Life inside the judicial bubble much different for those on the receiving end of justice. Two cases cases prove this. In the first, Ohio Supreme Court Justice Alice Resnick was pulled over and has since plead guilty to driving while impaired. In the arrest video available on the web, she repeatedly asks the officer to let her go. She mentioned that ruled with law enforcement on drunk-driving cases. She also said that she had always believed that Supreme Court Justices should have highway patrol officers assigned as drivers. News reports say she had to be pulled over a second time after she drove off when the patrolman asked her to take a sobriety test. The patrolman kicked it up a notch by calling his supervisor. Far be it from me to suggest that if a young man had pulled away from a traffic stop, he would have gotten rougher treatment. However he would have gotten rougher treatment. Maybe much rougher if he was black or hispanic.
I don’t think that the officer should have tackled or cuffed the 65-year old woman. But her experience was not what a typical DWI offender has.
The sentence she got was pretty typical for a North Carolina first-time DWI offender. But unless you write off her actions on the day of her arrest as drunken ramblings, I disagree that she is fit to return to the bench and resume business as usual, as this editorial suggests. After all she did repeatedly ask the officer to overlook the offense and suggested that she should get some consideration for the favorable rulings she made in the past.
Then there was Thomas Saylor, a Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justice who tried to sneak a small knife on a plane after it was rejected at the screening station. He tried to hide it in a carry-on bag and got caught. The feds are not pressing charges but a local prosecutor is weighing his options.
In the judicial bubble people smooth the way for you, they are deferential, you get accomodated. I wonder how life inside the bubble contributed to these two jurists thinking they could get away with something.