General Question

JackAdams's avatar

How can a judge in a lawsuit against a governmental entity be totally fair and impartial, when the judge is employed by a governmental entity?

Asked by JackAdams (6385 points ) August 21st, 2008

If someone was suing the federal government, for example, the case would be heard by a federal judge, who is employed by the federal government. And this same judge, as I understand, has taken a solemn oath to, “preserve, protect and defend the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic” (or something similar to those words). So wouldn’t it be understandable to question where his/her loyalties might lie? I just don’t think that anyone can be all that “even,” if they are employed by one of the parties involved in the litigation.

My suggestion would be that in such cases, the judge’s salary for such a case would be paid for by both litigants, and the judge would no longer have a suspected loyalty to one side, over the other.

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7 Answers

crunchaweezy's avatar

This is a very good question, I have no idea what they could do since the Judges usually are hired by the state or the government. My head hurts.

JackAdams's avatar

So did mine, as I was authoring this question…

Tone's avatar

Federal judges may technically be “employees” of the federal government in that they get paid from the Treasury, but they can’t just be fired, they have to be impeached. The system is set up specifically so that they can be as impartial as possible, without fear of repercussion. Their “boss” is the Constitution, not the President.

rss's avatar

Federal judges are appointed for life, so even if they disagree with their employer, they can’t be fired. Removal requires misconduct, not ideology differences. See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_federal_judge

I more difficult question is about appointment in the first place which has become a very political process, with values becoming more important than ability.

blastfamy's avatar

The key word is enemies. A plaintiff against the US is not an enemy. Justice served against the US does not make the plaintiff an enemy. Therefore, the judge is under no obligation to “protect anyone here.” Furthermore, little known fact, the US government must give the plaintiff allowance to sue.

Depending on what the lawsuit is over, a different court and different judge would be used. Federal judges are appointed for life, so there is no worry as to them being “booted” for not ruling in favor of the US. The judge can morally do whatever he/she pleases.

BirdlegLeft's avatar

I was thinking that actual position of being a judge was supposed to essentially be non-political. They are simply to give an opinion about the matter presented to them.

JackAdams's avatar

Respectfully, it doesn’t “work” like that, in the real world.

You have to declare whether or not you are “Pro Choice,” to get nominated.

August 23, 2008, 9:44 PM EDT

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