To mark IDC Herzliya’s 20th anniversary, we spent a day following Prof. Uriel Reichman, IDC’s founder and president, and Jonathan Davis, VP for External Relations, around its delightful campus.
Despite the fact that over the past decade Brooklyn’s Orthodox Jewish community has been one of New York City’s fastest growing populations, not even one Orthodox Jew has appeared during that time on the ballot for the New York State Supreme Court bench in Brooklyn.
We strongly believe it is time for that to change. First, some background.
One of the more popular mantras in the world of social theory is that the pool of those who make authoritative governmental decisions should reflect the diversity of the population. Decision-making informed by differences in race, color, creed and gender – sexual orientation was recently added to the list – has been viewed for some time now as a cornerstone of a just society.
(To be sure, many political leaders have often covertly controlled the selection process, seeing to it that people who resembled themselves found their way into government jobs – either directly or via tradeoffs with other leaders from different groups.)
For much of American history, judges were not commonly thought of in terms of any approach to diversity in government. After all, judges were supposed to simply apply the law according to the meaning of the statutory language. But it is now widely understood that judges do not operate in a vacuum and in fact draw on their own backgrounds and experiences in their work, not only when it comes to sentencing in criminal cases but also when parsing the very words of a law.
In addition, judges are called on to assess the bona fides of litigants’ requests as to religious requirements in terms of scheduling trials and other proceedings, or their explanations of why they may have been unable to fulfill a contractual commitment on a certain day. And judges are required to determine whether there have been willful violations of court orders and whether individuals are in contempt of court. Issues such as wearing a yarmulke or other religious garb in court are sometimes involved.
It is not widely understood that while judges are in strict control of the matters before them, they do interact with each other on general topics and Orthodox Jewish judges are able to fill in gaps in the experiences of their colleagues.
The judicial selection process in New York State at the Supreme Court level is not well known but it is crucial. In fact, the individuals who will run in the general elections in November are chosen at nominating conventions, held shortly after the regular primary elections, from a list of names submitted by local party district leaders under the leadership of the county leader. These candidates then run in the general election.
So, the key to this process are the actions of district leaders and the county leader. Moreover, given the overwhelming numerical superiority of Democrats over Republicans in places like Brooklyn, being chosen at a Democratic nominating convention is virtually tantamount to election.
In short, we call on the political leaders of the Democratic Party in Brooklyn on both the district and county levels to remedy the relative scarcity of Orthodox Jewish judges on the Supreme Court bench in Brooklyn.
About the Author:
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
Unrest in YESHA and J’m helps Abbas and Abdullah defuse anger, gain politically and appear moderates
A “Shliach” means to do acts with complete devotion and dedication in order to help bring Moshiach.
The pogroms in Chevron took place eighty five years ago, in 1929; the Holocaust began seventy-five years ago in 1939; the joint attack of Israel’s neighbors against the Jewish State of Israel happened sixty-six years ago… yet, world history of anti-Semitism did not stop there, but continues until today. Yes, the primitive reality of Jews […]
“We don’t just care for the children; we make sure they have the best quality of life.”
“Why do people get complacent with the things they’re told?”
Arab opposition to a Jewish State of any size was made known by word and deed in the form of terror
Operation Moses: First time in history that non-blacks came to Africa to free blacks from oppression
As Arabs murder and maim Jews, Jordan’s leaders bark the blood libel of “Israeli aggression.”
Perhaps attacking a terrorist’s legacy broadly and publicly would dissuade others from terrorism?
R’ Aryeh yelled “Run, I’ll fight!” Using a chair against terrorists to buy time so others could flee
Riot started when Muslim students wore the Pal. kaffiyeh and Druze students demanded them removed
The “Media” didn’t want us to know what a kind, giving, loving young woman Dalia was.
A “Palestine” could become another Lebanon, with many different factions battling for control.
Maimonides himself walked and prayed in the permissible areas when he visited Eretz Yisrael in 1165
Last year the Obama administration sought to minimize civilian deaths from drone strikes by generally requiring that missile attacks be limited to instances where Americans were directly threatened and there was a “near certainty” that no civilians would be killed.
Toward the end of Operation Protective Edge this past summer, the president was unusually vocal about Israel’s so-called disproportionate use of force and alleged lack of compliance with international humanitarian law.
There was no accompanying caption, but the cartoon could not help but feed the anti-Semitic canard that Israel was responsible for 9/11.
An accomplished Torah scholar and ardent adherent of Bobov chassidus, he was renowned for his self-effacing dedication and skills as an international lawyer and law professor
The fact that the United States government after World War II sought to take advantage of the expertise of German scientists, even those known to have contributed to the Nazi war effort, is well known and largely accepted as having been necessary for America’s national defense. (Wernher von Braun is perhaps the most famous and […]
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/editorial/diversity-includes-orthodox-jews-too/2013/08/21/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: