An El Salvador-born Circuit Court Judge in Virginia has ruled that a courtroom having pictures of white judges is unfair to non-white defendants.
A judge in Virginia ruled that a courtroom lined with portraits of White judges could impede a Black defendant’s right to a fair trial and ordered that the images be removed before his next court appearance.
Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge David Bernhard wrote in an opinion this week that having people of color stand trial in courtrooms where the images on display are overwhelmingly of White judges could signal that the justice system is biased against them. [CNN]
The judge who made the decision has an interesting history. From a profile when he was first elected in 2017:
David Bernhard, 54, who was born in El Salvador and sought asylum in the United States before launching a 30-plus-year legal career, will sit on the Fairfax County Circuit Court beginning July 1. He will be joined by Fairfax lawyer David A. Oblon, who was also selected for the court.
Bernhard, who has a firm in Falls Church, has practiced law in a range of areas, including criminal, immigration and personal-injury cases. He is particularly focused on serving low-income Latino clients.
Bernhard said he sought asylum in the United States in the late 1970s after his father was nearly kidnapped in El Salvador because of his diplomatic work as the honorary consul of Israel there. [Washington Post]
Interestingly, Bernhard describes himself as a “white Hispanic.”
Bernhard, a former defense attorney who has been on the bench since 2017, describes himself as “white Hispanic.” He was born to parents of Jewish and German descent in El Salvador, before seeking asylum in the United States in the 1970s. [Seattle Times]
El Salvador has one of the highest murder rates in the world. It’s generally assumed that asylum seekers from such violent societies would be grateful for the chance to live in the United States. This is unfortunately not the case, as we see with Judge Bernhard and others like Minnesota Representative Illhan Omar. They often arrive and immediately condemn the United States as racist and white supremacist, all while favoring their own people over those who welcomed them with open arms.
Since becoming a judge in 2017, Bernhard has consistently pushed a left-wing activist agenda that’s slowly turning America into a country with crime rates like El Salvador. Most notably, he has been at the forefront of the movement to abolish the cash bail system, which keeps criminals off the streets while they await trial.
From a pro-Bernhard profile in the liberal Washington Post:
But for about a year, Fairfax County Circuit Court Judge David Bernhard has been quietly doing away with this cornerstone of the courts. In his courtroom, nearly all defendants not deemed a danger to the public or a flight risk have been allowed their freedom without putting up thousands of dollars.
Bernhard appears to be the first judge in Northern Virginia to embrace a growing criminal-justice reform movement in the state and across the country concerned that the decades-old system disadvantages the poor. [Washington Post]
Leftists believe the cash bail system unfairly victimizing the poor. They say the wealthy walk free while the poor remain locked up. Almost no one pays bail money entirely out of pocket though. Usually a bail bondsman puts up 90% of the money. Regardless of who pays though, all the money is returned if the defendant returns to stand trail. Bail gives an incentive to cooperate with authorities, the real reason anti-authority leftists hate it.
Advocates of bail abolition insist judges would still have the power to detain defendants they believe a danger to the public. However, can radical judges like David Bernhard really be trusted to fairly appraise whether someone is a danger or not? Especially when erring on the side of violent criminals is such a large part of leftist judicial philosophy?
The bail abolition movement has already made terrifying progress in New York City and Los Angeles, both of which have seen increases in violent crime this year.
On Jan. 1, a landmark New York law curtailing the use of cash bail went into effect, signaling a leap in a nationwide movement to reduce the number of people held in jails.
But after less than a week under the new system, elected officials are already having second thoughts, rattled by stories of suspects’ being set free and committing new crimes ─ including that of a woman accused of an anti-Semitic attack in New York City.
The backlash, led by conservative lawmakers and law enforcement authorities, is sweeping up some Democrats who pushed for the law, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who said Monday that it remains “a work in progress.” [NBC News]
In Los Angeles:
George Gascón embarked Monday on a plan to reimagine criminal prosecutions in Los Angeles County, announcing sweeping policy changes he’ll make as district attorney that include an end to cash bail, a ban on prosecutors seeking enhanced prison sentences and showing leniency to many low-level offenders.
Of all the policy changes Gascón laid out, the end to cash bail, which is set to go into effect Jan. 1, is perhaps the most seismic. Instead of seeking to hold criminal defendants in custody unless they can afford to post an amount of cash determined by a judge, prosecutors will be directed to ask judges to release them [LA Times]
The story of Judge Bernhard should serve as a cautionary tale about immigration. Even when immigrants go to college and get good jobs, they often remain resentful of the country that took them in. The United States saved David Bernhard from the violence that threatened his life in El Salvador. Not only did it save him, it gave him a position of power. Bernhard repaid that generosity by ordering our history erased and by seeking to make our country more like the one he left.
The more pertinent and unspoken truth here may be that this is what assimilation looks like in the 21st century. Bernhard has assimilated into the ruling class, cosmopolitan anti-white culture that is the default for someone of his station. The old conservative trope that immigrants need to assimilate has broken down entirely because the poisonous globalist worldview, anti-white animus and all, is the dominant culture of the American professional managerial class.