A just decision

Published 5:37 pm Sunday, September 13, 2009

By Staff
Talk about judicial use of one’s time as a retiree — dozens of retired North Carolina judges giving up part of their retirement life to return to courtrooms as substitute judges who fill in when full-time judges are sick.
The News &Observer reported several days ago that the General Assembly’s reduction of the Administrative Office of the Court’s budget by 6 percent this year meant the loss of $30 million in funds earmarked for salaries and training of judges, prosecutors and court clerks. The cut also meant emergency judges don’t receive the $400 a day they used to receive.
To help keep courts across the state from canceling sessions and turning away residents with business with the courts, 44 retired judges have agreed to return to the bench and dispense justice for free. Good for them. Good for the state. Good for the taxpayers.
The retired judges deserve commendation for being willing to don their judicial robes and help out. No doubt some of them miss presiding over trials and other courtroom proceedings. A court session here and a hearing there may go a long way in helping the retired judges keep abreast of changes in the law or give them chances to get out of the house.
Whatever their motivations, the retired judges are providing a service that other federal, state or local government officials may want to consider emulating. Judges, at least most of them, have always been held up as role models for us to emulate.
Addressed often as “Your Honor” during their paid time on the bench, these retired judges are bringing more honor upon their profession with their selfless acts.
The least we can do is honor them with a little recognition for those selfless acts.