Monday, March 2, 2015

No justice in Kansas

The Supreme injustices of the Kansas Courts ruled to suspend Timothy Henderson, a judge in Sedgwick County after he sexually harassed many female liars err lawyers who appeared in his court. Whether the harassment was truly serious remains unclear, I seriously doubt he asked any of them for a blow job to resolve a case in their favor. What is clear though is that he lied to the panel on Judicial ethics regarding this matter.
I wouldn't have a problem with the 90 day suspension if it was by the neck.  Kansas has serious problems with their judiciary. The system for selecting, approving, retaining, and disposing of bad judges is so poorly constructed that no judge has ever been removed by the election process. Judges face a confidence vote every six years, but none have ever been tossed.
Judges are nominated by a panel that consists of liars selected by the Kansas Bar, and ones appointed by the Governor. The list of nominations is submitted to the Governor, and he makes his selections from that list or rejects them all. Nominations must be liars err lawyers. People with integrity need not apply. There is no legislative review, nor is there public input that can sway these appointment. Once appointed, they face a retention vote every six years. 90% of voters have no clue whether a judge is a wishy wash, or good. Hint, assume they are a wishy wash, and you will be right on a level approaching 100%.
The first solution that comes to mind is to pool all the judges at qualification time. The bottom 10% get tossed back to private practice, and cannot be nominated to any judicial seat for six years. After that, they must poll in the top 50% to remain seated.
I would also open the judiciary to lay persons. In order to be considered a lay judge, the person can not have higher than a bachelors degree, and it cannot be in political science, or prelaw. They must have completed high school. They must have worked in a field not associated with law enforcement for at least five years. any association with law enforcement either as a deputy, officer, reserve officer, or officer of the court to include court appointed special advocate, or jailer would disqualify them from the position of lay judge for ten years. I would also close the position to persons who have held political office, or were active in their respective political party.
As far as Timmy goes, he will be back in 90 days. My bet is that those liars err lawyers who complained about him will be on his shit list, and will have a rough time winning cases before his court. He will be subtle about it though. Yup, he is gonna learn from his mistakes.

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