Rumpole opens the post for a plea: can some robed reader please follow in the fine traditions of Dade County and do something exceptionally stupid, ( as your kind is wont to do) so we can get off this tiring subject of race ipsa loquitor?
Until that happens, we defer to the Captain:
TO NOT KOSHER - EAT'S PORK
Good question regarding Norma Lindsey. In fact Judge Lindsey was a member of the 3rd DCA JNC and her term ran from 2003-2007. Pork-eater asks then how can she be named a judge in 2006?
Answer is FS 43.291 (2), which reads: "A member of a judicial nominating commission is not eligible for appointment, during his or her term of office and for a period of 2 years thereafter, to any state judicial office for which that commission has the authority to make nominations.Therefore, she could not have been named to the 3rd DCA.TO 7:02 -
VACATION I wish I were on vacation and away from the heat and humidity, but I am committed to staying until the HEAT make the NBA Finals. [Rumpole can't help interjecting: You want to get away from the heat but you are staying because of the heat???]
TO 7:13 - HISPANICS % JUDGES: Wrong. But not by that much. You stated that the bench is comprised of less than 16% Hispanics.
Here are the true numbers on the bench in Miami-Dade County:
In CIRCUIT COURT there are a total of 75 judges:
There are 46 males (61%) and 29 females (39%).
There are 16 Hispanic judges (21%) and 6 black judges (8%).
Of the 5 Divisions, General, Family, Probate, Juvenile and Criminal, the largest concentration of Hispanic judges are in Criminal where 10 of the 25 judges (40%) are Hispanic.
In COUNTY COURT there are a total of 42 Judges:There are 16 males (38%) and 26 females (62%).There are 8 hispanic judges (19%) and 7 black judges (17%).
Of the 3 Divisions, Civil, Criminal, and Domestic Violence, the largest concentration of Hispanic judges are in Criminal where 4 of the 17 judges (24%) are Hispanic.
RUMPOLE:I would like to open the discussion on this issue that has been raised by the gender/race/ethnicity question:The Florida Bar, The Florida Supreme Court and The Florida Legislature, have all addressed the issue in the forming of committees, recommendations, mandates, even legislation, to address the issue as it is reflected on the numbers of judges sitting on the bench.
Question: Should the judiciary reflect the composition of the voters of that community?
Question: Should the judiciary reflect the composition of the lawyers in that community?We all agree that judges should be well qualified, know the law, have experience; nobody will argue those basic principles. But, if the lawyers living in Dade County are 28% Hispanic, for example, should the judiciary in Dade County be 28% Hispanic? Or should the bench reflect the % of Hispanic voters in Dade County, who are more than 50% Hispanic?
In Susannah Nesmith's article on Wednesday, either she or Judge Slom incorrectly states that woman are under represented on the bench. The exact quote was, “Slom suspects that D'Arce recruited Cecilia Armenteros-Chavez to run against him because as a Hispanic woman, she has a perceived advantage in a county where Hispanics and women are still underrepresented on the bench.”
Completely inaccurate, Ms. Nesmith. The County Court numbers are actually quite shocking where 62% of the sitting judges are female. In 1970, females represented 3% of all lawyers. In 2000, they were 27% and in 2006 they are 32% of the members of the Florida Bar. Currently, females make up 44% of all law schools students. At 62%, they are way ahead. This is certainly not to say that those serving are not qualified; but the numbers are the numbers.
And so, I open the discussion to those fellow REGJB bloggers; let’s have some intelligent conversation about the issue of gender/race/ethnicity on the bench..........
AND THE CAPTAIN HAS SPOKEN ......
Rumpole replies: It is the height of altruistic ethics and collectivist politics to insist that the judiciary reflect the make-up of the community. How would anyone feel if the heart surgeon about to operate on them or their spouse or child was selected to perform the operation because of their gender or ethnicity as opposed to their ability?
Let us take you back to March, 1939, the White House.
War is looming. Large and new social issues are about to explode in the courts for the next three decades.
President Roosevelt leans back in his rocking chair and reviews the list of nominees to the Supreme Court Vacancy. His dog Fala wags her tail at his side.
Roosevelt shakes his head sadly and says to Eleanor:
“I know you think this William Douglas chap has all the makings of a fine Justice, but we can’t appoint another white male from Minnesota to the Court. Get me someone else.”
The point is that no rational human would choose a heart surgeon, or an attorney, or a car mechanic based on race or gender. Rational beings choose the best they can find or afford. Why would we ever choose any Judge other than the best qualified attorney available? The inequalities of 200+ years of racism in our country cannot be addressed or overcome by altruistic/collectivist ethics.
Nor would any potential Judge of quality and ability wished to be appointed by any standard other than their ability.
Want to know why the judiciary has the problems we talk about on this blog Ad Infinitem? Just look how they got there.
It’s clear who has the ability to do the job and who doesn’t. You find a judge who spent ten or fifteen years at the SAO or the PD’s office trying cases for low pay, and generally you will find a competent and well respected Judge. You find a Judge who coozied up to Bush through some religious or right-wing political organization, and you will find a judge who can’t get through an arraignment calendar in 4 hours.
See You In Court, the odds being we are stuck in a 4 hour arraignment calendar.