The Cure for Judicial Corruption
October 8, 2012
“Any time you have the threat of a judge making a decision because he or she is looking over her shoulder or his shoulder as to who has the check book behind you the next time around you’ve just defined a corrupt system,” says Florida Supreme Court Justice R. Fred Lewis, who is up for retention election this November. Of course, the obvious cure for this kind of corruption is for judges to vote their consciences and trust the people to render fair judgment on their performance. If Justice Lewis and his colleagues have done their jobs properly, they shouldn’t have anything to worry about.
Yet maybe … just maybe … Justice Lewis and his two colleagues who face the prospect of having their black robes revoked by voters are worried the people are finally fed up with the type of judicial activism they’ve been practicing with impunity for years. So, in a desperate effort to cling to power, they argue that dumping them is tantamount to supporting a corrupt judicial system. And they try to browbeat and intimidate the people they serve by asserting that voters have no right throw them out of office just because they don’t like the decisions they’ve made. This is a call not for judicial independence, but judicial supremacy. Let’s hope the voters don’t fall for it.