The Sacred Feminine in action.

Take the time to judge your judges

Difficult as it is to believe, Texas has reinstated Judge William Adams, who was videotaped beating his daughter with a belt. The incident happened in 2004 but the videotape was released on YouTube in 2011(warning: very difficult to watch). The Dallas Morning News explains he was issued a public warning. They also write, “Adams doesn’t come up for re-election until 2014. However, county commissioners voted earlier this year to cut his 2013 salary by 1.6 percent to $144,000. Other elected county officials received a 2 percent cost-of-living increase.Also, Adams may no longer preside over the physical domestic abuse cases that previously comprised much of his court docket.”

Wow! This is a case where truth is stranger than fiction. This man judged abuse and domestic violence cases. Using hindsight, I would love to look back on his rulings. He told reporters he was just disciplining his child and his behavior was not excessive. His daughter said the beatings happened regularly. Again, wow!

I volunteered in our county jail for over twelve years. In working with the women I became familiar with the judges. I also sat on our Circuit Court Family Violence Council. It didn’t take long to learn which judges were fair, thoughtful and wise and who….wasn’t. Our county, DuPage, Illinois, has both. I suspect your county does, too. Judges hold A LOT of power and yet most of us don’t know anything about them—not even their names.

The most important word in this blog so far is “re-election.” Yes, WE ELECT our judges. I admit, since I have not been volunteering for over a year I don’t know all of our judges. Do you know anything about your judges? If you are interested you can look at the Bar Association’s website from your area. They offer the most comprehensive evaluation of each judge.

Judge William Adams will be up for reelection in 2014. I hope the people take appropriate action. I also wish I had written this blog post BEFORE last week’s election day to spark a little interest in the names on your ballot.

Have you had any experiences with good and bad judges from your area. Feel free to share your stories. Do you have any ideas about how to learn more about judges?

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