While we expect judges to be unbiased, the nature of their job makes it virtually impossible not to make the position innately political. They either run for office or are appointed to their role by politicians, who invariably pick people who they tend to align with politically. Such is the nature of the beast, but it doesn’t mean they can’t read and understand the law.
In Florida, however, two judges are under fire by a gun control group after the judges bought tickets to a Friends of the NRA banquet.
The Times/Herald reported that judges Clay Roberts and Kemmerly Thomas of the First District Court of Appeal confirmed they bought tables at the Sept. 15 event, a dinner and auction organized by “Friends of the NRA” that benefited the NRA Foundation, a public charity.
In a news release, the Florida Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence said Wednesday that it “questions the ability of these judges to remain impartial on any future gun-related case brought before them based on their involvement in this fundraiser.”
“This event was not related to court or legal matters. It was a fundraiser for a special interest group. It is of the utmost importance that members of the bench show no sign as to what could be taken as a lack of neutrality,” said Patti Brigham, co-chair of the coalition.
The coalition includes about 100 groups across the state, including the League of Women Voters, Florida PTA, Florida Immigrant Coalition,churches and local health organizations.
Raise your hand if you think they would have said a thing if this dinner had been a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood or Everytown For Gun Safety?
Not a hand raised, is there?
When judges take on the role, they don’t suddenly have to cut themselves off from any and all political entities, especially in the case of the Friends of the NRA which raises money for gun education. You know, something that should be in every school in the country but isn’t because hoplophobic ninnies like this are so terrified of guns that even mentioning them gives them the vapors.
Yet none of that matters to this bunch of hypocrites.
Seriously, not a one of this “coalition” would have said a thing had Roberts or Thomas paid the same money to hear Michael Bloomberg speak about the evils of gun rights. There wouldn’t have been a word.
Wouldn’t that also have taken as a sign they lacked neutrality? Wouldn’t that also indicate they would be prejudiced toward a certain biased ideology in cases down the road?
I’d love for someone to actually tell me why that’s acceptable but supporting the Friends of the NRA isn’t.
Of course, they can’t. They can say it’s different, but they can’t actually tell me why because it’s not.
Judges do not give up their political thinking the moment they don a black robe and put a gavel in their hands. As Americans, they have just as many First Amendment rights as football players kneeling during the National Anthem, and they get to express those rights whether the gun grabbers like it or not.