Former judge and prosecutor Jeanine Pirro channeled her passion for politics and protecting vulnerable people in her remarks Wednesday at Palm Beach Atlantic University.
Pirro delivered the keynote address, “America Today: The Courts, Media and Violence in Society,” as part of The LeMieux Center for Public Policy’s speaker series. Pirro hosts the highly-rated primetime weekend show “Justice with Judge Jeanine” on the Fox News Channel. She is also a legal commentator and author of four books.
She is a champion of rights for abused women and children, inspired by her time as a former district attorney and judge in Westchester County, New York. She was the first woman elected to both posts. Pirro eventually gravitated toward political commentary because she “felt there was more crime going on in Congress than there was in courtrooms around the country.”
She encouraged students to question everything and not accept what they’re told because someone is likable or popular.
Prior to a lively talk in the DeSantis Family Chapel, journalism professor Israel Balderas interviewed Pirro in a Facebook Live for The Beacon in the Warren Library. She greeted about two dozen students in the President’s Lyceum, commending them for the poise they had when they introduced themselves. She offered career advice, particularly for young women who are pursuing careers in professions made up mostly of men.
Their education at PBA will guide them to their careers, she said.
“It’s about preparation, and it’s about confidence,” Pirro said. “That’s what it is – working hard, being passionate, burning the candle and giving up the good times, because the good times come later.”
Her own passion was helping victims. She helped create one of the first domestic violence units in the nation as a prosecutor in New York. Silence benefits the abuser, never the victim, she said, paraphrasing her hero, Nobel Peace Prize winner and Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel.
“The victim is the underdog who never chose to be a part of the system in the first place,” Pirro said.
Before her lecture in the chapel, former U.S. Sen. George LeMieux introduced Pirro as someone who led the fight to protect women and children against domestic abuse before she became a public voice on issues of law and order.
“She’s not just a person who talks the talk. She has walked the walk,” he said.
Pirro, a longtime friend and outspoken supporter of President Donald Trump, alluded to special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election and Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen testifying before Congress earlier in the day. She then shifted her focus to the rising popularity of socialism.
“With capitalism, there is an opportunity to succeed. There is not that with socialism. You are regimented,” Pirro said. “Unfortunately, the young people in our society don’t get it.”
She was also critical of lawmakers who failed to pass legislation to require doctors to care for babies born alive after attempted abortions.
“It’s not third-term abortion. It is murder,” Pirro said. “Now the question is who’s next? The disabled? The elderly?”