by Alex Poletti
Just days after clobbering his 100th Major League home run, Aaron Judge was given a new role in New York City. The Yankees right fielder will trade in his pinstripes for judge’s robes to serve on the Second Circuit Court of Appeals, a member of the Trump Administration announced.
“After a careful deliberation process, we are thrilled to announce our selection for the open position of Second Circuit magistrate will be filled by Aaron Judge,” Kerri Kupec, Director of Public Affairs for the Department of Justice, says. “In the current political climate, he’s a man who has everything we look for in a government official: no experience.”
The Second Circuit, the Appellate Court which handles cases from New York, Connecticut and Vermont, had several vacancies on the bench. Rather than appoint a sitting District Court judge, the current administration opted to appeal to the citizens of New York by tapping a Gotham icon for the position.
“I’d be fair, I’d be lenient. I hope I’d be a good judge. I’m big on second chances. I like that,” Judge said in an interview with David Brown of Baseball Prospectus back in 2017.
Judge rose to prominence with a stellar 2017 campaign, in which he hit 52 home runs en route to a unanimous Rookie of the Year selection. Although injuries limited him to 112 games in 2018, he remains one of the most feared sluggers in the game.
Legally, Judge doesn’t have as much experience. However, he does occupy the Judge’s Chambers in the right field bleachers of Yankee Stadium. Furthermore, he has sentenced many balls to a life outside the confines of the baseball diamond. Although Judge has never sat on the bench, he does bench over 350 lbs.
“At first, the appointment seems a tad strange, but it actually makes a lot of sense,” James Kainen, Advocacy Law expert and Fordham University professor, explains. “Lots of case law at the appellate level and above is littered with sports references. It’s kind of the lingua franca of the legal system. Getting Judge on the court is a home run.”
As with any appointment, the selection has not been met with universal praise. Many New York City citizens are happy to see Judge moving up, but sad to see him leave the Bronx Bombers, especially in the midst of a World Series-contending season. The Second String reached out to the Fresno State alum for his take on the issue.
“You know, I took a law class in college, so I think I get the gist,” Judge says. “I haven’t had to learn a new position in a while, but I’m open to it. And I think the coaches will help. They do have coaches for being a Circuit Court judge, right?”
Judge says if everything goes well during his tenure, the public should look out for Aaron Justice in the future.