The Judiciary – Three Strikes and You’re Out!!


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

About Mike Jones

Dr. Mike is a veterinarian from Glen Rose, Texas. He is a Tarleton State Alumnus, 1979 graduate of Texas A&M University College of Veterinary Medicine, and a veteran of the United States Army. He has practiced veterinary medicine in Glen Rose since 1984 on everything from small animals to exotic wildlife. His politics are distinctly conservative, and stays politically active (even in a small town). Open discussions are always welcome!
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3 Responses to The Judiciary – Three Strikes and You’re Out!!

  1. Alan Humphrey says:

    I like it Mike. I have felt the same way for many years now. Surely out of 315 million people in this country, we could find qualified individuals ready to serve in these roles.

  2. Dennis Marken says:

    Great idea but I don’t see it ever happening. Those in power would interdict the will of the people. The infirmity of our court system is historical and I can’t see how changing judges after three strikes would change anything as long as there is different opinions of how and why our Constitution was written. Along with all this we have a population that Robert A. Heinlein explains best. “Most of the people can’t think, most of the remainder won’t think, the small fraction who do think mostly can’t do it very well. The extremely tiny fraction who think regularly, accurately, creatively, and without self-delusion—in the long run, these are the people who count.” So I ask. Who would pick the new judges? That tiny fraction? Is that not what we are stuck with now? Slim chance of improvement in todays society.

  3. Dennis Marken says:

    This subject got my attention regarding judges. My finding is that the chairman of the House Committee and Judiciary can table resolutions of impeachment against federal judges whose decisions they disagree with. If a majority (which is required) is obtained the articles of impeachment can be reported to the full house. The Senate majority leader can then make a referral of the article to a special Impeachment Trial Committee. If convicted by the required two-thirds vote in the full Senate, that judge is required to immediately forfeit his office.
    This idea I believe gained a significant popular following after the Romer v. Evans decision in 1996. I also believe this was pushed by Ton DeLay. Of course this was regarding judges too liberal.
    I thought you would find (if I am correct, not being of legal training) that a judge can be removed on one strike if those in power choose so. Spooky!!! What would be the replacement. The old adage: “You may get far worse than you have!” Considering who picks the replacement.
    In closing, I again state I am no law expert and welcome any correction in the above. It takes two wings for an eagle to fly.

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