I think we’ll find, as our society matures and grows into an understanding of its place in the universe as an up-and-coming power that is recognized as such, that the American Constitution is one of the greatest works of philosophy ever produced on earth or any place else. That is why I tend to love judges and the idea of law enforcement. Not necessarily law enforcement itself, especially once human frailties are introduced that are tied to social predilections rooted in collectivist causes, but the essential beauty of the Bill of Rights and what the concept protects in the realm of human imagination and its potential as a fully developed individual. That’s why this case where the former Butler County magistrate Kimberly Edelstein is painful because everything is wrong with the struggles of life everywhere. Judges in our culture are the ultimate philosophers in that they adhere circumstances to the application of Constitutional principles, which isn’t easy when the demands of collectivism are applied, ancient beliefs in protection within the herd (civic memberships, fellowship on a bowling team, back-slapping at the company picnic) and the conflict with the development of individual integrity. And no matter how the judgment that a jury found against Judge Greg Stephens is viewed, the failure has not been captured by any post-court analysis, which is a shame. Representing herself, Kimberly Edelstein made a successful argument to a jury over a two-week trial starting in January of 2023 and ending early in February, where they awarded her 1.1 million dollars for religious discrimination where Stephens behaved in a retaliatory manner when Edelstein requested eight days off for Jewish holidays. And from there, their relationship deteriorated, the application of law and order in Butler County, Ohio, was compromised, and over what, religious differences?
By the time the dust settles on this case, it will likely cost the taxpayers over 3 million dollars. And when you look at the law firms who have been involved, it’s clear that they are the only ones benefiting. The way the legal community operates in the background of all this money reminds me of a case I was involved in years ago with Todd Portune, who would eventually become one of the county commissioners of Hamilton County. But in a serious legal matter that I was involved in, he was an attorney who was also on the Cincinnati City Council, and he was representing both the aggressive party and the victim simultaneously. When I confronted him about this, he simply explained to me that was how it was. Those were the rules of the game. And that is the case in this Butler County legal case; when it wondered why the media puts a spin on the story that doesn’t capture the real essence of it, that’s because they all have the same legal firms working in the background. The interpretation of the law, as I stated, is so beautifully captured in our American Constitution, specifically in our Bill of Rights is not the same as the feeble interpretation that comes to the minds of the compromised people who have not evolved well as individuals and find corruption at the heart of their decision making. And that’s what’s unfortunate with this case between Judge Stephens and Kimberly Edelstein. Instead of them using their religious faiths as a background of individual development to uphold the excellent standards of Constitutional preservation, it has turned into a religious dispute that a couple of kids in the first grade might have over baseball cards. Stephens, a former pastor and apparently a very devout Christian, found the Jewish holidays not conducive to the kind of bench he wanted to run, and peer pressure with those involved added their opinions to the matter into what became a “disruptive” work environment. And after Edelstein requested her Jewish holidays off for observance, she was terminated just a few days thereafter, leading to this court case six years later.
When I hear numbers like 1.1 million dollars, it sounds like a lot of money. And there are disputes within Butler County, especially the prosecutor’s office, that want a redo. They want to rob the jury opinion away from the award because it’s an embarrassing loss for them. Kimberly already successfully argued the case; Stephens was found guilty in the matter, and it’s unusual in the audacity of it because usually, people don’t defend themselves the way the former magistrate did in this case, but the legal parameters are quite clear. A jury of her peers found that Kimberly Edelstein was improperly terminated, her own Constitutional protections were violated, which any judge in the world should have known better, and it harmed her for further employment. When you study as a magistrate, your employment options are sort of limited to civil service. It’s not like the next job is right around the corner. It tends to be a very specific field with limited employment opportunities. So taking a stand based on Constitutional foundations is risky. But I would say that our society is better for it. The case law in this situation should serve as a warning on how to behave in the office. If people need to take time off for religious observance, that’s one of their rights. Manage your subordinates appropriately and be as fair as possible in the process. That’s basic management 101. But don’t use power and position, then peer pressure from the local lodge to attempt to undo an award from a jury. When a mistake is made, admit to it and move on.
Kimberly Edelstein has lost a significant portion of her life and income to this Constitutional stand, so if you divide up the money awarded to her by the amount, it’s not very much money for the six years she has been fighting it. I will never understand religious disputes. I have read most of the major religious positions worldwide, and there isn’t much to indicate that religions should be at war in their texts. In all their cases, the religious texts attempt to elevate the mind by reading them to more significant concepts of existence. They should never decline in value to an argument over work holidays. An individual obtaining spiritual development, no matter how they get there, makes for a better employee in the workplace. Not one that has to pick between spiritual enlightenment and an oppressive boss that has the ability to control your paycheck. And among judges in the legal community, this basic level of sophistication should be part of the formula before they ever put on a robe for court. Such silly disputes should never occur, and if they did, everyone should be learning a hard lesson here. The real cost to taxpayers is in the mismanagement of the employees and the burden that parasitic lawyers apply in the background. That is the essence of this case. Mistakes by public employees, such as judges, and disputes over the merits of religion, especially one with common root sources, only feed the lawyers who influence everything in the background. And it took guts for Kimberly Edelstein to represent herself, to not further feed the legal system that is rigged against the taxpayers and the Constitution, and to win. All judges and prosecutors should be celebrating such an action because it brings the purity of law and order to Butler County for the good of everyone. But the anger that has formed in the wake comes over the ability of social groups, peer pressure application of collectivism against individuals such as Kimberly Edelstein, to apply free will to a living life. And behind that assumption is a very sinister position that is as anti-Constitution as an example could be found anywhere. This is the real cost of a case like this and a warning to all applications of a society that seeks law, order, and fairness for individuals, not a legal community that is blowing millions and millions of taxpayer dollars to preserve a system of corruption that is just behind the curtain of civic duty.