In the Peach Pundit Daily last week we referred to judgeships as “cushy” gigs -figuring that any job that provides virtually lifetime tenure, a robe and a gavel was at least desirable. Our flippant comment inspired an angry response from Atlanta Municipal Court Judge Gary Jackson:“Dear Sir, It is now 6:37 pm and I am still in court session as an Associate Judge in the Atlanta Municipal Court. I arrived at the courthouse this morning at 7:21 am, to prepare for an 8:00 am General Calendar. There were 196 defendants scheduled with over 275 cases scheduled. I heard cases until 11:52 am without a break. There were 2 bench trials completed. I resumed court at 2:00 pm for a Probation Calendar (14 Defendants, with 17 total cases). I then had a Jail /Video Calendar (15 defendants, a total of over 21 cases). I then had a second General Calendar at 3:00 pm (147 defendants with over 195 cases). There were also 2 bench trials completed. After over 25 years of law practice, and over 13 years as a full time Judge, I honestly do not feel that my service on the bench is a “cushy gig.” If you feel otherwise (and reasonable people can disagree), then I invite you to join me one whole day in the Atlanta Municipal Court. Perhaps you will see how hard my staff and I work every day to administer justice and preserve public safety.”
Judge Jackson also informed us that although his salary of $155,500 computes to measly $77.75 per hour, AND that he often works more than 40 hours per week, AND his gavel was given to him by his sister AND that his robe was “worn through with holes” he is NOT complaining. In fact, he “loves his work” and is “honored to serve the People of Atlanta. They seem to be pleased, or at least the 80+ % of the voters who elected to retain me last election seem to be pleased.”
Anyone who gets a work uniform and tools provided to him, and works more than 40 hours per week and gets re-elected by 83% of the voters while running unopposed is doing something very, very right.
We regret the error, and throw ourselves on the mercy of the court. Subscribe to the Peach Pundit Daily here.