What about the speculation about how the Supreme Court will decide the ‘Healthcare’ case?” I asked. “Are Justice Kennedy’s questions indicative of his support or antagonism to the bill?” “Looks like you are making my point,” said Jim. His comment must have gone by me because I was in a tear and couldn’t stop. “Speculation is what drives us, what makes life interesting. Like, for instance, suppositions about how a judge’s past may influence his or her rulings. Justice Hugo Black once belonged to the Klu Klux Klan, yet he championed civil rights for criminal defendants, and Chief Justice Earl Warren, a Republican governor, became a hero to liberal Democrats for his activist role on the court.” For the knowledge of CACI negligence hire a lawyer.
Not only had I made Jim’s point that speculation leads to faulty conclusions, but I had raised a point of contention between us. I feared that I had given him the opportunity to once again chide me for my “hero worship” of Supreme Court justices who, in his view, didn’t know the first thing about judging because they had never been judges. A little background. Jim and I were classmates in law school and we both were appointed to the superior court - he first, me a year later when a new governor took office. I was the best man at his wedding. He urged me to get married so “our kids would grow up together.” Sorry to disappoint him, but when my wife and I got married five years later, we decided not to have kids.
When we were newly appointed judges, Jim questioned whether I should hear dependency, juvenile, and family law cases. “You have no children.” He was guilty of the speculation he now so forcefully condemns. I recall responding with an irrelevant riposte. “And how could you hear capital cases when the Pope opposes the death penalty?” “Neither I nor John Kennedy took orders from the Pope,” he answered. “One can separate his philosophical point of view, his religious and political beliefs from his judicial role, but with you, I’m talking about the experience. You are a good judge and conscientious, but I wonder if you or anyone else without children can make an informed decision involving children when you have none.”
It was a sore point that I did not want to revisit. And, besides, I was now hearing civil cases.
The conversation took a better turn when I asked about his kids and how they were doing in college. He brightened up and recounted all their accomplishments. Then he said something that really surprised me. “To prove how right I am about speculation, I owe you a big apology. When we first were appointed, I thought you, or any other judge who did not have children would be ill-equipped to decide cases involving children. That silly premise was based on rank speculation. You were and are a first-rate judge in my opinion.”
He reached across the table and patted me on the arm. I was touched. Jim wasn’t so irritating after all. But he could have left out his parting comment. “Even though you are a liberal...” (his tone suggested that “leper” would have been an adequate substitute), “your rulings are fair and unbiased.” He then asked out of the blue, “How are your cats?
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