Justice

For any loving person, the greatest pain is to see someone of good heart manipulated by someone in whom they have invested trust. People of faith ask, "Why do bad things happen to good people?" The only meaningful answer is, "To make them stronger."

Often, the first step is to learn to draw upon the strength of others. Loving people sometimes give too much. They do not learn to receive.

Society has established a formal system of justice to provide resource to people seeking to stand up for themselves. There are three parts to this system: the formulation of laws in the legislature, the investigation of wrongdoing by the executive, and the practice of the bench by the judiciary.

As in any established institutional process, the justice system is subject to manipulation. Associations in any part of the process can be manipulated to obtain preferential treatment. For this reason, the system relies upon precedent and closely reasoned judgment to minimize the opportunity for caprice. While seats on the bench in federal court are often life-long, and so considered plums of political patronage, in many other venues the courts are electoral offices, allowing the community to censure willfulness on the bench.

This coarse-grained review of judicial practice seems to divorce us from the statement of moral purpose that opened this section. The justice system is big business. There is an implicit contradiction between the purposes of those serving on the bench, who wish to see cases move forward efficiently, and the attorneys seeking to maximize their billable hours. Often that process serves the interests of the party of wealth. I have been advised to consider it a "game", but it does not appear to be a game conducted with a moral purpose in mind.

What is justice? How do we know it when we see it?