Our New Ruling Class in Action
There is only one angle I want to comment on regarding the case that everyone has been talking about- I am loathe to even mention the name again. Circuit Court Judge Larry Seidlin showed America that judges are not some kind of demi-gods who deserve to have the final word on everything, even though they often do. They are human beings, just like our legislators. Some are better, and some, like Seidlin, are worse. But under no circumstances should people like Larry Seidlin and his fellow judges have the final word on what the rules of society ought to be.
The judge interjected himself into testimony. His behavior during the trial was bizarre. He talked about his daily routine and wardrobe. He chatted nostalgically about his roots in New York, where he was once a cab driver. He referred to people in the trial by nicknames he made up for them such as "Texas," "California" and "Mama". He sobbed. He talked about his marital problems. Most of the testimony he allowed in the trial was irrelevant to the decision. And at the end of it all he made a decision that Susan Filan, an MSNBC legal analyst, called "insane."
My point is simply this: America needs to re-evaluate the power of judges in our society. It's not whether we have given too much authority to these judges, but whether or not we need to pare back the authority they have awarded themselves in a series of rulings and changed legal practices over the years.