Instead of policing the rule of law in other countries, the US should get its own house in order | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED X-Frame-Options: DENY X-Frame-Options: SAMEORIGIN

Instead of policing the rule of law in other countries, the US should get its own house in order

Revelations that 131 federal judges broke the law by hearing cases in which they had a financial interest are a shocking indictment of American ‘justice.’ It has no right, or ability, to police the rest of the world.

Roy Cohn, Senator Joe McCarthy’s legal pitbull, famously proclaimed, “Don’t tell me what the law is, tell me who the judge is.” Cohn, speaking back in the 1950s, was opining that the US does not have a rule of law, but instead a rule of men and women who decide cases based on their own prejudices, personal relationships, and whims.

The goal of the lawyer, therefore, according to Cohn, is to make sure you appear in front of the ‘right’ judge who will be predisposed to rule in favor of your client. This, of course, is not how the US judicial system – allegedly a model for the world – should work.

A recent report by the Wall Street Journal suggests Cohn’s statement should be amended somewhat to read, ‘Don’t tell me what the law is, tell me who the judge is and the identity of the companies in which he/she holds stock.’ The headline and intro of the WSJ piece summarize the situation well: “131 Federal Judges Broke the Law by Hearing Cases Where They Had a Financial Interest. The judges failed to recuse themselves from 685 lawsuits from 2010 to 2018 involving firms in which they or their family held shares, a Wall Street Journal investigation found.” At the same time, the WSJwarns that “the Journal’s tally of recusal violations is likely an undercount.”

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