Please see my post of 4/1/12, "MY TAKE ON THE HEALTH CARE LAW". It coincides with SCOTUS in its historic decision on Obamacare. Take heart, you sinners. Every once in awhile, you get it right.
Who's the hero? Chief Justice John Roberts. Known for his conservative bent, he stood tall and did what what he believed was the right thing to do. He wrote the opinion, with which four liberal justices concurred. Giant judicial cojones. The Solicitor General had made scant mention of Congress' taxing power in his argument before the Court, but the Chief Justice turned to the four liberals and said, "follow me for I shall lead the way." And they did.
Every once in a while, a Judge, regardless of position in the judicial hierarchy, finds himself faced with a situation which beckons his conscience, the strict construction of a statute, notwithstanding.
In a jury waived trial before me, a nineteen year old woman was charged with illegal possession of a handgun. She faced a mandatory minimum of eighteen months if convicted. She had no prior record.The evidence established the following facts: She was on a date with a rogue on whom there were several outstanding warrants. A cop spotted the guy (no stranger to law enforcement) and ran towards him, intending to make an arrest. The man broke into a trot, the woman running alongside. They turned into an alley, whereupon he pulled a gun from his pocket, handed it to the woman, saying, "hurry, put this in your purse." She did. The cop saw this move, arrested the man, searched the woman's purse and retrieved the gun. Thus, the charge on trial.
Had the woman technically violated the statute? Of course. Was it the legislative intent to embrace this type of conduct when it promulgated eighteen months in the can? Not by my standard of right and wrong---not to mention fairness. I found the woman not guilty. I did, what to me, was the right thing. The prosecutor winked ever so slightly. He knew me, and was neither surprised nor perturbed.
Strangely enough, Roberts made no reference to my case in his written opinion, but he no doubt had it in mind. (be cool, man, I'm kidding.)
I salute his courage as he forged his place in history. Confirmation of his judicial integrity was to be found in Scalia's facial expression as the justices filed into the courtroom. His buttocks had been flogged.
Justice! In the United States Supreme Court!
What'll they think of next?
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
Today, I watched two interviews of Rielle Hunter on two national networks. A third is scheduled for tonight.
Ms. Hunter, as I'm sure most of you know, was (is?) the mistress of former Senator John Edwards who fathered their out-of-wedlock love child. Edwards avoided conviction on a very questionable federal indictment and Hunter has just published a juicy, detailed account of their affair from beginning to end, sparing nothing and nobody. This includes Edward's late wife who was battling cancer while the fling was flourishing. Edwards caused large sums of money to be spent for the purpose of attempting to conceal the entire sordid mess from the public at a time when he was running for president of the United States. If you wrote this in script form for a movie, you'd be involuntarily committed. In the pull-no-punches tome, Hunter keeps the gloves off when making extremely negative references to the late Mrs. Edwards. Her book is a bomb-tosser.
The interviewers were obviously loaded for bear and eager to effectuate a public crucifixion of this demon from hell. But, a funny thing happened in the midst of the forum. They didn't lay a glove on Hunter. She handled every question without once losing her composure. She remained cool, calm and collected. Even though it involved an admission of adultery and other shunned behavior, she told the truth as she believed it to be. Impregnable armor.
Make no mistake, she is one tough cookie. And she is smart. She couldn't be pushed around and when asked the "why" questions, she didn't duck. She never flinched.
I know what I did was wrong.
I wrote the book because I'm tired of hiding and, yes, I'll use the proceeds to stay afloat.
I still love him but we've agreed to no longer be together even though I believe he still loves me.
Things like this happen in life. People take wrong turns.
And I found myself struck by her courage and candor. To segregate all adulterers would require the territorial takeover of another planet. Go back to the Garden of Eden to find the first sin.
Being a Judge by profession taught me to tread carefully where human directions were at stake. And now, as I round the stretch of life, I tend to keep my guns holstered.
Have I made mistakes? Hah! (If they asked me) I could write a book. I look with great severity upon people who pose a threat to society. The non-violent transgressors are a different story.
If an individual screws up his/her life, many problems must be dealt with. Impropriety brings its own set of consequences. However, a societal mob of condemnation is not my cup of tea.
The conduct of Rielle Hunter did me nor mine no harm. I'll take a pass on joining any hate club. I have never been a believer in "scarlet letters" and I am not a fan of first stone throwers. I neither condone nor condemn her behavior. It's simply none of my business.
Ms. Hunter appears to be a loving and devoted mother. If she finds happiness, I shall experience no frustration.
Who knows, the two lovers may yet reunite.
Sex and love go together like a horse and carriage.
It's what makes the world go 'round.
'Tis a many splendored thing.