Sunday, May 26, 2024

Adventures in Facepalm: Judicial Campaign Edition

Earlier today, I needed a cover sheet for an appeal, so I typed “Arkansas Judiciary” into Chrome’s address bar. This is not particularly newsworthy, in and of itself.

Before I could click on the link to the judiciary website, however, I saw this:

Screen Shot 2016-02-03 at 10.33.32 AM

I mean…really??


I think I’m most bothered by the utter lack of logical consistency in this statement.

After all, “guided by prayer & not politics” seems to imply that being guided by politics would be wrong. Which, to be fair, is a correct assertion. But it is just as wrong to be “guided by prayer” as Chief Justice. Because the only thing that a judge should be “guided by” in his decision-making endeavors is a little thing called “the law.”

In other words, bragging that you would be “a Chief Justice who is guided by prayer [and] not politics” is no different than saying you would be guided by the discography of Dan Fogelberg, a piece of toast that seems to show the Virgin Mary, or the ethical tenets found in reruns of Perfect Strangers.1

I don’t know Judge Dan Kemp. I know a number of people who do know him, and they all seem to like him a great deal. So it’s possible that this ad is little more than evidence of the need for all Arkansas candidates to pander to the kind of voter who thinks ol’ Stanley makes sense when he talks about judges.2

If that is the case, however, we can go ahead and put this down as yet another example of why electing judges is probably not the best way to go.


  1. Though the episode where Balki complains about the number of raisins in each box of Raisin Puffs is at least a decent primer on the concept of fairness, I suppose.

  2. Reminder: He does not.

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