No King Solomons in Sight

[Enjoy a bonus article today! After you finish this one, be sure to read "Screwballs and Screwdrivers."]

One good thing that candidate Gingrich did was open to discussion the role of the judiciary. Personally, I balk at his suggestion that judges should be called before Congress to explain and defend their dopey decisions. That is, unless members of Congress are then called before the judicial branch to explain their own follies. Still, there is no question that far too many judges have gotten way too big for their britches. Make that, their robes.

If it were up to me, I would limit Supreme Court justices to nine year terms. But I don’t want the president or Congress destroying the balance of power that the Founding Fathers worked so hard to create when they wrote the Constitution. Inasmuch as the president and the 535 members of Congress are every bit as prone to screw up as the Court — and even more so when the Democrats are in charge! — I can’t imagine why Gingrich felt those clodhoppers were qualified to judge the judges.

I, on the other hand, am quite prepared to point out any number of loons who get paid to wear their bathrobes to work. For instance, Federal Judge Susan Illston decided to lay down the law to Barry Bonds, baseball cheat and convicted perjurer. Unfortunately, what she laid down was more of a red carpet.

She ruled that, after the government had spent millions convicting the scoundrel, his punishment would consist of performing community service, being placed on probation for a short time and having to pay a $4,000 fine. To put the fine into proper perspective, Bonds was paid roughly $100,000 a game by the San Francisco Giants, meaning that he was paid more than $4,000 every half-inning. As for probation, I don’t think there was really much danger of the long-retired, 47-year-old ever juicing up again in order to hit home runs into Frisco Bay.

But to drive the point home that this was more than a mere slap on the wrist, Judge Illston also sentenced him to a few weeks of home confinement, ignoring the fact that his 15,000 square foot mansion in Beverly Hills was in no way to be confused with Soledad or San Quentin, except, perhaps, in terms of acreage.

I, myself, would have tossed his sorry butt in the slammer, not just for perjury, but for cheating and thereby erasing the legitimate accomplishments of better men, such as Hank Aaron and Roger Maris, from the record books.

It’s due to my friend Ronald Kessler, Newsmax contributor and author of The Secrets of the FBI, that I’m aware of the fact that John Hinckley, who continues to be classified as a Class III threat by the Secret Service, will soon be considered for release from St. Elizabeth’s, a psychiatric hospital in Washington, D.C.

It seems that U.S. District Court Judge Paul L. Friedman, who has been allowing Hinckley to visit his mother regularly for years now, will be the guy who makes the final call. During those visits, Hinckley, who not only shot President Reagan, but Press Secretary James Brady, Secret Service Agent Timothy McCarthy and D.C. Police Officer James Delahanty, is kept under constant surveillance by the Secret Service. So not only has this would-be presidential assassin been kept needlessly alive at taxpayer expense for the past 30 years, but we’ve had to pay extra so that his frequent furloughs could be monitored.

The questions that leap to mind are, one, why Judge Friedman has been so magnanimous to this lump of human excrement and, two, has Oscar-winning actress Jodie Foster, the object of Hinckley’s psychotic infatuation — and his stated reason for seeking notoriety — been informed that he may soon be resuming his interrupted courtship?

Finally, when it comes to judicial lunacy, is there a more glaring example than the fact that child rapists are ever allowed back on the streets once they’ve been caught and convicted? Every time I read about one of these monsters being released from jail on the condition that they stay a thousand or two thousand feet away from a school or park, I question whether judges or legislators, for that matter, are any saner than Mr. Hinckley. I mean, why on earth would anyone release into society a person who couldn’t be trusted not to rape another child?

Instead of counting off how many feet and inches it is to the nearest playground, why not accept that there is one very safe place to lodge these damn freaks? It’s called a prison.


©2011 Burt Prelutsky.Comments? Write BurtPrelutsky@aol.com!

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Author Bio:

Burt Prelutsky, a very nice person once you get to know him, has been a humor columnist for the L.A. Times and a movie critic for Los Angeles magazine. As a freelancer, he has written for the New York Times, Washington Times, TV Guide, Modern Maturity, Emmy, Holiday, American Film, and Sports Illustrated. For television, he has written for Dragnet, McMillan & Wife, MASH, Mary Tyler Moore, Rhoda, Bob Newhart, Family Ties, Dr. Quinn and Diagnosis Murder. In addition, he has written a batch of terrific TV movies. View Burt’s IMDB profile. Talk about being well-rounded, he plays tennis and poker... and rarely cheats at either. He lives in the San Fernando Valley, where he takes his marching orders from a wife named Yvonne and a dog named Angel.
Author website: http://www.burtprelutsky.com/
  • Jeane

    Burt, here’s a happy thguoht The Illinois Appellate Court is not allowing Rahm Emanuel on the ballot deemed ineligible for Chicago mayor!! Yet another blow’ to the corrupt Obama administration. Let’s hope the courts maintain this stance.

  • Gena

    Mr. Burt, agree with everything you said here, especially the parts about Hinkley and child rapists. Anyone who tries to kill a head of state can never be trusted out on the streets, and neither can anyone who ever molests a child. People who have attempted either have shown a total lack of not only judgement that disqualifies them from being allowed to ever freely roam the streets again, but disdain for law, life and safety. Keep them locked up, if Hinkley’s mother is ill, let her hire someone to care for her, do not endanger anyone else so that she gets medical care from a man who tried to kill a president, crippled for life a man of great intellect and unlimited future that was lost to mankind. As long as James Brady suffers from the wounds Hinkley bestowed on him to impress an actress, Hinley needs to suffer as well, which, from what I’ve been told, one really does in a hospital for the criminally insane. Have met a couple of folks who were incarcerated in those, including the one Hinkley is in, far worse than prison could ever be, in fact, most people would find it more terrifying than probably any regular prison in the country. One fellow told me that about half the inmates think they are Jesus and the other half think they are the antiChrist. And, he said, you need to try to stay away from just about all of them all of the time. He had been thrown into the hospital in DC for stealing a loaf of bread, and since DC only has the one facility, that had been where he was put for a short time as he suffered from mental illness due to service during Vietnam. So Hinkley is in the right place, he needs to be kept there.

  • Burt Prelutsky

    cma: The problem is that the ABA isn’t the most objective group of people in America. The other problem is that a citizens council, unless it consisted of me…and possibly you if you moved south and became an American citizen, is not likely to include people boasting a sizable amount of commonsense.

    Burt

  • cmacrider

    Burt: As a Canadian lawyer (retired) I do not profess to be proficient in American law but have a rudimentary understanding of the politics of appointments to the SCOTUS et al. Here are a few modest proposals for your readers consideration:

    1. If you don’t want your politicians appointing your heart surgeon, I have difficulty understanding why politicians should be vetting and appointing judges .. aside from the fact its a nice historical patronage plumb.
    2. A good judge requires (a) a solid understanding of the technicalities of the law and (b) common sense. Therefore it would seem that the Bar Associations could produce a short list of applicants who they are satisfied of their technical proficiency in the law and (b) a citizens council could choose from that short list on the basis of which one they think displays the most “common sense.”

    One of the real concerns is the so called “activist” judges. Part of the problem here is that politicians third party difficult political decisions off to the Courts …. and the Courts instead of sending it back to the legislature with a note stating “sorry, outside our jurisdiction” are making a basically political decision. In actual fact their expertise on that issue (e.g. abortion) is no better than the theoretical “reasonable man on the omnibus.” The net result is that the whole judicial process loses legitimacy in the minds of the general public.

  • Burt Prelutsky

    Glen: A good place to start would be to load up the Senate, the House and the Oval Office, with Republicans and then hope for the best. It wasn’t Democrats, after all, who appointed Scalia, Thomas, Roberts and Alito. It wasn’t Republicans who appointed Ginsburg, Kagan and Sotomayor. No matter what some people say, there is a huge difference between the two parties.

    Regards, Burt

  • Glen Stambaugh

    You point out Newt’s obvious oversight: who then is fit to judge the judges? Not congress. They could use a custodian themselves. We’ve got the constitution, but everyone screws with that. Best we can do is keep government small and accountable to us as locally as possible.

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