Judge Finds Self In Contempt Of Court For Distracting Smart Phone

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A Michigan judge already renowned for being a stickler about cellphones in court administered himself even sterner justice than he’s meted out to others who’ve broken his ringtone policy: He found himself in contempt and slapped himself with a $25 fine.

District Judge Raymond Voet heard an annoying ring during closing arguments in a domestic violence trial last week, and he realized quickly that all the no-phone signs he’d posted in the courthouse hadn’t deterred at least one person — himself — from ignoring them.

“Judges are humans. They’re not above the rules. I broke the rule and I have to live by it,” the judge told Michigan Live.

So he immediately walked downstairs and paid the $25 contempt fine he’s imposed, at times, on others.

The stakes aren’t exactly high here, but it’s nice to believe think the judge’s integrity would scale to meet tougher circumstances. This small gesture suggests that maybe at least one court official has his heart in the right place.

Ben Bullard

Reconciling the concept of individual sovereignty with conscientious participation in the modern American political process is a continuing preoccupation for staff writer Ben Bullard. A former community newspaper writer, Bullard has closely observed the manner in which well-meaning small-town politicians and policy makers often accept, unthinkingly, their increasingly marginal role in shaping the quality of their own lives, as well as those of the people whom they serve. He argues that American public policy is plagued by inscrutable and corrupt motives on a national scale, a fundamental problem which individuals, families and communities must strive to solve. This, he argues, can be achieved only as Americans rediscover the principal role each citizen plays in enriching the welfare of our Republic.