Bad Judges

Since we covered the SCOTUS, we also took a look at the local judiciary around the US. Spoiler alert: not good.



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In this episode, we're talking about local politics, particularly some egregious examples of the local judiciary. The most notorious of which is a local judge from Arkansas named Mike Maggio who social media posted himself from the bench to federal prison after he revealed the details of a sealed adoption by actress Charlize Theron, took bribes from a nursing home corporation to reduce negligence / wrongful death judgments against the company, and pinned all of this stuff on himself by posting about it on a college football forum. All of this was uncovered by Matt Campbell of Blue Hog Report, a great example of a blog for any would-be local issues journalist. 1

As it turns out, Maggio may be the norm rather than the exception. A study of judge misconduct nationwide found approximately 16-20% of them have had some sort of reprimand, but 90% remained in office after being punished. Of those nefarious judges, 2/3 were punished anonymously so that possible victims of those judges can't even pinpoint their names. 2

Sandra talks about her time volunteering for a Senate campaign for Beto O'Rourke in Texas and we close up by recommending that people pay a little more attention to their local offices and local issues. You can do a lot more with a few friends and neighbors in your home town than the spectacle of a presidential election can do for you. All of this brought to mind the all time great political speech from Jesse Jackson during the 1984 campaign. "Rocks, just layin' around..." We cleaned up the almost 40 year old audio as best we could and included it in its entirety in the end of the episode. Do yourself a favor and listen to the whole seven minutes, it's a classic.


1. Matt Campbell. Who Have You Wronged, Mr. Maggio? Hog Nation Turns Its Angry Eyes To You. (Woo woo wooooo.). Blue Hog Report. March 2014. 

2. Michael Berens and John Shiffman. Thousands of U.S. Judges Who Broke Laws or Oaths Remained on the Bench. Reuters. June 2020. 

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