General Question

flo's avatar

What are some of the most egregious judgements handed down by judges?

Asked by flo (7369 points ) January 31st, 2013

Maybe in the last few decades, whatever comes to mind.

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17 Answers

bookish1's avatar

ciiiiiiitizens united….............
most egregious U.S. Supreme Court decision I’ve seen in my lifetime.

Pachy's avatar

Absolutely agree with @bookish1. A horrible decision and dangerous precedent.

zenvelo's avatar

The only thing worse than Citizens United was Bush v. Gore.

amujinx's avatar

I would go with the judgment in the Peng Yu case in Nanjing, since it has lead to things like this.

Citizens United is a very close second though.

ETpro's avatar

Definitely Citizens United. There have been plenty of lower court cases that were unjust, but only wronged a few people. Citizens United, if not soon undone, will result in the destruction of democracy in America and the substitution of a fascist corporatocracy.

Pachy's avatar

@ETpro and all re: corporatocracy: Watch (or re-watch) Network.

flutherother's avatar

I think the worst was the Dred Scott case where the US Supreme Court declared that no black could ever become a citizen of the United States.

Chief Justice Roger B. Taney wrote in the court’s majority opinion that because Scott was black, he was not a citizen and therefore had no right to sue. The framers of the Constitution, he wrote, believed that blacks “had no rights which the white man was bound to respect; and that the negro might justly and lawfully be reduced to slavery for his benefit. He was bought and sold and treated as an ordinary article of merchandise and traffic, whenever profit could be made by it.”

The next worst is the Citizen’s United case which has created a new class of citizen, the corporate citizen, with the right to spend unlimited amounts of money to promote their ideas. The first three words of the constitution are ‘we the people’. No mention of corporations there.

flo's avatar

So, why is there such a thing as Precedent in the first place?

flo's avatar

..I mean why would there be such a notion as judges being allowed to look at other judges and make the the same error/s?

zenvelo's avatar

@flo Once a decision is reached over constant review and analysis through the appeals process, up to the Supreme Court, a ruling is made, and only a similar case whose decision contradicts precedent gets further reviewed and may overturn precedent. Precedence is how nuances in the law get consistent treatment from the courts.

An example is Plessy v. Ferguson , which stood as a ruling that said “separate but equal” segregation laws were constitutional. That Supreme Court ruling wasn’t overturned until 1954 with Brown v Board of Education. So that 1896 flawed opinion stood as the law of the land for 58 years.

flo's avatar

But I’m not necessarily referring to Supreme courts, by the way, but my language in my OP indicated that.
So let’s say a lower court judge says the 5 year old is at fault for being molested by this adult person, she brought it on herself. What happens then?

zenvelo's avatar

@flo It would get appealed. And of course there would be public outrage. And the trial court would be overruled.

By the way, appeals and precedent are a function that is passed down from English Common Law, and followed by US Courts. It is not followed in other countries and other cultures.

flo's avatar

@zenvelo _But nothing would happen to the judge, he/she would still continue in that position?

zenvelo's avatar

@flo No, in the US jurisprudence, as long as the judge didn’t violate a law (such as conflict of interest or non disclosure of prejudicial issue). A local Court may have an oversight committee of some sort that evaluates judges, but as long as he didn’t break an ethics law or a criminal statute he stays in office.

If he was an elected judge, he may lose at his next election. If he is a Federal judge, he has a job for life, unless he is impeached.

flo's avatar

So they can act as mentally incompetent as possible on the chair, judges are above the law?

zenvelo's avatar

@flo No, they are not above the law, they must obey the law. And if they are mentally incompetent, they would be removed from the bench.

What are you trying to find out? You seem to have something in the back of your mind but without knowing what you are asking about it’s hard to answer what you are trying to find out.

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