A few weeks ago on this site, I took to task those judicial candidates who seemed to think that appealing to specific minority communities was not only a good way to get elected, but a necessary means to achieve justice for the, let's call them, under-represented. Being a lawyer myself, and dealing with immigrants, I am sensitive to inequities in the legal system. In my opinion, however, these inequities are primarily economic, and have very little to do with skin color, ethnicity, sexual orientation and gender. A lot of people disagree with that position, and have been very vocal about it.
So I was not surpised that the Daily News received a rebuttal to my blog posting, and since I treasure the marketplace of competing ideas, I am very happy to reproduce that rebuttal below:
LEGAL SOLICITATION? NO!
This is in response to Christine Flowers’ article which appeared in the Daily News on March
28, entitled Legal Solicitation. Perhaps Ms. Flowers should have titled her piece “JOURNALISTIC
NAIVISM,” since it is apparent she is blind to the inherent prejudices existing in our judicial system,
which has impacted minorities, of all types, in Philadelphia and elsewhere for many, many years.
At the expense of Vince Giusini, a “recommended and qualified” candidate for Judge, who it should
be noted, has spent 25 years fighting for poor people and minorities, of every kind, in the
Philadelphia Family Court and Criminal System, as a court appointed lawyer, to his great economic
sacrifice, she tried to make the point justice should be blind. Of course justice should be blind, but,
Ms. Flowers needs to visit a courtroom, perhaps one in which Vince Giusini appears daily, at 1801
Vine Street and where he has appeared daily for 25 years. If she did this, she would learn, it is
advocates like Vince Giusini, fighting day in and day out on behalf of minorities, that earns him the
title of “recommended and qualified.” Ms. Flowers: the “customized justice,” you claim would
result from electing Judges who are sympathetic to discriminatory practices in the judiciary, like
Vince Giusini stated he would be, reflects your own insensitivity to all minorities, in that you fail
to recognize customized justice already exists, just not for the poor, underprivileged and minorities.
You Ms. Flowers, need to stop being naive and realize the justice system needs more Vinces, who
are sensitive to ethnic, racial and gender minorities, elected to judgeships, to really achieve equal
justice for all. Vince Giusini does not need to “curry favor” with any group. His 25 years of service
to minorities, of all walks of life, speaks for itself !! I hope you have the journalistic integrity to
present this opposing point of view.
From: “VINCE GIUSINI FOR JUDGE” COMMITTEE
1518 WALNUT STREET
PHILA. PA 19102
Everyone is entitled to their view, of course. But having grown up as the daughter of a man who spent a good deal of his childhood in foster homes, worked three jobs to put himself through college and law school where he was an editor of the law review, fought for civil rights in 1960s Mississippi and yet never allowed growing up on the wrong side of the West Philadelphia tracks keep him from becoming a fine attorney and, ultimately, a Legend of the Philadelphia Bar, I still have a hard time watching attorneys talk about what I still see as 'customized justice.'
Yes, Dad was white. Yes, he was a man. No, he wasn't gay. But he certainly wasn't born with even a silver-plated spoon in his mouth, and he didn't spend his life making excuses for failure. So while I respect those who disagree, I prefer my naivete to a 'reality' that would result in preferential treatment.
As far as Mr. Giusini, he sounds like an exceptional lawyer. I wish him the best of luck with his campaign.