Responding to the judiciary’s threat to subpoena all state legislators and keep them sitting in courtrooms without ever calling their cases unless they vote for an immediate pay hike, the Governor unveiled a bold innovative “Adopt-a-Judge” program whereby businesses and organizations may volunteer to take on the upkeep and litter removal of state court judges.
The response was heartwarmingly swift and enthusiastic. The children of P.S. 124 of Brooklyn unanimously voted to pool their lunch money to adopt Judge Magoo who recently appeared on the front page of the NY Law Journal stating that he could no longer keep body and soul together on $144,000 a year and had been forced to donate his children to Gingerbread House Fostercare, Inc.. See “Family Trumps Love of Law for Departing Justice” NY Law Journal 11/15/2010.
“According to a recent Bureau of Statistics report, one in 32 of us nationwide will grow up to be under state supervision,” lisped 6-year old Taneesha Hawkins. “So it’s never too soon to start helping disadvantaged judges.”
“It was a natural move,” added 9-year old Earl Quixote. “Due to budget cuts, school lunches have become so yukky, it’s no problem for us to skip them and donate our money to the less fortunate.”
Inspired by the children’s example, several philanthropic organizations have jumped on the bandwagon. Lucky’s Cartage and Waste Removal Co. is taking in the Bronx Hall of Justice, while proceedings are underway to have the entire First Department adopted by North Korea.
The Adopt-a-Judge program was warmly applauded by former Chief Judge Kaye who first drew the nation’s attention to the shocking plight of needy state judges. “We thought that allowing judges to sell their artwork and play in rock bands would at least provide for basic nutrition and literacy development,” she said. See “Judges Can Take Pay For Some Artistic Activities, Panel Says,” NYLJ 6/8/2010. “But we made the astonishing discovery that these activities are even less remunerative than judiciating.”
An assemblyperson who asked not to be named expressed skepticism. “It’s the typical quick fix you expect from Albany,” she said. “Throwing money at judges won’t solve their problems. What they need is training and job skills.”
But for Chief Judge Flipman, it was thumbs-up to the new program. “Judges have long been viewed as role models and fountains of wisdom but we can’t pay our heating bills with that,” he quipped. “It’s money that makes the world go round.”