An investigation by the Wall Street Journal shows more than 130 federal judges violated U.S. law and judicial ethics by overseeing cases against companies they or their family owned stock in. The investigation also revealed that federal judges failed to disqualify themselves from 685 court cases since 2010.
The least shocking information from the investigation tells us that judges participating in these cases ruled in favor of their financial interests two-thirds of the time. The outright corruption across the judiciary in this country is staggering. There seems to be little or no regard or enforcement for ethics, especially in light of the fact that federal judges have lifetime appointments. Originally, the lifetime appointment theory was predicated on the belief that it would prevent judges from being susceptible to political pressures. Unfortunately, like much of what they teach in law school, it is complete bullshit. Not only have judges become purely political, but now they are born and bred by political organizations (The Federalist Society) who groom potential judges from very young ages, pay politicians to appoint their judges, and then use those judges to protect the interests of the powerful, step on average Americans, with zero regard for the long term destruction of the American experiment.
A few things have come into focus over the last few years. First, the judicial branch of government is broken and lacks legitimacy and credibility. Second, the premise behind the lifetime appointment is no longer valid. It is questionable whether that premise was ever valid or if it was just another lie sold to the people. In order to save the judicial branch as a truly independent branch of government the time has come for a complete overhaul of our judiciary. There must be a long process of earning back legitimacy and credibility in the eyes of Americans. A good start would be to eliminate lifetime appointments, strictly and publicly scrutinize political ties, ties to lobbying firms, ties to private companies, while also seeking greater diversity by limiting the number of judges coming from any one law school (limit Harvard and Ivy league law grads). Further, the judiciary should be a reflection of the population's demographics. Currently, minorities and women are woefully underrepresented. Judicial appointments should come from all walks of legal life, not just big firms or Ivy league schools. Finally, shadow dockets utilized by the Supreme Court should be ended immediately. By no means do I have all the answers, but it is clear that the judiciary is broken and corrupt and without change it will soon lose any remaining bit of legitimacy it has.
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