Those who know me know I’m one of the biggest fans of The Honorable Judge Judith Scheindlin. Her tenacity, self-confidence, and fearless approach on the bench create an atmosphere of respect which I find incredibly refreshing. Although I do cringe a bit when she verbally spanks an unsuspecting plaintiff, or tells a defendant, “You’re an idiot,” I must admit that I admire her boldness to tell it like it is.
More than her boldness, however, is the way she upholds the banner for good grammar, proper vocabulary, and decent dress. “Where did you think you were coming today?” she asks, eyeing their outfit of choice. “Would you wear ripped jeans to a job interview or a funeral?” One poor guy made the mistake of saying yes. Her response: “You’re an idiot.”
A young woman appeared as a witness for the plaintiff wearing an outfit that showed way too much skin. Within five minutes Her Honor ordered the witness out of the courtroom to “find a shawl” and return more modestly covered. The girl had a puzzled look on her face as she made a hasty exit. She was either thinking “What’s wrong with my top? I always dress like this.” Or she was trying to figure out What in the world is a shawl?
Judge Judy keeps strict parameters in her courtroom. If someone gets into drama or tries to malign the other person, she strikes with her gavel and says, “Save that for another program.” (Too bad we couldn’t do some gavel-striking on Facebook.) If someone challenges or disagrees with her decision, she retorts, “They don’t keep me here ’cause I’m gorgeous. They keep me here ’cause I’m smart!”
Her premarital counseling is off the charts. Sometimes she’ll look at a female witness for the defendant and ask, “Who are you?” “I’m his fiancee,” is often the response. Judge Judy has no problem saying, “You better think twice before you marry him. And if you do marry him, don’t have kids.” I wonder how many divorces she’s prevented.
Judge Judy seems to be one of the last people to publicly uphold good manners, grammar, and respect. In a day and age when folks speak with sloppy abbreviations and wear ill-fitting clothes that don’t leave much to the imagination, she’s a lone but refreshing voice in the wilderness calling people back to decency and good old-fashioned manners.
I think our country will benefit from a lot more smart and a lot less gorgeous. What do you think?