Why Are Judges So Rude? (9 Reasons Why)

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Oberon Copeland

Oberon Copeland is a graduate of Southern Illinois University Carbondale, with a degree in economics and HR.

The judicial system is one of the most vital parts of the American government, comprising much of the government’s executive branch and forming a pillar of legal authority.

However, the judicial branch’s power can seem to get to the heads of those who work under it. Judges, in particular, are known for their rude behavior in court, and you may wonder why!

Why Are Judges So Rude?


1. A Position Of Authority

No matter what your opinions of judges are, it is a simple fact that they are in a position of authority above the average citizen and even above some law enforcement officials.

Positions of authority are infamous for corrupting people and turning them into quasi-authoritarians who expect everybody to respect their demands or face arrest.

Judges are perfect examples of this theory, as they are of the utmost authority in their courtrooms. From their chair, they can, quite literally, look down on everybody else!

This position of authority can get to anybody’s head, especially one with as much authority as a judge. Such a high level of power can turn a judge into a rude and aggressive tyrant.

2. They Were Poor Attorneys

Judges are elected positions and are required to be lawyers in twenty-eight states, with most other states significantly lowering the status and authority of non-lawyer judges.

In states where judges are attorneys, they do not necessarily have to be good at their job- many judges are known for being particularly bad at their job as a lawyer, in practice if not in attitude.

If a judge was a poor attorney, they might attempt to overcompensate by becoming a more stern judge, though they come across as rude instead of giving the rigid attitude they wanted.

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Judges are rude to far more people than just civilians, however. Many lawyers have horror stories of mean and aggressive judges who may have been outright biased.

Judges who were formerly poor attorneys may attempt to take revenge on their more competent peers by being rude and aggressive to attorneys in court.

Once again, however, this all ties back to power. Judges are so mean to civilians and attorneys because they hold complete power in their court, and nobody can do anything about it!

3. Judges Can Be Insecure

To briefly cover it again, most states require judges to be lawyers- however, some don’t.

A non-lawyer judge has less power than a lawyer judge. In many states that allow non-lawyer judges to practice, judges who are lawyers can overturn the rulings of their less-qualified peers.

This lack of power, particularly when bolstered by perceived subservience to their peers, can make a non-lawyer judge feel very insecure in their position.

When people are insecure, they can lash out more at others, especially people they see as below them.

Judges are no exception to this rule, and with their naturally-authoritative positions where they have complete control over their court, their insecurity can easily be taken out on civilians.

4. They Expect To Be Treated Like Royalty

In America, the judicial system has its roots in England’s monarchic judicial system.

In England, the government employed judges to enforce the king’s law and carry out due punishment.

While America lacks a monarch, the system remains. While judges theoretically serve the will of the people, they certainly seem to have a disdain for them!

Part of England’s monarch-based judicial system remains in the form of rising for the judge. This action is another remnant of how judges were extensions of the king’s power.

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As such, it is customary to treat judges like royalty, and this is a treatment that they have grown to expect!

Should anybody question their authority or denies their royal treatment, the judges might throw a fit.

You would not even have to outright deny their authority to earn their ire. If you refer to a judge as ‘sir’ or ‘ma’am’ instead of their special honorific, they can become outrageously angry at you!

5. They Answer To Nobody

They Answer To Nobody

Judges have little oversight, with most of their superiors being the court above theirs.

Several watchdog organizations exist to monitor judicial behavior, but in many cases, a judge’s poor behavior goes entirely unanswered.

While state congresses can censure or impeach judges, similar to any other elected official, this action is typically only undergone in the most extreme circumstances.

If a judge commits a heinous act, such as a racist tirade, sexual assault, or murder, they will likely be impeached and imprisoned in short order.

However, in any other case, they may receive nothing more than a slap on the wrist. To put it simply, judges can be rude because nobody has control over them!

6. They Like Looking Down On People

From their tall chair, it is very easy to look down on other people- and it’s something that judges seem to like doing!

With their authority getting to their head and their insecurities, judges can enjoy reigning over people who they believe to be below them. With this, judges can be very condescending!

7. Lots Of Responsibility

Everybody deserves the benefit of the doubt, and to that end, judges deserve an ounce of credit. They are given lots of responsibility as part of their job, and it can be crushing.

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Responsibility can weigh on somebody’s shoulders and irritate them, and they may be prone to treating people with less respect than they deserve.

8. They Are Lazy

It is rude to immediately assume negative attributes about a person, but in many cases, people are just lazy!

A judge might feel like your case is not worth the time and get aggressive with you for taking up his valuable time.

9. They See Too Many Cases

Judges are profoundly busy people, often dealing with several major cases a week- or many smaller ones a day, depending on what kind of court they preside over.

When a judge sees so many cases in a single day, they likely have to deal with many disrespectful and rude people, and it can grate on their patience.

To learn more, you can also read our posts on why paparazzi are so rude, why customers are so rude, and why 911 operators are so rude.

In Conclusion

Ultimately, there are many reasons that judges can be so rude. They hold a high position of authority in the judicial system, and the power they wield can get to their heads in many cases.

Unfortunately, judges are a fact of life that many people will have to deal with. This fact is true in many countries, such as America, the UK, and India. You only have to hope your judge is kind!

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