I’ve got to preface this article with a little disclaimer. I’m not a lawyer. I have a limited working knowledge of the court system in Texas and the United States. Oh, and I hate the way the legal profession has turned into a money grabbing game for every possible scenario in the land of the black robes. Rephrased, I just don’t like courts and lawyers.
Here’s a problem. In the private workplace, if you screw up, you get fired. If you’re wrong enough times, you get fired. If you repeatedly find yourself screwing up in your career, you get asked to leave. If you’re a baseball player and getting nothing but strikes, you’re out. You know how it goes, “And it’s one, two, three strikes your out at the old ball game.”
Consider the judiciary system. If there is a judge that actually committing high crimes and misdemeanors, they can be impeached. It happens, just not very often. What about just screwing up repeatedly, and how can you define that? What if a judge repeatedly makes bad rulings that end up being appealed and overturned? It’s costing us MONEY to support some wacky judge that got elected and process those appeals. Worse, it might be a federal judge that got appointed for life! There’s got to be an easier way to get these judges out of the system as opposed to the “high crimes and misdemeanors” or judicial malfeasance necessary for impeachment. Well I thought about it.
Here’s Mike’s rule: If you’re a judge and are making bad rulings, and they get overturned on appeals, we’re going to start counting those overturned rulings like strikes at a baseball game. Three bad rulings, and you’re out. Seriously out. Back to private practice. Ineligible for advancement in the public service of the judicial system. Relieved of your current appointment. AND You’re not going to be eligible to be appointed to a higher court.
Imagine some bizarre federal court out there that is notorious for off the wall interpretations of the Constitution in their deliberations. Their rulings are so incredibly bad, they are appealed to a higher court (maybe even the Supreme Court) and overturned. Perhaps five of the nine judges on the lower court ruled wrong. Strike one on all five. Strike two for the second ruling that gets overturned. Get the picture? Strike three on that court and they are OUT.
Jury trials don’t count per se, but if the judge screws up on these through bench decisions, and it gets appealed and overturned, I’m calling that a strike. If a jury screws up, and we’ve got to suffer an appeal on that ruling, so be it.
Imagine such a court like the notoriously liberal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals. If enough bad decisions are overturned, those lifetime federal appointees are out of a job. OBVIOUSLY they aren’t making good judgement calls with consistency.
How about this scenario. Federal appeals courts across the country are divided on a major decision. There’s mass confusion between individual states or regions. The huge case finally gets to the Supreme Court, and they get the final call. In one swift move, all of the judges in all of the lower courts that were on the wrong side of the decision get one strike against them. Perhaps they should study their decisions a little more carefully for the next big case.
The Supreme Court. The current court is known for being a little unpredictable. Well if this very elite club had been screened by years of correctly upheld judgements, then we know that those people in the highest court have established a record of making quality decisions. They may be leaning a little left or right, but this is the only court that I would leave immune from removal from the three strike provision. They made it this far, and they should represent the best judicial minds in the country. Impeachment still has it’s place.
This is more a whimsical pondering than anything, but I’d really like to see the judiciary subjected to a common sense baseball analogy.
I’d hate to have to clear the benches on the next bad call.
Thanks again, Dr. Mike