good, do it! and to heck with what anyone else thinks or says.

An aside here ---- Besides that, EVEN Dr. Laura says that when you marry and have kids, you stay together for the sake of the kids, you work out some kind of friendly arrangement that you both can live with where both parents stay in the home. The kids growing up well adjusted and happy become infinitely more important than any carnal desires that the adults may have. I think it's good advice, Biblical as far as not divorcing, and makes perfect sense for the kids.

I also believe in forgiveness from God and from our fellowman. It's a hard decision. Karen's right - it's a rather grey area. Nobody's perfect - and "let him who is sinless cast the first stone". I know what I would do, but everyone has to make their own decision about whether to keep this guy in office or not. I would not want him as my personal judge. I think he should be voted out, and he can live his private life however he wants away from public eyes and opinions and without setting a bad example to others around him. And that lady attorney can do the same thing.

There, sorry so long, but you asked. ;)

Happyone :-) said...

I don't think it is a black and white thing either! We have all made our share of mistakes.

Vee said...

Wow. I'm going to Google this one. Not only is he unfit for the court; he's unfit for public office. Of course, that's just my personal opinion. And, yes, I know that there are a lot of men (women, too) who if held to that standard would disappear from the public view. Tons. Even some of my favorites.

What about timing? I mean, if they are in love, what about asking for a divorce and getting one before straying into adultery? I am not for staying together for the children if the home is going to be a hell; sometimes one gets a divorce for the children.

As for the hurt spouses... be grateful that you can let these two jokers go while you still have time to get on with your own lives. Who would seriosly want to be married to either one? They deserve each other, but let them slither off into the sunset. They don't belong in public office.

Vee said...

seriously...gosh, I haven't typed so fast in a long time... Law is black and white, isn't it? Are there gray areas in the law? Do we want gray areas in the law? Gosh, my head hurts.

Janean said...

okay, i want to rant for just a sec. too.

divorce hurts, but both of them should have gotten divorced before they played house...esp. when HE wants to advance his career -- one where character is crucial!

also hope her hubby and children/his spouse get counseling.

it can almost make you hope his *parts* won't work anymore now & that she brings an std to the relationship.

ooohhh, boy i'm a mean one today. sorry. :( i repent.

Anonymous said...

Sadly, the young woman is probably not the judge's first affair. Wives of offenders tend to hang on and tolerate/be silent of husbands' philanderings. So, I'm thinking it's a deadly character flaw in this man: Seducing a young, newly-married woman with very young children. Death to a young, promising family. Young women, no matter how "bright", are no match for middle-age pervs' sick charm; jaded, disgusting, old punk not giving one care as to destroying lives and a young family, but only to soothing his aging sexual fantasies. The man knew exactly what he was doing; he made it through law school, didn't he? Makes me sick; can you tell?
An intelligent man who knowingly does this to a young family without guilt toward his wife and their marriage union doesn't need to sit in judgment of others.
C, you can really pull out good discussion from us!

Vivianne said...

Hun - you forgot. I might *be* the adulterer, so thinking his judgment would be skewed is a plus in that case :-) Your question is skewed ...

I do think he could be a judge, but ought to recuse himself from any divorce cases.

Karen said...

We're not talking about the LAW being black and white here, although I have seen much that is GREY in that area too...legal secretary for more years than I care to discuss.

I was referring to human emotion and the messy business that is relationships.

I am not an adulterer...but I will not hang people out to dry when I do not fully know their circumstances. I know there is an awful lot of hurt and poor judgement and selfishness out there, I've experienced some of it myself. But I don't think I want to walk around as a bitter angry woman who accuses all people who find themselves in a bad situation and perhaps don't take the road I'de like them to, simply because it's "right" according to me.

I don't think you can really know what you'de do in that situation unless you were actually in their shoes. So to judge isn't really fair. No pun intended.

Just my opinion, I don't mean to offend anyone with it either.

Deep in the Heart of Happy said...

i agree with alot of what is being said both here in the comments and on the post.

I wouldn't want to take a case in front of him either. The sacrement of marriage is colored by how little he thought of "the law" of marriage.

I would want him off the bench if I was a constituent. There would be no question...you play, you pay. Many people have had to step down once their falanderings were made public. It is the only respectable thing to do.

Do I think they should wear Letter A's? No, I feel that if the couple wishes to persue their loving relationship, than they should do it without objection, but not with him as a sitting judge being paid by the state.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

No one is above temptation--NO ONE, but it's too bad that one of them didn't step back from crossing the line. I've seen divorce up close recently-- the emotional devestation my grandchildren have suffered and continue to suffer. It really doesn't seem to get better for the most vulnerable oned of them.

Scripture says that God hates divorce and it is only allowed because of the hardness of the heart. Divorce for any reason is sad, but when adultery is involved it is particularly hurtful for the wronged spouse because of the rejection and betrayal. Marriage is a covenant which ideally should never be broken, but sometimes divorce is necessary when adultery and abuse are involved.

I do think (my opinion for what it's worth)lol-- that someone who will be "judging" cases involving adultery should step down because they are held to a higher standard. In their personal life, their behavior should be exemplary and above reproach. No one is perfect or beyond forgiveness, but sometimes our behavior has consequences. It just does. Who of us hasn't suffered consequences for foolish misbehavior?

It no longer seems to disqualify politicians for office, but adultery certainly is an indicator of one's character. If you don't blink an eye betraying your spouse, then why would you feel bad about lying to your constituents--or anyone. -We are human and our frame is weak--we can be forgiven, but we can still disqualify ourselves and suffer the consequences. This doesn't just apply to adultery--I know I've been guilty of spending more than I could afford and believe me I suffered the consequences! I got lazy with my checkbook, and I paid the consequences, etc.

I know that if I had been betrayed by my spouse and I learned that the judge hearing my divorce had been guilty of adultery also, I would not want him as my judge. I just wouldn't trust his integrity or judgement. I think that is what it all boils down to--none of us is without sin or perfect, but what we're discussing here is integrity. I don't wish to offend anyone either--but I only know I would have a problem with trust.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

P.S. I just keep forgetting to identify myself as "V"-- not "C"! The above comment is from me!

Tamara Jansen said...

Dirty politics, my eye! He was sneaking around behind people's back. That's what's "dirty" in THIS scenario. Sure, he can still do his job.....but does he DESERVE to be able to continue?

Ditto for his lady friend.

KathyB. said...

I was prepared to write a lot, but see Vickie pretty much said what I would have written, and well-written at that!

Of course we as humans are fallible, but he is a judge, and a judge carries a great deal of responsibility for , well...JUDGING !So, lest we get carried away by all this 'nonjudgmental' commentary remember, this guy is paid ( maybe elected?) to judge law and based on his moral problems right now, he should excuse himself from the bench, and seek the wisdom, guidance, and solutions to his fall from the ultimate judge, GOD ~

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Mary Gentry said...

I think that when a person forgets about children and the effect that Causing a Devorce in s family, then this person is a very selfish person. No he should not be a judge. He was put in his position because of his reputation .Now he has ruined that.
I would not vote for him.

Anonymous said...

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I think, therefore I am. I think.

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