Jerry Kremer_Columnist

Attacking Our Courts Undermines America

By Jerry Kramer
I have personally spent 32 years of my life as a public servant. My career began in 1960 when I was lucky enough to be sworn in as an Assistant Corporation Counsel in Long Beach. In addition to protecting the city from lawsuits, I was responsible for prosecuting people, who had violated some city ordinance. Representing the people of my community in a local courtroom was one of the most gratifying experiences I could have ever had as a young lawyer.
From that very day, I developed the strongest possible feelings about the importance of the American court system that dispenses justice, without fear or favor. Courtrooms throughout America have a symbol on their walls of Lady Justice, the Roman goddess Justicia, who represents the virtue of justice. She is blindfolded because justice is unbiased and is not based on a person’s appearance or outside influences.
I am especially troubled by the attacks on the court system by former President Donald Trump. Mr. Trump is scheduled to face criminal charges in a New York court on April 15. A jury of his peers will be selected to decide whether he is guilty of covering up hush money payments to a woman who might have been an embarrassment to his public image prior to the 2016 presidential elections.
Rather than trust the jurors who will decide his fate, Mr. Trump has embarked on an intense attack on the judicial system in an effort to undermine the judge and frighten potential jurors. He has labeled the judge who will preside over his case as “corrupt” and has leveled personal attacks against the judge’s daughter. He has called the prosecutors “crooked and corrupt”. According to the Washington Post, since late 2022, Mr. Trump has attacked judges and family members by name, 138 times.
The assaults on the court system have angered judges around the country. U.S. District Judge Reggie B. Walton, who was appointed by presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, chose to make public comments last week stating “when judges are threatened, and particularly when the family is threatened, it’s something that is wrong and should not happen.”
Ugly rhetoric against judges can produce extreme results. Two years ago, the home of a New Jersey federal judge was invaded by an unhappy defendant who killed the judge’s son and came close to killing the judge as well. When a national figure like Donald Trump attacks judges and their family, it is an invitation to attack judges anywhere in America, including Long Island. It is incumbent on every citizen to speak out against this abuse of the First Amendment by a person who should know better.

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