Expatriate Owl

A politically-incorrect perspective that does not necessarily tow the party line, on various matters including but not limited to taxation, academia, government and religion.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

More Black-robed Bench Brats acting up

Well, folks, another one of New York Chief Judge Judy Kaye's black-robed bench brats is acting up in the news again. The New York State Commission on Judicial Conduct has recommended that New York Supreme Court Justice Justice Laura D. Blackburne be bounced from the bench for having a court officer escort a drug dealer through the rear corridors and out the back door of the courthouse, so that the drug dealer could evade arrest by the NYPD on fresh robbery and assault charges.

[Caution: Do not be too impressed with the title! In the State of New York, the "Supreme Court" is the LOWEST court of general jurisdiction; the top of the judicial pyramid, where Judge Judy Kaye sits, is known as the "State of New York Court of Appeals," and the intermediate layer courts are known as the "Supreme Court, Appellate Divisions." Is it any wonder that the judicial system in New York is always so fotutto?]

Now, soon-to-be-ex Justice Laura has been suspended and will, we hope, be officially removed when her case finally makes it up to the Court of Appeals, which in theory should uphold the Commission's recommendation and send Laura Blackburne packing.

It is not my primary blogosphere niche to berate the American Civil Liberties Union, so I will leave that function to the experts. If truth be told, the liberal idealistic high school version of me was actually an ACLU member, but I made the strategic decision to not renew my membership when they had the infamous Skokie affair. The ACLU principles look good in the abstract, but their practical application of the theory is very suicidal. In any event, I mention that Laura Blackburne was a Board member of the New York Civil Liberties Union, the ACLU's New York affiliate.

All of the publicity associated with Laura Blackburne has detracted from the notoriety of another one of Judge Judy's black-robed bench brats. Two days before the Judge Laura decision, the Commission made the equivalent of a plea bargain with Town Judge Richard T. Distefano, who was suspended from the practice of law for stealing client funds, apparently before he ascended to the bench. Distefano had a checkered disciplinary record as an attorney, and he has agreed to leave the bench and not seek a judicial office in the future. He saved the New York taxpayers the cost of evicting him from the bench, for which we all in a sense should be grateful.


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