Some of you may have noticed I have been a judge for awhile. And, although I know it may surprise you, not everyone of my thousands of decisions has been met with universal acclaim. Occasionally someone may actually disagree with my fair and objective legal analysis and have the bad form to say so. Well, my friends, not if we were in Egypt.
According to a report in the Palm Beach, Florida Sun Sentinel of Sunday, December 31, 2017 a court in Cairo convicted 19 people of making public statements, “[t]he court found to be inciting and expressing contempt toward the court and the judiciary”. If you are wondering why I was reading the Palm Beach paper in sweltering 80 degree weather while some of you may have been enjoying a cool and exhilarating Indiana Christmas season there is no truth to the rumor it was because Peg and I felt compelled to be near President Trump’s Mar-A-Lago winter White House. We did not even receive an invitation to his $750 per person New Year’s Eve party. It may have been lost due to the holiday rush at the post office. Anyway, back to Egypt and the injured dignity of the judiciary.
The newspaper reported that the heinous criminals insulted the judges by making statements that were aired on TV, radio, social media or in other disfavored publications. Now the court did not deign to ignore these demeaning comments or to call for the miscreants to tug vigorously on their forelocks. Oh no. The defendants received 3 years in prison and were fined up to one million Egyptian pounds ($56,270 US).
Each defendant was also ordered to pay one million Egyptian pounds to each of the judges of the powerful union known as The Judges Club. Now I would never advocate for such a response against anyone who had the temerity to publicly disagree with my rulings. However, a few hours in the stocks on the courthouse campus might be considered or parading around the courthouse wearing sackcloth and ashes or maybe a few public recitations of “Judge Redwine is Solomon” or, well, you get the idea.
Actually, it is events such as those in Egypt that truly show what a blessing it is to be in a country where CNN, MSNBC, The NY Times, The Washington Post, FOX News, Breitbart and many other publications can spew their invective against anyone from the Supreme Court to even a court in Posey County, Indiana without fear of being jailed.
Instead of just worrying about the current protestors in our enemy Iran perhaps we should address the draconian pronouncements of offended judges in countries such as our friends in Egypt and elsewhere. The injured sensibilities of some pompous plutocrat may lead to far greater harm to the public than their unfair judgments that get publicly condemned.