Excellent editorial in Wall Street Journal today (no, I won't be publishing a link here because I read it in good old fashioned hard copy). Actually, the best part was just the transcript of a conversation between Judge Janis something Jack and some unfortunate lawyer as she grilled him about his silcosis clients' previous claims of asbestosis (I hope that sentenance made a little sense there) I enjoyed not only because I'm generally pro-big business and think that all of these claims are usually bogus, as the lawyer was forced to admit about all the previous claims, but also because I have often thought that being a judge would be a great hobby. I wouldn't want to do it for a living, and I wouldn't want to have to be a lawyer all the years it takes to be one, but on and off, I would love to do it. 'It' being just the fun parts- the ones that involve brow-beating witnesses or lawyers, being all ironical and dryly clever and there's nothing they can do about it, because "There is nothing so much like G-d in Heaven as a judge in his courtroom" (Ten points for anyone who gets the quote adapted there). Of course, in my more rational mind, I know that this is not entirely true and judges do have rules of procedure and can get overturned for breaking them and dull things like that, but I still cherish the image of the Israeli Supreme Court. Unlike America, that Court is the court of first appeal for a lot of things and anyone can appeal up to it on demand, so they have a lot more cases. But best of all, they apparently (not that I am surprised, given that it is Israel) have the liberty to attack, be sarcastic at, brow-beat, yell at, etc. the lawyer, all at once if they like, interrupting him before he can answer their collegue's attack. It was awesome, especially since I was viewing it all with the special added bonus entertainment of trying to follow the rapid Hebrew.
So that remains in my mind as the model of the fun that one can have as a judge, especially if you ignore all the really boring bits, not to mention the homework of reading briefs and so on. Which is why it would be a great hobby and why I read the editorial not only cheering Judge Jack, but also envying her just a little.