In other words, they pledge to be loyal to the U.S. Constitution as a condition of taking the bench and receiving their substantial salaries - some of them, for life.
At the same time, as soon as a judge takes that oath of office and gets on the bench to get that salary, the judge can break that oath of office, and a citizen may not sue the judge for violation of his oath of office and for hurting that citizen.
Because the judiciary gave itself "immunity" from lawsuits by private citizens for malicious and corrupt acts on the bench.
So, a judge who pledged loyalty to the U.S. Constitution, may violate that U.S. Constitution the moment he pronounces that pledge, and a private citizen has no direct recourse about it.
Of course, a private citizen can complain about a judge - and 99% or more of such complaints are tossed without investigations, while many complaints result in futher retaliation by the judge against the complainant.
Of course, a private citizen may try to sue on the theory that acts in breach of constitutional oath of office are not judicial acts and must not be covered by immunity - good luck with that, most likely, the lawsuit will be dismissed, often with sanctions and attorney fees of the perpetrator of the constitutional violation to be paid by the victim.
Of course, a private citizen may try to turn the judge in for criminal prosecution. Unless there is a real media frenzy and a real public outrage displayed in the media, nothing will be done by prosecutors either - because judges have a firm grip upon prosecutor's own livelihood through attorney regulation. See, for example, what happened in Pennsyvlania to the state Attorney General Kathleen Kane who dared to investigate judges - those same judges suspended her law license.
After giving themselves a gift of absolute immunity from civil lawsuits for malicious and corrupt acts, and a gift of regulating livelihood of their own prosecutors if they dare to commence a criminal investigation and prosecution, judges also gave themselves a gift of presumption of integrity.
Think about it.
At the same time:
1) immunity for malicious and CORRUPT acts in office - from civil lawsuits of victims;
2) ability to strip the livelihood of criminal prosecutors who would dare to investigate and prosecute the judges in criminal courts, where the immunity does not reach;
3) and, with all that, a presumption of honor.
If someone is given an absolute power to be corrupt, that someone, most likely, will be corrupt.
With that in mind, what is surprising is that judges are prosecuted at all.
For example, in Georgia, a former judge, #BryantCochran (who was allowed to resign) was convicted - surprise! - of conspiring to plant methamphetamine upon a woman who accused the judge for propositioning her in chambers, sex crimes and corruption, in federal court.
Cochran was sentenced to 5 years in prison.
Why not in state court?
But you know the answer - because a state prosecutor will be deathly afraid to investigate and prosecute a judge, because the prosecutor's own law license and livelihood is in the hands of the state judiciary. To prosecute a state judge for corruption? No, only the feds can do that.
Dishonorable behavior by a judge who is allowed to engage in dishonorable behavior with impunity, take away the livelihood of those who seek to prosecute him as their jobs, and claim that he is presumed honorable?
Surprise! People allowed to commit crimes with impunity, commit crimes. Who would imagine such a thing?
- with other judges and county commissioners to use public money in order to fund a private counterclaim against a lawsuit seeking public court records;
- with her own former law clerk, district attorney Alison Sosebee, to undermine a criminal investigation into her own, and her personnel's likely misconduct, how she tampered with witnesses and evidence of criminal investigation, in collusion with her law-clerk-turned-DA -