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Supreme Corruption: We Need Judges Not Politicians
By: Mac-Z Zurawski
The framers of the American Constitution never envisioned the amount of corruption, greed and miscarriages of justice evident in our judicial system today. The court system was created for people to have a “safe haven” from the political wrangling in our society. It is no longer this haven. Many would argue that it never was “safe”. Lately, the affliction of political and economic corruption flourishes in the news and in our lives. The affliction is evident from the “affluenza” case where a teen was only sentenced to a posh $450,000 a year rehab center for killing four people (Patkintin, 12-18-13) to the excessive amount of political funding in the Illinois Supreme Court (Korecki and Golab, 1-1-14). Bad news reared its head again with the public relations campaign continuing for Supreme Court Justice Sotomayor at the New Year’s Eve party in New York (Fitzsimmons, 12-29-13). These are just an infinitesimal sample of the political and economic influences within our court system.
Money does not create justice it inhibits it. The “affluenza” case was a perfect example of economic injustice. Our judicial system is not being anchored to the constitutional, federal, state or municipal laws that created them. They are now, again this isn’t new but still important, a pay as you go system. A judge must not make a judicial decision based upon money. If so, we are in great trouble. Everyday our income gap widens leaving 99% of United States citizens susceptible to “poverty” sentencing. 99% go to jail, death row, do community service, etc. We must use social media and our own knowledge of our system to stop this now. It will only get worse.
Solution: One way to improve our system is to support anti-death penalty groups. Death penalty sentences occur to more poor defendants than any other. Get involved now. No one knows if it will be their turn in front of a judge one day.
Politics is the problem not the solution. The political campaign funding of judge elections is an astounding display of corruption. Courts, namely judges, are to be influenced by the law, not a PAC contribution. The Illinois Supreme Court is funded by millions of dollars in PAC money. In order to stop bias that disables the legal system, we must decrease election funding limits. A judge should only be allowed $500 or less from any contributor, PAC, individual or business. This eliminates an immense ability for influence.
Solution: Contact the Federal Election Commission, your state or local election commission and sign up to stop campaign funding. It may be as simple as signing a petition or calling your local representative. Check it out. These politically funded judges might be your judge one day.
Libraries not paparazzi. When did our Supreme Court Justices become public relations figures? It is absolutely negligent for any Justice to have “political campaign like” public appearances. They are restricted from this by our Constitution as well. They are not to have a great public life as bias is easily created. Justice Sotomayor should be in a law library trying to make a non-biased decision on gay marriage, Obamacare, etc. It is her job to be a judge not a socialite. Our very life and society hangs on the ultimate law of the land entrusted to her.
Solution: Tell the judges yourself here: http://www.supremecourt.gov/contact/contactus.aspx. Start a petition at Change.org.
Our system is being neglected and degraded by these sample cases. They may seem minute but they have the power of the domino effect. People follow each other and judges are as human as the rest of us. They can easily start to use these “bad case decisions, political contributions and public appearances” as a means to turn our court system into an even more biased, non-law based system. Precedence is a means for judges and courts to follow in the path of laws and decisions from each other. Precedence today will hurt us more tomorrow.
Fitzsimmons, Emma G. “Sotomayor to Lead Countdown to New Year in Times Square.” The New York Times. 29 December 2013.http://www.nytimes.com/2013/12/30/nyregion/sotomayor-to-lead-countdown-to-new-year-in-times-square.html.
Korecki, Natasha and Art Golab. “Party committees biggest donors to state court justices.” Chicago Sun-Times. 1 January 2014. http://www.suntimes.com/24614374-761/party-committees-biggest-donors-to-state-court-justices.html.
Patinkin, Felicia. “’Affluenza’ DUI Case: Prosecutors Try Again to Put Teen Behind Bars.” Good Morning America/ABC News. 18 December 2013. http://abcnews.go.com/US/affluenza-dui-case-prosecutors-put-teen-bars/story?id=21259169.