We received this comment on the election today:
Rumpole, it is obvious that you are an Anglo Bigot. Those Hispanic Judges you mention from the past were the token Hispanics at that time. Sort of what the establishment is doing now with the African-American Judges, i.e., McWhorter and Francis who we all know stink. (Well, Francis not as much as McWhorter.) You are playing the game of numbers. Soon, the Anglos will become the token pieces in this game. Also, as you know, Merit Retention will never pass. Well, at least not until Hispanics are seated in 85 or more of the Judicial Seats in Miami-Dade County. Thus, if you do not like it, go north my pal. Your days, I mean, hours are numbered. Ger ready for a avalanche of new Judges and continuation of Pando and Hernandez on the bench. Yes, the two Judges who never bow down to Slom or anyone else at the Court. They are free thinkers unlike your so called Exceptionally Qualified losers who will cry and not get any sleep tonight.
RUMPOLE RESPONDS: We have thought about this awhile, because your oh so thoughtful comment merits a serious reply.
Dear Ignoramus: What high school committed the negligent, nay, criminal act, of giving you a diploma? You call us a bigot? A bigot is a person who discriminates based on a specific characteristic. First, you slander the good names of great Judges. Federal Judge Jose Gonzalez was a “token appointment’? You disgrace his good name, his outstanding intellect, and his first rate judicial demeanor by calling his appointment a “token” act. Second, you make mention of a certain magic number of 85 Hispanics on the bench. Clearly, Hispanics are just a number to you. You care not if the person is of good character, intelligent, fair, just, hard working, and deserving of power over a defendant’s liberty, if not his life. You only care that the Judge is Hispanic.
Who here is the bigot?
There is a certain place for hell in you, and I am kind enough to tell you what it is in advance.
You will be in court one day. You will be accused of something you didn’t do, or be sued for some alleged act of negligence. You will need a fair judge, not someone who is easily influenced by the media, or popular public opinion. And instead, you will get a Judge with a last name you like, who will proceed to eviscerate you and throw your life on the trash heap of public opinion. And then you will know what it means to select Judges on the basis of quality, and not race.
We will have no sympathy for you. (Although for the proper fee, we will handle your appeal.)
Another, more thoughtful reader, had this to say:
Rumpole: To say that "other judges have opposition for no other reason than their opponent's last name" is a big overgeneralization. I don't know Murphy so I can't comment on why he drew opposition.Knowing both Leifman and Miller, however, there are reasons that both of them drew opposition, irrespective of the fact that their opponents have hispanic last names.Leifman has angered many attorneys in his rulings, his association with the prosecutor's office and the legislature, and while he is to be commended for his 'mental health' work, many do not feel that this is the appropriate role for a judge. As for Miller, simply because she was a talented prosecutor does not mean she is a talented judge, especially when the cases she has been ruling on over the last year have not been criminal. Simply because she is a sitting judge (with only one year experience) does not give her an automatic 6 year extension. From your writings, Rump, you obviously never handle PI cases, especially in South Dade. Prior to recommending Miller, perhaps you should have sat in her courtroom a couple of times and talked to those of us who have been in front of her. So, while, yes, their opponents do have hispanic names, I don't believe that this is why they drew opposition.
You are 100% correct about Judge Leifman. In the course of executing his duties, he did institute a system that was financially disadvantageous to the traffic ticket lawyers. By requiring a system of soundings for tickets, he doubled the in court expenses of those traffic ticket firms that litter the legal landscape. You can applaud Judge Leifman for making a decision that is better for the community, in the face of angering a base of potential support in the election. Or you can say that is why he has opposition. But the person running against Judge Leifman is not a partner in a ticket firm, or even an employee. Leifman was targeted by a former traffic magistrate that is barely compos mentis. And Judge Leifman’s opponent is being assisted by the Runaway JA- D’Arce, who threatened Leifman not with just running an opponent against him, but running a Hispanic opponent. And that is wrong.
As for Judge Miller, you make a few wrong assumptions. 1) We NEVER handle PI cases. Anywhere, anytime, any place. Civil court gives us the willies.
2) It is true we only know Judge Miller by her work as a prosecutor, and we were impressed with that work.
It pains us to say this, because by all appearances the lawyer challenging Judge Miller is a very nice man. It just appears to us that he does not have the experience necessary to be a Judge. And by that, we are primarily commenting on jury trial experience. A Judge must be many things. But we believe, if a lawyer has NEVER tried a case before a Jury, then that lawyer is not ready to be a Judge.
Want to know what to do to become a Judge? Talk to Judge McWhorter. Listen to her tell you about her attempts to be appointed, and how she switched jobs to gain the experience the JNC wanted her to have. As nice and as dedicated a man as the gentleman is who is challenging Judge Miller, he does not have the experience. Therefore, we view the challenge to Judge Miller as a challenge in name only.
And we mean that in every context.
WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM