A Candid Comment on Judges and Justice by a well-informed anonymous source

The source is well-informed because of what he does, is anonymous because I haven’t asked his name, and his brief comment is extremely revealing.

He was a guest at a party given in honor of one of America’s most prominent living novelists, and I happened to be close by as he had a friendly chat with that celebrity. While I did not try to listen in, his clear, deep, musical baritone voice struck me. I could not help intruding and asked “do you sing in the opera?” His reply was “no; but perhaps I should.”

A few minutes later, as I moved around, I saw him in the crowd again, a glass of wine in his hand. My curiosity piqued, I followed up with “and what do you do when you don’t sing in the opera?” “I am a lawyer,” he said.

This was the answer I least expected; yet here was a person to whom I could obviously relate. “It is odd that I bumped into you” I said “for I am trying to put together a Coalition Against Judicial Fraud.”

To my surprise, he expressed no surprise at all. “Courts are not made to deliver justice” he said matter-of-factly. “This is simply not how they are set up. They have their uses, but justice is just not one of them.” With that, he moved on to greet some acquaintance of his; and in fact, no further elaboration was needed.

For here is, in essence, what he said: while there is a Department of Justice; and Lady Justice at the entrance of about every courthouse, and we are a country “with liberty and justice for all,” all those uses of the notion of “justice” are mere tools of, so to speak, crowd control, of keeping public order by maintaining public faith in institutions of power; and the ubiquitous use of the word “justice” in our public life simply masks the absence of the justice itself in it.

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