Monday, July 12, 2021

Will the Lehigh Valley Elect Its First Ever Black Judge?

Maraleen Shields is running for Judge in Lehigh County. She's one of six candidates vying for three open seats. If elected, she'll be the first African American on the bench in the Lehigh Valley.  She's quite proud of her heritage, and rightly so. She's having a news conference today at which various officials are going to plug her and I presume use her race as a selling point. I have a better reason. She simply the best of six very good candidates. 

She knows hardship. She lost her father when she was a seven year old girl. 

She knows discrimination. Her high school was created as the result of court-ordered integration. 

She excelled as a student. She graduated magnum cum laude from University of Pittsburgh. While she was there, she was a member of the Law Review, an honor bestowed upon a law school's top students. 

She has had a brilliant career as a lawyer. She is a partner with Fitzpatick, Lentz and Bubba, one of the Lehigh Valley's most prestigious law firms.

In America, a lawyer is a lawyer. In England, a lawyer can be a solicitor or a barrister. The barrister is the one who argues cases in court. Shields would qualify as a barrister, which strikes me as a skill one would like to see in a judge. In fact, she is a recipient of the Lynette Norton award, which recognizes female attorneys who excel in litigation and have served as mentors for women who practice law. 

She is driven. Not only does she push herself in her legal career, but also in her personal fitness. 

Someone with her intellect and life's experience deserves a seat on the bench.  

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Her experience as a litigator is valuable. So is her lack of experience as a politician.

A concerned citizen of the Valley said...

The Lehigh County Bench has been becoming more diverse for 25 years in terms of gender representation. President Judge Carole McGinley was a leader in this regard. It is reasonable to have representation from a qualified lawyer who happens to be both female and Black. Ms. Shields is qualified for the job.

A concerned citizen of the Valley said...

The Lehigh County Bench has been becoming more diverse for 25 years in terms of gender representation. President Judge Carole McGinley was a leader in this regard. It is reasonable to have representation from a qualified lawyer who happens to be both female and Black. Ms. Shields is qualified for the job.

Anonymous said...

Not Male.
Not European-Caucasian.
Not Flamboyant, Progressive, Ultra Left Outspoken Anti-Racist.
Wrong county, ma'am.
Move slightly Northwestern.
Public service announcement from your silent supporters.

Anonymous said...

Very qualified, I agree with you.

Your other point, that we have good candidates across the board, is valid as well. I think Tom Capehart and Maraleen Shields are the two at the top.

Anonymous said...

Agree with 9:38AM. Sounds like a good person with legal acumen. And, politics has no place in the judicial world. Good luck to her.

Anonymous said...

"Her high school was created as the result of court-ordered integration."


Which local high school was that? When did she graduate?

Bernie O'Hare said...

It’s high school in Allegheny County. The year she graduated is irrelevant.

Anonymous said...

You seem racist yourself.

Bernie O'Hare said...

I decline to publish comments making blanket condemnations of specific ideologies.

Anonymous said...

"Politics has no place in the judicial world." LOL. You're a riot.��