“The Good Wife” In Real Life

Spoiler warning: This post deals with an episode of a television show that aired last night and includes details beyond those provided in previews for the episode.

I’ve begun to watch CBS’ “The Good Wife” with some regularity, and the previews for last night’s episode particularly caught my attention. The show’s central character, Alicia Florrick (played by Julianna Margulies), represents a client before a judge she believes to be a racist.

While researching the judge’s bias, Florrick and her colleagues discover a different motivation for the judge to sentence numerous minors to incarceration at a particular privately-managed detention center. The judge, owing to a gambling habit, agreed to send juveniles to this particular facility in exchange for kickbacks from the center’s operator.

The episode’s premise borrows details from a recent lawsuit filed against two Pennsylvania judges, both of whom are accused of the same wrongdoing perpetrated by the judge in last night’s “The Good Wife.” In a case that seeks to test the limits of judicial immunity, both jurists are accused of accepting $2.6 million in bribes for sending minors, some with no criminal history, to two different detention centers.

Considering that the Pennsylvania case was only widely reported in mid-November, the writers at CBS certainly wasted no time folding reality into this popular, new primetime drama.