Thursday, April 21, 2005 Judicial Independence Judicial Independence: "The idea that Supreme Court justices or any other judges should be immune from political criticism - or even political retribution - is absurd given the extent to which those same judges have intruded themselves into the political domain by Constitutionalizing the culture wars. So if Sunstein wants to fetishize judicial independence from politics, let him lead the charge to get judges out of politics. Personally, I won't be holding my breath, however."

Well said. I have realized recently that I tend to think of judges as monarchs: those with trancendant authority, removed from democratic politics, and above criticism.

Well I think that's wrong. Monarchy is what Americans left when they left Europe. It's interesting to compare the way judges are portrayed in popular culture as opposed to CEO's or other executives. Judges are portrayed like royalty: with some foibles but above the rest of us, particulary in matters of wisdom. CEO's are routinely portrayed as corrupt and selfish.

Given human nature, surely the truth is in between. But what causes this melodramatic streak in pop culture. Perhaps we all need to have a priesthood over us. Secular people look to judges to represent them regarding the deep things of life. Religious people look to Pope, Pastor, Guru or Shaman for the same.

I've long seen secularism as equivalent to a religion. If other "religious" leaders can be criticized for being too political, does this mean only secular priests can speak to political issues? Perhaps this is already true in the minds of many.

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