"Seattle's Judge Judy" - or, more precisely, county suburban district court judge Judith Eiler - gets the bum's rush in Time this week. Attorney-journalist Adam Cohen thinks Eiler's recent five-day suspension by the state Supreme Court was too little, too late. "It should have pushed back against our rising smackdown culture by removing this judge running amok from her job," he writes, albeit awkwardly. He cites some of her court comments as evidence:
When a defendant showed up on a traffic charge, Judge Judy delivered a zinger: "If you drive like an idiot 'cause you're late for work, you're gonna have to pay for it." Then she piled on: "You can see your picture on the headlines of the Seattle Times, stupid young man who shouldn't be driving." Another defendant recalled that the tart-tongue jurist humiliated and bullied her until she broke down in tears. "She frequently interrupted answers with insults," the woman recalled.
The Weekly's been writing about Eiler for years, amassing additional evidence. It includes:
-To an attorney during a family court hearing: "This is not a divorce court! And I am not gonna hear your divorce proceeding! I'll send you back to Superior Court so fast that your head will swim!"
-To a speeder who said he was just going with the flow, "You are a mature adult, so 'everybody doing it' doesn't cut it, period. Duh."
-To a father trying to speak for his son, "He's not a puppet. You don't get to move his mouth."
Cohen notes that Eiler told The Daily Beast, "If I call someone an idiot, they're an idiot." Let the record also show she threatened to fire her court workers if defendants talked to them, and liked to whistle at lawyers and clients to get their attention.
Some are just "idiots" she said, so expect the worse. As she once told KIRO-TV, "People don't come to court because they're having a good day." Judges either, it seems.