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John Adams Blog

The blog of The Antient and Honourable John Adams Society, Minnesota's Conservative Debating Society www.johnadamssociety.org

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Judicial Rorschach Test

A sometime Chairman of the Society is fond of remarking that "members of the John Adams Society don't have a single litmus test of conservatism -- we have thousands."

Below is one possible "test" that I would like to try out here:

A recent Los Angeles Times article (available here) describes how volunteer Judge Pro Tem Bruce R. Fink was dropped from the Los Angeles County Superior Court's roster of part-time judges.

Judge Fink's dismissal follows from a July 14 hearing in which Fink, upon learning that Petitioner Aurora Gonzalez was an illegal alien, stated that he was going to "count to 20" and if she were still in his courtroom "she gets arrested and goes to Mexico."

Ms. Gonzalez had come to Superior Court requesting a restraining order against Francisco Salgado, her husband of six years, whom she accused emotional and verbal abuse and of threatening to report her to federal immigration officials.

The case raises a number of interesting issues:

(1) Should Ms. Gonzalez's immigration status matter when she seeks relief from the State Courts of California? If it does, should the rules be different in the context of claims of domestic violence or other breaches of the peace?

(2) Should a state court judge ever enjoin a person from threatening to report illegal conduct to federal authorities?

(3) Was Judge Fink an appropriate candidate for dismissal because of issues relating to judicial temperament or was he dropped from the roster of part-time judges because his views on immigration were politically out-of-step with Court superiors?

I would be interested to know what visitors to this site see when they view this "inkblot."

Blogger Sloanasaurus said...

What a ridiculous case. The problem with illegal activity is that it can be bad for you.

Allowing such a thing would be the same liberal logic used to punish people for shooting trespassers.

11:27 AM, August 02, 2006  
Blogger Scribbler de Stebbing said...

Had Ms Gonzalez's husband been accused of violence against her or her children, I would say the judge had a duty to find out whether a crime had been committed before shipping them both back (is the husband also illegal? The report doesn't say) or handing down a sentence and then shipping them both back. But "emotional and verbal abuse?" I don't see a crime beyond Ms. Gonzalez's illegal residency. The judge could have been a nanometer more sensitive -- not to Ms. Gonzalez, but to the PC crowd -- and silently called in Immigration (who would have proceeded to set her up with nicer housing and medical care, etc). The judge's only misstep was in not being circumspect as to his own fate.

11:57 AM, August 02, 2006  

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