JUDGE BOB ADRIAN had a public gathering outside the Adams County Courthouse Tuesday to announce he is running for retention. It was a publicity stunt and it turned sideways when protesters showed up. Adrian is the judge who found a young man guilty of rape, then refused to sentence him to prison and threw out the conviction. It made international headlines. It got him busted down from criminal to civil court. And it showed Judge Adrian suffers from the dreaded Black Robe Disease, where he thinks his word is not just law but the end of all ends, and damn anybody who disagrees.
I wasn't there, as I was recovering from having my left knee smashed into a pulp to break up scar tissue by my chiropractor, Jay Johnson. Believe me, having Dr. Jay poke and press into my knee is far less painful then enduring a press conference put on by somebody in politics. Or the law. Or both. Here is the Muddy River account and the Herald-Whig article.
Whoever thought it would be a good idea for Judge Adrian to have this event needs to take Public Relations 101 again. Or maybe they never did. All the judge needs to do is be quiet and he'll have a good chance of retention. But he doesn't want to play it that way.
The judge, a Republican, said he didn't care "how much the left criticizes me" or lies about him or "tries to cancel me," whatever that means. His words show that politics play a huge role in who gets picked for what in our judicial system, sadly.
Look. If you are a judge and you run for retention, all you have to do is keep your nose in the books, issue fair rulings and keep the lawyers from killing each other during the high publicity trials. It's not an easy job, but until Judge Adrian, nobody around here had an issue with it.
Instead of taking his medicine and laying low, the judge has decided to make it worse. Judges are human and make mistakes, too. The difference in this case is a failing to recognize the failure and doubling down on believing you are infallible because you "swing the hammer of justice." To top it off, he's the subject of an official judicial inquiry, and who knows what will happen with that whole deal.
Here's a little piece of info for you, judge. I'm not a member of either political party, and have no plans to join either side. I consider myself a centrist and I hate the radical elements, both right and left. This guy in the middle is outraged by your behavior and saddened by your desperate attempts to hold onto office, and I know a ton of people just like me who feel the same way.
We will see in November if your strategy works. You need 60 percent of the vote to retain your job. Maybe you'll get it in a circuit known for leaning right. Or maybe you've ticked off enough people who have decided to get off their butts and actually register to vote just to see you unemployed.
Ain't no left or right on this wagon train, judge. Just somebody who thinks you made a massive blunder and you shouldn't be a judge anymore. We'll see what everybody else thinks in November, and whether or not you'll wear that black robe again.
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