If I didn’t already have my sermon ready for this Shabbat I would have had to speak out about Judge Roy Pearson, Jr. The Washington judge brought some pants to the cleaners, and they were lost. OK, stuff like that happens. If the cleaners are too slow responding, and the suit was expensive, maybe you even sue. But the judge is suing not for a new pair of pants; not even for a whole new suit. He’s suing for $65 million, a figure he claims is justified under DC law. You can read the full story on CNN.
The cleaners are immigrants from Korea; offers of $3,000 and $12,000 to settle have been refused. They are so upset they are thinking of leaving America to go back to Korea.
This week’s Torah portion, Emor, tells us the judge is way out of line. In this week’s parsha we have the famous teaching of “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” Or, we might say “a pair of pants for a pair of pants.”
The rabbis interpret an eye for an eye has monetary compensation, and it is understood that the lesson is compensation when you’ve damaged someone is supposed to be appropriate and proportional. For a judge to seek damages that would represent a travesty of justice is absurd. For a judge who is part of the legal system to bring a lawsuit which brings ridicule to the legal system scandalous.
Blogger The Will to Exist wrote “If I were a preacher, I would tell people there is a special place in hell for people like Roy Pearson.”
I’m sure there is!
Will to exist also has information if you would like to make a donation to the legal defense fund for the dry cleaner, click on the link above.