After 35 years, Justice John Paul Stevens has announced his retirement from the Supreme Court. During his time on the bench, he rendered verdicts on cases that have affected the course of the nation, from headline grabbing cases like Bush vs. Gore and Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, to smaller cases like Wallace v. Jaffree (on the Establishment Clause aka the separation of church and state) and Gregg v. Georgia (the death penalty), all smaller but no the less important to their participants, whose very lives maybe on the line.
His retirement bestows the responsibility of naming his replacement onto President Obama’s shoulders during a time when the political landscape is contentious to say the least. It might behoove the President to think outside the jury box a little to find his next nominee.
Since its public knowledge that the most powerful man in the world is a fan of popular culture, here are some suggestions from the world of video gaming that have the judicial experience to help bring wisdom and fairness to the highest court in the land.Saibanchō
First Appearance: Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney
Profile: The unnamed judge from the Ace Attorney series of games, Saibanchō being Japanese for Judge, presides over a special criminal court in the near future. In his courtroom the accused is given three days to prove his or her innocence in bench trail that’s heavily bent in favor of the prosecution. If the defending attorney can’t poke enough holes in the case, the defendant is held over for a full trial, where the odds are even worse. Saibanchō, despite for his tendency to show favoritism and to become confused, is always fair. If one can prove their case, he will do the right thing and rule in the favor.
Judicial Philosophy: Situationalist.
Odds of Confirmation: Good. “Saibanchō” brings to the table years of experience, and lacking a voice has made him very adept at expressing his views in short, easy to read statements, which could aid in opening up the judicial process to interested citizens.
Judge Master Gabranth
First Appearance: Final Fantasy XII
Profile: The Judges of the Archadian Empire are not the type to wield gavels, unless a fifty-pound war hammer counts. Gabranth and his contemporaries are not only the ultimate arbiters of the law in the expansionist regime, but they are also the commanders of the Empire’s armed forces. Covered from head to toe in the armor that servers as his badge of office. Gabranth has displayed both ruthlessness and cunning in pursuit of his own ideals of honor and justice on both the battlefield, and the even more deadly halls of power.
Judicial Philosophy: Authoritarian.
Odds of Confirmation: Low. Gabranth’s history of regicide makes him a long shot even for nomination. His aptitude with weaponry and intimidating demeanor might appeal to some, though his use of magic would no doubt concern conservative types
First Appearance (gaming): Judge Dredd
Profile: In the overpopulated, post-apocalyptic refuge known Mega-City One, the Judges are the law. With the abandonment of due process, habeas corpus and even the concept of independent legal representation, the Judges are empowered to arrest, try and sentence suspects on the spot, often times within in seconds of rolling up to a crime scene on heavily armed motorcycles. Judge Joe Dredd is the best of them, a hard-core believer in the law with an indomitable will and has served for decades.
Judicial Philosophy: Law and Order.
Odds of Confirmation: Moderate. Dredd’s gruff Exeter hides a mind with an encyclopedic knowledge of the law, although the chances that he might just blow defeated plaintiffs away might be too much to risk.
Edward Ernest "Judge" Reinhold, Jr.
First Appearance: Gremlins: The Adventure
Profile: Admittedly, reaching a little bit here. The star of many 1980s teen films Judge Reinhold has no judicial experience, but is occasionally cast as a judge as play on his stage name.
Judicial Philosophy: Unknown.
Odds of Confirmation: Zero, especially since his choice in roles (Head Office, Visa Versa) could cause some to question his judgment.Related Stories
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