Riding Life!

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

Monday, November 1, 2010

RANT REDUX. C: So, What are the Things That Matter?

gavel3 I loved the discussion in my last post concerning the judge and his former clerk.  Thank you all for stimulating my brain, and making me examine issues.

While we had lively comments on both sides of whether this judge can (and should be allowed to) separate his personal failings from his performance on the bench, this readership went pretty solidly in the “no” category.  Here are the results:

IS HE FIT FOR THE BENCH?

Yes. 2%

No.  89%

Other 5%

WOULD YOU WORRY THAT THESE PERSONAL FAILINGS WOULD INFLUENCE HIS DECISIONS IN DIVORCE CASES?

No.  6%

Yes  83%

Other  9%

Some of you feel that this love/sex thing is a “gray area” in the realm of professional misconduct and ethics.  Others see it as black-and-white. 

Now, of course, you must know that this only spurred my overacpondertive mind  to more thinking (my favorite past time which probably explains my tendency toward the porcine).  And these are the questions that I wonder about:

What are the “failings” that, in your opinion, would disqualify one from serving on the bench?  Does it require a technically “criminal” act?  See question in the survey on the right and mark all items you feel would justify a finding of unfitness for office.  I’m looking for those “black and white” issues.

Would it have mattered if the “affair” had begun when the Judge was her employer/superior?  (No evidence that this was the case).

To those of you who felt this was in a “gray area,” let’s look at another famous caclarence_thomasse of alleged unfitness for high judicial office: 

I realize that some of you may not have been as riveted as was I to the Clarence Thomas Supreme Court nomination hearings almost twenty years ago. Let me recap:

In those proceedings (1991), Anita Hill, a lawyer and former co-worker of Thomas’, testified that he had made inappropriate sexual remarks to her.  As I recall, she specifically mentioned his talk of pornography he had viewed and a few other disgusting remarks.  Her assessment: that this did not rise to “sexual harassment” but it did create tension and I recall her saying she had to receive medical treatment at the emergency room (huh??) for the stress it caused.  This was, by the way, while they were both on staff at the EEOC—the agency charged with enforcing federal employment discrimination laws.

For the purposes of this discussion, let’s assume we all believe Anita Hill’s testimony…

Did you feel that the accusations against Clarence Thomas and his actions ANitaHill with respect to Anita Hill were “gray?”   Or should they have disqualified Justice Thomas?

If you believe that Justice Thomas is unfit but the Judge I wrote about who has an affair with his form law clerk is okay, then are we saying that Justice Thomas’ “blue” remarks to Anita Hill were worse than the actual act of adultery?  (Please be honest here, I am probing minds and want to know what you think).

Take a minute and click on that little survey to the right for me…I love probing your brains, and I love discovering this little widget!!

Now, for my feelings on Anita Hill (then and now, they remain the same).  I was embarrassed for her and I felt she was an embarrassment to women attorneys.  Sorry, just the way I feel.  Let me explain:  As a woman attANitaHillorney, I have had to put up with many off-color remarks (more earlier, I can assure you, when I was younger).  Some of them were from judges.  Not one single time did this cause me to seek medical attention.  I considered the source (geezers) and went on about my business.

And it gets worse: Anita Hill was a lawyer for the EEOC!  I am all about getting rid of sexual harassment on the job—and that was exactly what Anita Hill’s job was at the time she was apparently experiencing it.  She was specifically charged with guarding against sexual harassment on the job.  She knew what to do about it, and yet she did nothing but, apparently, suffer angst.  What kind of weenie lawyer was she, anyway?  If she thought it was that bad, she should have wired herself, gathered the evidence and gotten the rat fired.  If we can’t count on an EEOC lawyer to know what to do about this situation, who can we count on?

SEE new poll on the right….c’mon,vote on these and comment.  I love the discussion!  C

13 comments:

Vee said...

Well, this is tough because this gal has a past that I am familiar with and she's shaky and her past is murky. Very. If I believed her, he'd have no place on the bench. Since I think she was bought and paid for by those out to get him...

Vickie said...

Well, you certainly know how to get us going, don't you C!!!

Hill does sound like a weenie lawyer. I think there's much more to this story than we'll ever know.

As for your survey, I could only check ONE choice for the last question. If it were up to me, I'd have checked all of them.

I'm tough, I know. And I'm not perfect either, but I'm forgiven. I just hold others to the same high standards that I hold myself to. And still - our public figures should be exemplary. Any misconduct on the part of people who have the power to make decisions in our lives should strive to be spotless.

A bird in the hand said...

I didn't believe Anita Hill at the time. You cited the reasons already.

Here's what I think: If a judge has committed any of the crimes/acts that he sits in judgment of, I wouldn't trust him.

Debbie said...

I believe that someone who sits and judges others should be held to the high standard they represent. How can anyone take the law seriously if those put over us do not. Some believe what Bill Clinton did during his term in the White House was a lark. I think it demeaned the presidency and exposed his vile character. If a man will deny his own family, I can't think he'd be dependable in other areas either. And what about the young woman he encouraged? Just because she was willing doesn't mean he had to take advantage of the situation.
It is about character, regarless of the message of the world. It isn't a matter of opinion, it is a matter of right and wrong.
The world may have an opinion about these 'mistakes', but the Bible calls them SIN. When we excuse them, we dismiss their families, the hurt it has caused, and we clear the way for others to do the same.
Isaiah 5:40-Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil;...
On your survey? I'd check all.

Karen said...

On Anita Hill... I thought she was a wuss... and was surprised she was an attorney at all.

I agree with your view completely when it comes to her.

As for the Judge with the affair...is it fair to assume that he feels no compassion for his wife or his (probably grown) children OR the children of his mistress? He probably does feel the pain he has caused and it may have caused him great pain as well. That's probably why the affair went on for as along as it did before the exposure. SO... is it then also possible that he can sympathize with and see both sides.. BOTH sides.. of a case that might come before him. I see that I am in the minority among your readers and that's OK.

Cathy said...

Just so you know, the poll says to "check all that apply" (I wanted to check all the reasons for making a judge ineligible for serving) but it only allows you to check one box.

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Personally, I think "C" should run for judge or some other public office! I've been telling her that for a long time! We would never have to question her integrity!

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Yeah, it's me again, Stick Horse Cowgirl "V"! There's just got to be a way to automatically identify myself from "C" on blogger in the comments!

troutay said...

I am sorry. This makes me furious.
I have been in Anita's shoes and did not know what to do.

I did need "mental" health after my ordeal and I was in the military for 20 years and had heard it all.

Unless you have walked in those shoes, you should not be calling anyone a weenie or anything else.

Too many times we don't want to cause trouble, we think maybe we might be making more out of it than there is, and we don't say anything until it becomes overwhelming.

This type of behavior is insidious and can chip away at a person's self esteem. But "blame" the victim? I thought we had gotten past that point.

KathyB. said...

I remember thinking it was convenient of her to come up with this when it was most detrimental to a great many causes that conflicted with Clarence Thomas' ideology, and Anita Hill's testimony also supported a big back lash against any conservative efforts. Why then? "Weenie " seems to fit, and I hope she was not really a victim. She is apparently a woman of great intelligence and for her to all of a sudden decide to open up about Clarence Thomas does seem contrived.Especially when we take into consideration Bill Clinton and his definite adultery and the same people screaming for action against Thomas were very supportive of Bill...kind of like the judge you described in your previous post.( gray area ?

Stickhorsecowgirls said...

Thank you, Troutay! I must say that I love lively discussion but I don't want you to be "furious" with me! I, too, hate sexual harrassment. But I, too have been there. I have not, however, been a captive to an abusive superior (maybe in the military you were?) which would be awful. but, then, neither was Anita Hill. No, she admitted that AFTER the alleged improper behavior began, she actually chose to move with Clarence Thomas from the Dept. of Education to the EEOC. She had every opportunity to escape any victimization she was experiencing.

But my main point is that she is a lawyer--and one SPECIALLY TRAINED to help people who are victims of this kind of abuse. I'm sorry, but she failed professionally if all she said was accurate. That spells weenie, to me...

But, you are right: sexual harrassment in a captive situation can be demoralizing and demeaning. It should be stopped. Go to the EEOC if you are experiencing it in the workplace, and hope you don't get Anita Hill to help.

Thanks for commenting...we can disagree if we must! C

Kat_RN said...

I have to agree with you on Anita Hill. I too worked in a predominatly male field for many years (Air craft maintenance in the AF) and when I was younger, their were comments. I ignored them and they went away. If they got out of control, I knew what to do about it.
However, I do think that IF it was true, he should be disqualified as it was a very stupid thing to do. I wish we could measure intellegence prior to elections.
Kat

Joy said...

You know what? I still believe Anita Hill was telling the truth, that Clarence Thomas did make those remarks and he was P.O.ed that she had the balls to stand up to him and testify. Looks like he still got on the Supreme Court. I'm stickin' with her story.

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