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Opening Arguments

Power play

If you aspire to have absolute power, forget about the presidency. That office is constrained by Congress, by the Supreme Court, by the Constitution and even by something as nebulous as public opinion. No, if you want real, raw power, just be a judge:

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - A judge has ordered the St. Joseph County Council to approve $79,000 in pay raises for his eight employees despite a projected $4.3 million county government deficit.

Probate Judge Peter Nemeth had warned at a council meeting last month that he would order the raises through a judicial mandate after the council cut them from his court's 2009 budget.

Indiana Supreme Court trial rules allow judges to override county council spending decisions if judges deem spending essential to administer justice.

Separation of powers? Don't be silly. Come to think of it, isn't having an informed public necessary for the administration of justice, and doesn't that information include well-reasoned opinions? How about it, justices of the Indiana Supreme Court? Just one teeny little phone call to my boss.


Mon, 02/09/2009 - 12:40pm

A judge's mandate power is something that generally rubs me the wrong way. Other county department heads have functions they are charged with fulfilling and they have to make due with less when the county fiscal body starts running out of money. The mandate power, though generally used in a fairly restrained fashion by the judges I've seen, tends to mean that they get what they need but other county departments have to make due with less.

tim zank
Mon, 02/09/2009 - 12:41pm

It does seem patently unfair.