Saturday, October 20, 2018

"The Judges"

Article III

Section 1.

The judicial power of the United States shall be vested in one Supreme Court, and in such inferior courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The judges, both of the supreme and inferior courts, shall hold their offices during good behavior, and shall, at stated times, receive for their services, a compensation, which shall not be diminished during their continuance in office.

Years ago for a short time, I tested my skills in the arena of sales. In training, I was told there were two things I was never to engage in. I was never to enter into a conversation concerning politics or religion with a potential customer. It was understood, everyone I knew and everyone I met was a potential customer. Over the years I have received this advise numerous times from various people. The problem with this is, two of my favorite subjects is politics and religion.

I don't like partyism in politics, and I don't like the mess we make of things in religion. Unfortunately, as a result of our human nature, you cannot have either of these without the presence of these vices. So we have to approach both of these venues with an awareness of these vices both in ourselves and others. With that being said, I want to express some views concerning Judge Kavanaugh and his appointment to the Supreme Court of the United States.

It is said by some, he is disqualified from this appointment by the accusations that have been made against him. Others see his demeanor during his defense of those allegations as being so partisan and emotional that, that in itself disqualifies him from that appointment. I am aware the passions run deep in us when it comes to our party affiliations. I understand that we (and that includes myself) have tendencies to look for support of those we favor and ignore that which does not. Just being aware of this is a great help in working through these things as we debate among ourselves.

The covering on Lady Justice eyes are to symbolize that she is blind to these prejudices but in reality, this is very difficult to achieve. President Jefferson speaking of the Supreme Court said, "Our judges are as honest as other men and not more so. They have, with others, the same passions for party, for power, and the privilege of their corps." ~ Thomas Jefferson.

We must also conclude they suffer from the same passions that all men do. (I use the word "men" in the biblical sense to include both genders). So we must understand that every man who stands to be judged worthy of this office are at best only men. 

That being said, an office of such veneration as the Supreme Court, does require a high level of scrutiny upon the character of the individual. A person guilty of such a crime as Judge Kavanaugh was accused is not only unfit for such an office but guilty of a crime worthy of imprisonment. However, an allegation is not a crime, and one cannot assume guilt upon an uncorroborated testimony which produces no evidence, that is a place we do not want to go. If that is allowed in a political environment, the corrupt passions of men and party affiliate will be to strongly tempted to use every opportunity to introduce such allegations to their advantages. 

In the case with Judge Kavanaugh, Miss Ford should have been protected as her allegations were taken very seriously by the appropriate authorities.  We the people should never have heard about this issue unless an investigation provided justifiable cause through witness testimony or evidence to prove guilt could be provided. In that event, Miss Ford and her family would have been spared much harm as well as the Kavanaugh family. The integrity of the Supreme Court would have been maintained, but in this case, party and passion as it all too often does overruled. The result of all this brought the passions of the whole nation in to play. Our political leaders knowing this are now trying to spin the issue in the favor of their respective party. This is not right, but it is to be expected from man. We the people fall prey to this, for we have a tendency to view our party favorites as heroes and their opponents as the villains.

As to his demeanor during his defense, are we to judge as to demand perfection of the human nature before we can accept a nomination? Yes, he appeared angry, yes he showed resentment toward a particular political party. Perhaps there are some who under the circumstances could have restrained such expressions, but very few who would not have felt them.

This is not to justify them, but simply to acknowledge the frailty of the human spirit. One also has to wonder if he had not shown such emotion if that would not have been spun against him. The pundits prior to the Senate hearings were already criticizing his lack of emotion in his TV interview. They were theorizing that if he appeared so during the Senate hearings his demeanor would appear cold and uncaring. Again, do we really want to raise the scrutiny upon the human nature to this level before one can be nominated to the Supreme Court? If we do, how difficult will it be to find such appointees from either party? 

The process has already become very difficult because each party when in power is trying to stack the court in its favor. This is not right, but again to be expected from men. In practice, the judge should rule by the original intent of the law, not by conservative or liberal leanings. However, in reality, they to often render their verdicts based not upon law, but a conservative or liberal interpretation of that law.

In 2015 at former President Obama's state of the union address Justice Ginsburg was caught in photo's falling asleep during the Presidents speech. It was reported by USA Today, "Ginsburg admitted Thursday night that, yes, the photos of her appearing to nod off at President Obama's big speech last month showed her dosing. 'As I often do,' she said. But there was a good reason she added: "I wasn't 100% sober." Obviously, we are not going to through her off the bench for her poor judgment and lack of character. However, if we attempt to reach such perfection of character in our nominations we are going to create an almost impossible rule of measure. Ginsburg, as well as Kavanaugh, did not get where they are by being bad people. They as well as all the justices have already gone through much scrutiny over their careers and previous appointments. That is not to say things can't be missed, therefore, one must always be through when making appointments and nominations, yet taking into consideration the imperfections of human nature.

Things of this nature can have far-reaching consequences. At the turn of the 19th century, a disgruntled writer published several defamatory articles about Presidents Jeffersons character failures, one being that he fathered a child by one of his slaves Sally Hemings. This charge received broad circulation through selective sources. Then as now, there were media publications in favor of and against the various political parties.

No evidence was given for these charges, other than statements made in various publications concerning such things as the likeness of appearance between Hemings child and that of Jefferson. Jefferson's political opponents seized upon these public allegations for their advantage. Again this is not right but expected from the nature of man. This writer had only to make the accusation, no evidence was needed, and President Jefferson came close to impeachment. Two hundred years later Jefferson's character is still in question. Was he an effective President? Can we imagine an American without a Thomas Jefferson? Yet, this still mars his image even today. If true, he certainly did not qualify for the office of president. Yet, do we judge him upon accusation alone? It appears we may have.

In 1998 a Professor produced an article in the journal Nature stating that DNA testing had conclusively proved that Thomas Jefferson had indeed fathered a Hemings child. Strangely, that year President Clinton's impeachment proceedings were under way for his alleged activities with a young intern in the Oval Office. Certain News outlets immediately began to draw similarities. With the announcement of these conclusive DNA reports, arguments began to be made, if a man as great as Thomas Jefferson had engaged in sexual trysts, should such conduct diminish or be allowed to weaken the status of President Clinton.

Oh, the tone of partyism, how sweet the sound. It's like the screeching of a chalkboard to the ears. It was later discovered that the DNA reports were not conclusive as the article had reported. The journal Nature issued an embarrassing retraction stating "The title assigned to our study was misleading." It was discovered that no DNA sample from the Thomas Jefferson family line had been used in the testing. However, the media that had drawn the similarities between Jefferson and Clinton had no interest in reporting the inconclusive results.

So where am I going with all of this? Simply this, we have the greatest form of civil government the world has ever known. Yet, it is filled with all the imperfections that the men that fill its offices are. However, its design anticipates the passions of men, restrains their power, complicates their endeavors and makes government process slow and cumbersome. Our founders understood the nature of man and formed a government of co-equal branches to check and subdue each other. As a result, the government is constantly restrained and the people remain freer. Will mistakes be made? Absolutely, but the design will bring recovery in time. Is justice always served? No, but the design will bring us closer than any party affiliation can ever be trusted to.

Judge Kavanaugh has been appointed as a justice to the United Supreme Court. Could a better candidate have been had? Perhaps, perhaps not, but the process has been completed. It now serves our country well to let the design work and history will determine in the Providence of God the success of our efforts.

May the Grace of God be upon each of you,


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