American Judges Association


Court Review: Journal of the American Judges Association

Date of this Version



Court Review - Volume 57


Used by permission.


The headlines have become frighteningly familiar: a deadly pandemic is engulfing the world including our nation, our streets have become byways for mobs intent on committing racially motivated violence, and our government institutions of public safety are being used as instruments of political control. Although these are among today’s captions, this was also the state of affairs a hundred years ago.1 According to the United States Centers for Disease Control, approximately one-third of the world’s then-population was affected by the deadly global pandemic of 1918-1919. There were an estimated 50 million deaths worldwide, with about 675,000 of these occurring in the United States.2 In 2020 the ravages of a viral pandemic, as well as racial and political unrest, have struck yet again. Although 2020 has been a year of “it can’t happen here,” the harsh reality is that it already did, and these devastations are not a first.