In reaction to president Obama's nomination of a Muslim to a federal bench (possibly, a first in the United States), this Jewish judge stated that "she believes judges are guided in their decision-making by every facet of their lives, 'maybe even subconsciously.'”
I wonder what is that supposed to mean.
A Jewish judge is "guided" by her Jewishness, a Muslim judge will be guided by his Muslim culture, as the U.S. Supreme Court justice Sonya Sotomayor will be a "wise Latina woman", guided by the "richness of her experiences"? And, a white judge will be guided by his or her white culture, and a black judge will rule based on his black culture, etc. etc. etc.
What about principles of neutrality, equality under the law and objectivity?
This is what Judge Rovner thinks when she decides a case:
Now, did Judge Rovner's "Wait a minute, I'm Jewish" thinking caused her to claim at the end of July, 2016, that gay people are not protected against discrimination in the work place under the civil rights law?
Did Judge Rovner tell the U.S. Congress at her second confirmation hearing in 1992, for the position of a federal appellate court judge, that she was GOING to be "guided" by her ethnicity or religion in her judicial decision-making?
Or in 1984, at the confirmation hearing for the position of a federal district court judge?
Apparently, not. Otherwise, she wouldn't have been confirmed - because "Jewishness", or any other cultural, ethnic, or religious "background" may not influence judicial decision-making.
Or, did Judge Rovner tell the U.S. Congress that she is going to practice medicine on the bench without a license? That she and her colleagues will "diagnose" a lawyer as "lying" because he did not come to a hearing because he was vomiting from a stomach bug - the only confirmation of that "lying" being that the lawyer, who was sick and vomiting, did not go to a doctor to confirm that he was vomiting? And was suspended because he was vomiting and sick, because the court deemed it as lying and failure to properly represent his client.
What bothers me is also the timing of Judge Rovner's revelation that she uses her Jewishness in her decision-making - at the time when President Obama nominated a Muslim to the federal bench.
The following questions spring up because of this revelation, and the timing of the revelation by Judge Rovner:
1) Does Judge Rovner consider being guided by her Jewishness as proper for purposes of judicial decision-making?
2) Does she assert, by the timing of her revelation, that:
a) all judges are guided by their ethnic and/or religious backgrounds in the judicial decision-making?
b) the Muslim judge, if nominated, will be so guided by his Muslim background and cultural and religious heritage in his decision-making?
Because if she does, that looks as a not-so-subtle inciting against such a nomination, at the time when the country is swept by divisive comments of irresponsible politicians, and when Muslims Americans already do not feel welcome in their own country.
I see a lot of anti-Muslim sentiments on Facebook, for example.
Some people, and intelligent people, too, are openly making anti-Muslim statements. One person demanded to unfriend that person if that person's anti-Muslim sentiment's are not shared. (I did. I do not accept bigotry of any kind.)
So, now Judge Rovner, after having been confirmed "as a breeze", without any questions asked whether she was going to use her Jewishness in her judicial decision-making (as she admittedly does now), is actively hinting to the public and authorities in charge of nomination and confirmation of the first Muslim judge that judges do use their background in their judicial decision-making.
To me, it is an active hint at a "legitimate" double-standard that exists in American courts - certain type of biases, but not others, are legitimate.
A judge is ok to consider her "Jewishness" in her judicial decision-making - or else the press will scream Anti-Semitism.
A judge is ok to consider his Latino roots and experiences of himself and his family members as possibly illegal immigrants, in his judicial decision-making against a person who criticized illegal immigration from Mexico, the judge's parents' native country (whether the criticism was fair or unfair, and especially when it was unfair) - or else the press will scream impropriety, racism and bigotry.
But, it is dangerous to appoint a Muslim judge who may - theoretically, hypothetically - consider his Muslim heritage in his judicial decision-making?
That's what Judge Rovner is hinting at in her ripe old age?
Apparently, Judge Rovner needs to retire. Yesterday.
It is my firm belief that NONE of ethnical, cultural, or religious background MAY be considered in judicial decision-making.
It is the law, and the facts - and that's it.
It is not about the judge's OWN background, the judge is not a party, or a witness in the case, and the judge's background should have NOTHING to do with the case or the judge's decision in that case.
Whether the judge is Latino, Muslim, African-American, Caucasian, Native American, Chinese or of any other ethnicity.
That said, nominating a law partner from the giant firm Latham & Watkins,
a law firm that is practicing all over the country in federal courts, whether he is Muslim or not, is a very questionable move for the President.
Because, naturally, Latham & Watkins will not stop practicing in their own law partner's court - and there will be a big problem with appearance of impropriety.
Well, at least judges - when they become old and senile, at least - start coming out of the closet and give people a retrospective views of what they are guided by in their decision-making.
How many parties and attorneys will come forward now to make motions to vacate Judge Rovern's decisions and to recuse Judge Rovner because they were guided by her "Jewishness"?
I won't hold my breath.