Blind Justice

Blind Justice


Leonard Zwelling

There are still people with faith in the American system of justice. I’m not in that group.

As the great Gerard Baker points out in the attached article from The Wall Street Journal on June 4, the recent Trump trial and a series of other high-profile trials (OJ, Emmett Till, Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, and Leo Frank) substantiate the extreme politicization of our justice system. And if all those examples don’t do it for you, how about the nine political appointees on the Supreme Court. “All politics is local” (Tip O’Neill) and all justice is political.

While I actually have no doubt that Donald Trump is guilty of trying to conceal his hush money payments to a porn star by calling them legal fees, believing that this was in service of a greater crime (election fraud?, a necessity for this conviction to be a felony) is a bit far-fetched.

There is little doubt that Mr. Trump is fast and loose with the truth, even to Melania, or that District Attorney Alvin Bragg had a political ax to grind. I bet this all gets thrown out on appeal. Meantime, the real trials that ought to be taking place against Mr. Trump in Florida, Atlanta, and Washington, DC are on political holds by a political judge in Florida, a mess of a system in Georgia, and the delayed verdict of the Supreme Court in Washington as to whether Mr. Trump can be tried for anything he did when he was president.

Is there any doubt that our justice system is politicized? Does it have anything to do with justice at all?

Mr. Trump has proven very adept at getting courts to look the other way when he is accused of wrong-doing. In Florida, Georgia, and Washington, DC his luck is holding up. It kind of ran out in New York, but let’s face it. What he did may be a crime, but it’s not a felony and is probably going on all the time on Wall Street and the reaches of the Upper East and West sides of Manhattan.

In other words, justice is situational.

Let’s take a look at what is happening in academia and particularly in academic medicine with the arrival (or is that the departure?) of DEI and professionalism.

It seems that it is fine with the executive leadership of institutions for some people accused of misbehavior to be afforded coaching over a cup of coffee while others wind up being fired even when acceding to the requests of these same administrators to alter their behavior.

It also seemed fine that DEI was cool for a while and then uncool when the Texas State Legislature said so.

It is fairly obvious that there are double standards everywhere in the justice system and in academia. Only those in power—prosecutors, judges, and executives—can work hard to see that justice is meted out with some nod to fairness. Mindfulness of past injustices can be a way to minimize them being repeated in the future.

The Trump trial was really strange and I am quite sure we have not heard the last of it. It was a political trial about political things. It was bound to be divisive and that was the last thing the country needed.

Similarly, the executive leadership of MD Anderson needs to clearly articulate what it considers unprofessional behavior and then additionally assure that the consequences of said behavior are applied fairly to all. I think that has not been the case to date as there have been some great faculty members let go unnecessarily and arbitrarily.

The Faculty Senate is working to get clarity on this issue. Let’s hope that they succeed.

As for the current Supreme Court, I have no hope as long as they fly flags upside down and blame their wives and refuse to recuse themselves from cases in which their wives are clearly involved. That group of nine needs a spanking—Ooops—not politically correct there.

Who wants to have a cup of coffee with Justices Thomas and Alito?

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *