Does he really mean to imply that state court judges plug their ears and rule indiscriminately, while their federal counterparts sit in “majestic courtrooms” and render real justice?
His broad characterization of state court judges raises a larger concern. What is the public to think if lawyers consider state court judges as second-class judges?
Surely Mr. Nolan meant no disrespect. But, the perception he relates—all too common among lawyers—originates in an implicit bias about the quality and performance of federal versus state court judges.
The public’s sense of justice depends on trusting the integrity, fairness, and competency of our judiciary. Whenever lawyers disparage judges generally or a class of judges specifically, the public’s sense of justice suffers. And, so too, a distinctive strength of our legal systems.