I found today's issue of court quotes on "Thursday Drive." It describes an event from the 1970s. After enduring six years of mental torture and physical abuse, a pair of sisters are adopted by their truly evil stepmother:
The judge stepped down from the bench and came over to where we stood with our attorney, clustered around a wooden table. The moment was celebratory. He had just approved Sue’s adoption of my sister and me.
'Congratulations,' the judge said as he reached out to shake my hand. 'Now she can spank you legally.'
Horrible! Incredibly insensitive. I'll grant it's possible that he didn't know and had no reason to suspect the girls were being abused. But wouldn't you try to curb making 'jokes' like that anyway? Judges aren't (normally) psychic, but that only illustrates why they shouldn't presume everything is 'fine.'