Nanci Grant

Judge Rae Lee Chabot

Society has a deal with judges. We don’t pay them very well — but, in exchange for salaries that are much lower than what they could earn in the private sector, they get to do whatever they heck they want. And get to be addressed as “Your Honor,” and wear really cool black robes.

One of the perks of judicial office is that it isn’t a nine-to-five job. Judges don’t have to punch a time clock; they come and go as they please. Court isn’t court until the judge takes the bench.

As long as a judge is reasonably current with his docket, he should be left alone. There is no face-time requirement for judges. (Sure, judges have to be on the bench for trials and oral arguments and such — but that’s not “face-time,” since the judge’s presence is actually necessary for the proceedings.)

In light of all this, I’m puzzled by the controversy over Judge Rae Lee Chabot. Judge Chabot has served on the Oakland County Circuit Court in Michigan for over 10 years.

Sure, the allegations about how she spends her days are amusing — and we’ll name her our Judge of the Day, just for the heck of it. But is there really a problem here?

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