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Opinion: Women make great judges

By Steve Coulter

What you are about to witness is real. The participants are not actors. They are actual litigants with a case pending in civil court. Both parties have agreed to drop their claims and have their cases settled here, before Judge Marilyn Milian, in our forum: The People’s Court.

That’s the opening monologue to one of the longest and most popular court shows ever. The People’s Court is a reality court show presided over by retired Florida State Circuit Court Judge Marilyn Milian.

Steve Coulter, Co-Publisher

Judge Milian brings two decades of legal wisdom to the bench. Milian was appointed to the Miami Circuit Court in 1999 by Govenor Jeb Bush, where she served in the Criminal Division. Prior to that, she spent five years in the Miami County Court in the Domestic Violence, Criminal and Civil divisions. She was appointed to the County Court by then-Governor Lawton Chiles. Before serving in the County Court, Milian worked for 10 years as an Assistant State Attorney for the Dade County State Attorney’s Office, personally hired by Janet Reno.

Judge Milian is honored to be the first Latina Judge to host a nationally syndicated television court show. In the courtroom, Milian often uses pearls of wisdom recalled from her Cuban mother and grandmother when addressing litigants. Milian proudly admits she gets her feistiness from her mother and her drive from her father. She listens to the facts and is no-nonsense when dealing with litigants in her courtroom. Her decisions are based on current law-they are final and binding.

Judge Milian and so many other women make great judges. Women Judges are in the spotlight with the passing of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. And President Trump has nominated her replacement with Judge Amy Coney Barrett.

Federal judges receive lifetime appointments. Every year, the senate votes to confirm the federal judges a president nominates. Today, about one-third of active judges are women who serve as U.S. Court of Appeals judges, U.S. District Court judges, U.S. Magistrate judges, and U.S. Bankruptcy Court judges.

President Ronald Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Connor in 1981. She was the first woman on the Supreme Court, and served from 1981 until 2006.

Three other women have followed Justice O’Connor to the Supreme Court: Ruth Bader Ginsburg (1993), Sonia Sotomayor (2009) and Elena Kagan (2010).

You know who I think would make a great Supreme Court Judge? Judith Sheindlin. Now that would be interesting.

Judge Judy is best known as a no-nonsense courtroom judge on the long-running television show “Judge Judy”. She’s strict in her management of the proceedings and quick to scold or even punish people that are disobedient, misbehave or are annoying.

She often yells “Baloney!”, “Do I have ‘stupid’ written over my forehead?”, “Where did you think you were coming to today, the beach?!”, “Shhhhhhh”, “I’m speaking!”

Sheindlin’s regular phrases on the show have become known as “Judyisms” .

“Judy Justice” will be a brand new reality court show hosted by Judge Judy Sheindlin. The series will be a direct successor program to Judge Judy, as Sheindlin announced the end of her contract from CBS at the end of the 2020-2021 season.

Televisions longest-running court show is actually “Divorce Court”. The show allows viewers to experience the drama firsthand as couples square off in real-life courtroom battles. Divorce Court is back this season with a modified look and a brand new judge. Judge Faith Jenkins has taken over for Judge Lynn Toler, who left after 13 years on the popular show. All decisions are legally-binding on Divorce Court.

Founded in 1907, the Oklahoma Supreme Court is the State’s court of last resort for civil matters, while the Oklahoma Court of Criminal Appeals is the court of last resort for criminal matters. The Oklahoma Supreme Court has nine judgeships. The current chief of the court is Noma D. Gurich. There are two women serving on the Oklahoma Supreme Court.

There are a lot of great women judges. We can learn a lot from them and hopefully we will have many more appointed in the years to come.


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