One of the reasons that people are polarized and even in rebellion is that they feel that our institutions of government are not working well for everyone, or even trying to do so. The Executive and Legislative Branches have their favorites, and don’t care about anyone else, and the Judiciary only gives out “justice” to those who can afford it. And this belief can be cancerous! So whenever I have an opportunity to talk to prosecutors I always tell them that they have non-delegable duty because they speak and act in our name. And that duty is to do the right thing for the right reason – every time! Each case is the most important case you have ever handled. Everyone deserves to be judged by the Rule of Law, with the appropriate and fair use of discretion being exercised by the system, as represented by both the prosecutor and the judge. And that is true regardless of who the defendants are! Why? Because one of our most basic founding principles is Equal Justice under the Law, and if we ever lose it we are no better than any other country the world has seen. But if we follow our basic principles, we will remain special. Accordingly, as judges and as prosecutors we have two mandates. The first is to do justice under the facts and law of the cases, as well as the ethics of our profession. But the second is equally important, and that is for anyone who cares to believe that justice was done. Obviously life can be complicated, and all people will not agree on anything all of the time. But those are our mandates – and today they do not seem to be working.

So now what do we do? It is our government, and if it’s not working we have no one to blame but ourselves. Is justice being applied equally? Are Caucasians too often treated as the privileged class? Are Muslims in our country too often being treated like potential terrorists? Are some people more often being considered to be involved in drug trafficking because of their race or culture? Sure racial stereotyping sometimes has a basis in some statistics, but our system or justice must always look past those inclinations. And it is up to us to ensure that this happens.

Phrase for our times? The phrase “Click it or Ticket” seemed to be successful in persuading people to wear their seatbelts. So how about now using “Mask it or Casket?”

Judge Jim Gray (Ret.) Superior Court of Orange County, California 2012 Libertarian Candidate for Vice President

As stated above, feel free to listen to our radio show entitled All Rise! The Libertarian Way with Judge Jim Gray as we discuss timely issues and show how they will be addressed more beneficially by employing Libertarian values and approaches. The series has concluded, but you can still hear any edition On Demand by going to https://www.voiceamerica.com/show/3883. And, by the way, these 2 Paragraphs columns are now on my website at www.JudgeJImGray.com, Facebook and LinkedIn at judgejimgray, Twitter at judgejamesgray, and wordpress at judgejimgray.wordpress.com. Please visit these sites for past editions, and do your part to spread the word about the importance of Liberty. In addition, my new book with the same title as my radio show is now available at Amazon.com. Please read and discuss it with your friends, and send in a review.