I answered the call for jury duty today, spending roughly eight hours in voir dire for a criminal trial. (In a 42-person pool, there were three professors, at least two attorneys, a professional actor, a professional musician, and a number of other interesting folks. I think the musician was empaneled; needless to say, I wasn’t, else I wouldn’t be writing this.)
To fill the time as the attorneys were putting together the jury at the end of the long day, the judge (recently reelected to his second term on the bench) felt compelled to lecture us about this great country of ours. You see, he grew up in Charlottesville, Virginia (in the shadow of Mr. Jefferson’s University). From his house, he told us, he could see the Rotunda and Monticello. I’ll let go for a moment the fact that he told us that Jefferson wrote the Declaration of Independence in Charlottesville, but I can’t let go his claim, from the bench, that America finally sealed its greatness as a nation last Tuesday. I wonder how he would have filled the time if John McCain had been elected.
I should add that the judge was unopposed for reelection, and I doubt he’ll ever have opposition. I typically don’t mark the ballot when I know nothing about the person running for office. I don’t know whether I did it in his case or not last week. Next time, you can be certain that he won’t get my vote.