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CNN Larry King Live

Interview With Judge Judy

Aired November 10, 2010 - 21:00   ET



LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight. Order in the court. Judge Judy rules on bullies and bad parents and same-sex marriage and sweets in schools and Happy Meals. All fools for thoughts.

JUDGE JUDY SHEINDLIN, "JUDGE JUDY": That's what happens when you try to talk over me.

KING: Judge Judy for the house with your phone calls, too, next on LARRY KING LIVE.


KING: Good evening.

Judge Judy Sheindlin presides over the number one rated daytime court show. I think the number one rated daytime syndicated show.

"Judge Judy" is now in its 15th year. She has been on this show 24 times. Here's a sampling of some of those appearances.


KING: Why do we like you?

SHEINDLIN: I'm not sure. And I won't give you the formula even if I was sure because I wouldn't want anybody around here to replicate it for a while until I'm finished with it.

At my age -- and I'm 55. You're supposed to say, you don't look 55, Larry, but I'll jump right in because you didn't.

People from Brooklyn grow up with a certain common sense. If it doesn't ring true, it's not true.

You want me to be honest with you, I'm always honest, Larry. I think that people would be disappointed in me, Larry, if someone asked me a direct question and I didn't give him a direct answer.

KING: Ever leave it caught and say I made the wrong decision.


KING: No. Only a few would say that. Welcome back to Judge Judy live. It's all --

SHEINDLIN: I couldn't do what you do. I could not.

KING: I couldn't do what you do.

SHEINDLIN: I'm not a good interviewer.

KING: I don't think I'd appear before you. Anyway --

SHEINDLIN: That would be wise judgment. I don't like to rule by committee. I like sort of an autocratic way of dealing with things. Why be frustrated when you could --

KING: Who needs it?

SHEINDLIN: Be the queen.


KING: Good editing there, huh? What's it like when you look back? Do you ever pinch yourself? Because you have a second career. You were a family court judge in New York for 100 years.

SHEINDLIN: I had a great -- well, thanks for saying 100.


SHEINDLIN: I was in the family court for 25 years. And having started a second career, having a second act when you were 52 was something that I never thought would happen to me.

And when I look back at some of those clips now I saw I'm the only person I know who goes from dark to blond.


KING: Is it a surprise to you how successful it's been?

SHEINDLIN: Yes. At the beginning, it was astounding to me. And then I began, I think slowly, .Larry, to understand that our program, although it's -- we like to think it's entertaining. It's got to be entertaining to stay on television for 15 years. But I think it strikes a cord with a lot of people.

KING: Why?

SHEINDLIN: I think people were comfortable going back to a time when there was responsibility and there were parameters to good behavior. And if you went beyond legitimate parameters of good behavior, you got a good whooping and a good slapping around. And they enjoy watching people who suffer from bad behavior getting a whooping.

KING: What do you make of this movement, if it's called that, in America now? The elections the way they went, the antipathy, the anger?

SHEINDLIN: Well, first of all, I believe that we're very lucky to have a two-party system. And I -- the vitriol is something that I don't understand. Instead of celebrating the differences, and there are legitimate differences in the two parties. I mean you've got misogynists on both sides, on the extreme end of the -- you know, the poles of the two parties.

But I think most people, Democrat and Republican, are people of goodwill. They are good family people, they want the best for their children, they want to grow up in a safe community, they want to do the right thing for people who really can't take care of themselves.

But there are differences. And, you know, small government, as opposed to a bigger government, states rights as opposed to those people who believe that the federal government should take more of a responsibility in running your life as opposed to the states.

So there are legitimate differences and we should celebrate those differences. Eventually things come back to the center. That's been my experience. We've been around for a couple of years and we see that people can shout from the right and from the left and you know you become fearful of somebody who's all the way to the left and fearful of somebody who's all the way to the right.

Eventually you come back to the middle.

KING: Extremes hate the middle.

SHEINDLIN: That's too bad because that's where it's at. It's in the -- there's a reasoned approach to things. I mean we don't have to give away the store in order to say, well, you believe in taking care of people who can't take care of themselves.

You don't have to say that the federal government should have no authority over running what your lives should be. The federal government has a legitimate right in my view to get involved with insuring that people, whether they're men, women or black or white or gay or straight, have certain basic civil rights, period.

I believe that.

KING: I know you supported the president. He seems -- something about him (INAUDIBLE). Almost above the fray. It's like don't -- he's there, he doesn't -- he doesn't run the office as he campaigned for the office. What's your read?

SHEINDLIN: Well, you know, I think we all have legitimate expectations for what we can do and then we sometimes live in a world that's not legitimate expectations. When you have a system of government that has checks and balances, sometimes you hit gridlock.

And I think you know that sometimes politics overrides what is the legitimate best interests of the country. While I voted for our president, I did so because I thought that the country needed to change in direction. And I think that people were disappointed that that change of direction didn't take place as quickly as they thought it was going to take place if it ever could at all.

Well, now we have the different -- we have a different menu in Washington. We have a different -- we have a different political menu in Washington. And my fear, and I think the fear of a lot of people, is that because we now have a House that's going to sort of put the skids on, nothing's going to happen for the next two years because everybody's looking forward to the next election, rather than looking forward to what's best for our country.

I think it's a legitimate fear.

KING: So human kind is selfish then?

SHEINDLIN: Yes, and they look to cover their own behind. That's everybody.

KING: You see that in court all the time, right?

SHEINDLIN: Yes, I do. And that's why I say -- I think, coming back to your question, why are we still around after 15 years. I think that people like to see the right thing happen at the end of the day. I think they're frustrated at a judicial system, as we talked about before, that didn't seem to get the job done.

And when it got the job done, it very often got it wrong. So I think in our very small way, we say, listen, this is right, this is wrong, you're the good guy, you're the bad guy.

KING: Let's discuss now the individual things that have gone on in the news, as we always do with Judge Judy. We're going to include your phone calls or e-mails, texts, and come on aboard.

The Connecticut home invasion case, the jury gave that murderer Stephen Hayes the death penalty. After two days of deliberating, by the way. And much discussion despite the brutality of it.

What do you make of that case? Another man still to stand trial.

SHEINDLIN: We've discussed the death penalty here two or three times, and I know that we have because I get lots of mail after. Don't send me the mail. I don't read bad mail.

I believe that the death penalty is an appropriate dispositional alternative at the end of a criminal case in an appropriate case. I'm only annoyed in the Connecticut case that it took them 18 hours. We had to see the jury 18 hours before they came to a decision.

It would have taken me 30 seconds. And probably -- and I don't -- and I know that you and I disagree on the death penalty. But I haven't heard any clamoring from those opponents of the death penalty as a dispositional alternative with regard to this case. Why do you think that is?

KING: How do you write a rule, a law to cover one case?

SHEINDLIN: You don't cover one case. I mean it wasn't cover one case. Here there was no -- there's no issue. We don't have an issue. We're not talking --

KING: Except you're taking another --


SHEINDLIN: We're not talking about -- we're not talking about a mistake. We're not talking about police misconduct. We're not talking about turning all the Brady material, or Rosario material. We're talking about somebody who -- I mean we don't have to go into the facts, everybody know the facts of the case.

KING: Does it puzzle you then that so few countries use it?

SHEINDLIN: It doesn't --

KING: It doesn't puzzle you --

SHEINDLIN: It doesn't puzzle me at all. I think it's an appropriate dispositional alternative. And I don't necessarily think that it's only in a case where you have killed somebody by tying them to a bed and setting them on fire at age 11.

I mean you have somebody who kidnaps a child and holds them for decades. Rapes, them, fathers children, and there's no issue that that happened. And then you worry about what should we do to this person as a form of punishment?

KING: You state it well, Judy.

Has Judge Judy ever served on a jury? What's it like to be the only person to beat Oprah in the ratings? We're going to ask. Stay with us.


KING: We're back with Judge Judy in her 15th year.

What do you think about beating Oprah? No one beats Oprah. How dare you?

SHEINDLIN: Well, first of all, we did that for a period of time and we did that last year. I have to be honest with you, the last few weeks, she's whipping my tail. So --

KING: Well, it's her closing year and she's having --

SHEINDLIN: Well, no. It's the ebb and flow of -- Oprah is undeniably the queen of daytime television. She's brought a dimension to daytime television that I think has not been there before and to the media in general, she is tireless.

She is --

KING: Sure is.

SHEINDLIN: She's -- to be a billionaire, to make yourself a billionaire when you came from the kind of life that she came from at the beginning, to me it's miraculous. So sure, it was fun for a moment, it was fun while it lasts, there will be somebody to knock me off my perch, I guarantee it.

KING: Has Oprah ever asked you to be a guest?


KING: Surprising?


KING: I would have bet she would. Especially in -- I would bet she would have. That would have been my guess. Anyway, but Oprah watches a lot. Maybe she'll say why not have Judge Judy on?

Have you ever been on a jury?

SHEINDLIN: I was called to jury duty once and I was being -- have you ever been in the jury --

KING: Called once --

SHEINDLIN: And excused. We were excused. So, you know, the lawyers question you and one of these smart aleck young guys was questioning me. I was in the greater jury pool. And he said, you know, we all know who you are. Sort of being dismissive. We all know who you are.

He said, now, if I were to give you certain instructions and asked you to, you know, disregard certain things and the judge was to direct you to certain things and then I asked additional questions, would you listen carefully to everything that I said? And I said if you say it and get to the point. I was excused and I was never called back.

KING: All right, there's a cheating scandal at the University of central Florida. I want to get this right. As many as 200 students are believed to have gotten an advanced copy of an exam. The cheaters have been told to fess up or face expulsion. Some students say this is a witch hunt. That everybody cheats.

What's your reaction to that? And should the student fess up?

SHEINDLIN: I think all the students who participated -- now that their number's up, they got caught, and they're probably, according to what I read about 200 of the 600 students --

KING: Yes. About --

SHEINDLIN: -- in the class, because there's 600 students in this class which means that the professor doesn't know any of them. But knows by the numbers that there was cheating. They got the key to the financial exam.

I think that they have an obligation now to come forward because he's -- the professor is going to retest the entire class. They have already studied for this exam. You know you have 2/3 of them who did it legitimately, only a third of them cheated, so you really have two sides that's going to suffer for it.

Does everybody cheat? The answer is probably at some point or another in their academic career. Everybody cribs a little. I know I had the nightmares about cheating on a chemistry test for probably 40 years.

I thought that they were going to take away my house and my car and my children because that was my nightmare. Because they were going to find out.

KING: Is it OK to tell on someone if you know they've cheated?

SHEINDLIN: You know, that's an honor code.


SHEINDLIN: I would actually prefer that you say to the person, it's unreasonable that you cheated. It doesn't level the playing field for all of us. You cheated therefore you got a better grade, we studied, we studied, and we did not get the kind of grade you did because you cheat. That makes it unfair, makes your grade unfair. I suggest you do something about it.

KING: Back with more of Judge Judy and we'll be taking your calls so you can start dialing. Stick around.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your honor, if I may, the hissy fit started --

SHEINDLIN: I don't care. I don't care. What I'm doing is creating a broad stroke of what this case is about. If you want to audition for Dr. Phil, go elsewhere.


SHEINDLIN: Your children are not his responsibility.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But we're not discussing my children.

SHEINDLIN: Yes, you are.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: We're talking about a man --

SHEINDLIN: You are talking about your -- no. You are talking about your --


SHEINDLIN: Your case is dismissed. That's what happens when you try to talk over me. Do you understand?


SHEINDLIN: That's what happens. Like that.


KING: What do you do when you get mad at both sides?

SHEINDLIN: It's actually not a popularity contest. I mean I -- it's much easier to rule in favor of somebody who you like and who has a just cause. But it really isn't the right thing to do.

KING: A good judge can never -- if you don't like one lawyer, you can't hold that against him, if you don't like him personally.

SHEINDLIN: No. And you should never hold that against his client. We're all human. And I'm sure that there are times --

KING: Did you say think that education is not a right? Did you say that?

SHEINDLIN: Education is -- you have the right to a free public school education. But if you abuse that right by misbehaving in class and therefore inhibiting the rest of the 28 people in class from learning, you lose that right.

I don't simply have to keep disruptive children in the school system and thereby maintain our school system as a second rate school system in this world. I think that that's a big mistake.

And so while I think a free public school education is something that should be guaranteed to all American children, if you bring a gun into school, you have lost it. You have lost that right.

And if you assault a teacher in a school, and disrupt -- in any other way are disruptive so that other children can't learn, who also have a right to a good education, then I think you've lost that right.

KING: Which brings us to our next topic. This question posted on the LARRY KING LIVE page on our Facebook page. How will Judge Judy handle the problem of bullying in the schools? Are the parents accountable for a bullying child?

SHEINDLIN: Yes. Parents are responsible for teaching their children morality. Parents are responsible for teaching their children by example and otherwise empathetic behavior. Sympathetic behavior, respect for another person.

KING: Have we always had it or is it a new phenomenon because it's on the news all the time?

SHEINDLIN: I think we've had bullying in school. I think we've had -- I think I said some place that we've had bullying since David and Goliath. But now it's taken on a global -- more global proportion because you used to bully one-on-one, or three-on-one, or two-on-one. And now if somebody wants to be a bully, all they have to do is post something that's terrible on your Facebook page. And it goes to an entire school, of district --


KING: It causes suicide.

SHEINDLIN: Or a neighborhood. And so the bullying has become more intense. It's no longer giving somebody a bloody nose. But just as we wouldn't ask parents to teach chemistry and calculus to our children, I certainly couldn't have done to my -- with my children, teach them calculus or even algebra.

I don't -- didn't ask teachers to teach my children morality and respect for their fellow human beings and how to be a good person and a good citizen. So I think it's a tremendous mistake for people to use the -- it's an excuse to say it's not my job. This bullying happened at the school, therefore it's the school's responsibility.

It's not. It's your responsibility as a parent to keep your kids in line and to let them know what the right thing to do is. If it happens at school, school is responsible for the safety of children while they're under their -- you know, their parameters.

But other than that, it's not the responsibility of the school to teach morality.

KING: We don't know why people bully, do we? Of course --

SHEINDLIN: Makes them feel better. You know? Used to be short kids, you know, were bullied because they were short, and then they became aggressive and then they became tough. My husband from the Bronx used to belong to a gang that was called the King's Bridge Munchkins because they were all below 5'6".

But they figured there was strength in numbers. So I -- that was their gang. I don't think people who have positive self-esteem bully, but who cares?

KING: Judges face dilemmas in cases like Lindsay Lohan. What do you do with a continual addict? We'll ask Judge Judy after this.



SHEINDLIN: I'm taking off $200.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Your honor, I don't --

SHEINDLIN: I don't want to hear you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I don't owe her a penny.

SHEINDLIN: I'm not talking to you.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: She taunts for that money.

SHEINDLIN: I'm not talking to you. See that? You're blinded from my eye.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I gave her some scissors and she tore up everything.


SHEINDLIN: Hey, don't talk to her.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: It's hard to believe selective when they're liars.

SHEINDLIN: :Listen, I just have --

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And make up stories.

SHEINDLIN: You want to go tell your story, go on "Springer."


KING: Judge Judy. Very funny, very talented and the show that keeps on keeping on. Before we talk about Lindsay Lohan, a number of recent cases of bullying of gays. Why do you think gays are targeted? Why should we bully someone who has a different sexual preference through new desire? I mean we never know why someone is gay or hetero.

SHEINDLIN: I actually don't know the answer to that question. But I think it's --

KING: Judge Judy does not --

SHEINDLIN: But it's interesting to note that gay men are usually not bullied by women. They're usually targeted by other men. And maybe it's because there is a certain insecurity by those men. That somehow in their own twisted way are concerned that maybe people think that that could be me, how do you tell the difference? What kind of behavior is that?

You don't find the same kind of bullying of lesbian women by women. Isn't that an oddity? You don't hear about it much. You hear about it by men. And gay men.

I don't know the answer. I don't -- it's wrong and it shouldn't be and people should be free to live their lives based upon how they feel most comfortable.

KING: You officiated, by the way, at the wedding of Michael Feinstein.


KING: You're terrific --

SHEINDLIN: And Michael Feinstein --

KING: Do you think we're on the way to gay marriage nationwide?

SHEINDLIN: Well, I certainly hope so. I hope that no person in this country should be deprived of basic -- some basic rights because of their ethnicity, their gender, their color, their race. Anything.

You work hard. You pay your taxes. You're a good citizen. You vote. You are a functioning member of a community. What difference does it make if you are gay or straight? To me, it's none. And I know to you, none.

And what difference does it make if you're a Jewish man that marries a Catholic woman? Or a black woman that marries a white man? And if you raise lovely children and they're productive and they contribute, what difference does it make? That's where the federal government has to be involved, to ensure that all people have those basic rights.

KING: Through all my years, I have never understand prejudice. I don't understand it, because it's stupid to prejudge.

SHEINDLIN: Then you must feel comfortable in your own skin. Most people who suffer from prejudices don't feel comfortable in their own skin. They feel in some way inadequate. I believe they feel in some way less worthy and therefore, it's easy to pick on somebody else's what they perceived to be shortcomings.

KING: Before we talk about drug addiction and the course, what's your take on Iowa? They fired three judges in the state Supreme Court for ruling in favor of same-sex marriage.

SHEINDLIN: Well, I don't think they fired them.

KING: They voted them out.

SHEINDLIN: They voted the way they're supposed to, by checking off a ballot. Now that's why some people believe that we have to select judges in a different way. It should not be -- they should not be judged based upon how they rule. However, sometimes judges legislate. And if legislate as a judge, the public has a right to get rid of them.

KING: That's a thin line. How do you know what -- if a judge rules that same-sex marriage is OK because it's constitutionally OK, is he legislating?

SHEINDLIN: No, he's saying -- he's saying we -- you have to ensure that everyone has the same rights. Then you have a legislature. And it's your responsibility as a voter to ensure that the people who you vote in represent you. In my view, what we have to do here is to ensure that the people who we elect to represent us actually represent us, and then don't get to their respective houses or Senate, whether it be state or federal, and then decide that they're their own person.

They're not there to voice their opinion about what the state of the law should be. What you are as a representative is you are the voice of your constituents. And if you don't want to be the voice of your constituents, you should resign and let somebody else be their voice. I, for instance, don't understand somebody being elected as either a Republican or a Democrat, because that's what their constituents -- how their constituents voted, and all of a sudden get to their House, Senate, their state legislature saying I don't want to be a Republican or Democrat anymore; I'm going to change parties.

That's unreasonable. You're not supposed to change parties. You don't want to be a Republican or a Democrat anymore? Resign and say to your constituents, this is who I am now. Do you still want to vote for me?

KING: She's so logical. June Judy is our guest. You're watching LARRY KING LIVE. We'll talk about drugs and the courts and your phone calls too, coming up.



SHEINDLIN: What I have sort of found out here in California is that everybody thinks that everybody else has to surround them with their arms and give them a whole bunch of Kumbaya and love. You know? I come from Brooklyn. If a cop's giving you a ticket, he doesn't give you a whole lot of love along with the ticket. You're not allowed to vandalize somebody else's property.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How about her? She has a kid and she still goes out clubbing all the time. She has custody.


SHEINDLIN: Do you think you're going to talk over me?



KING: It's a fun -- educational and fun show. Before we get to the calls, how do the courts deal -- let's use Lindsay Lohan as an example of someone who is an addict. Why should an addict be a criminal?

SHEINDLIN: Well, you want to be -- let's not talk about Lindsay Lohan in particular. Let's talk about what my view is on people who have drug or substance -- or other substance abuse problems. If you do that in your house and drink yourself to death, that's your problem. And if you want to shoot yourself up with heroin in your house or snort cocaine in your house, and kill yourself, that's your problem. When you take that alcohol outside and get behind a wheel of a car, and place other people at risk, that's not your problem anymore. You may be an addict, but now you're an addict that's placed other people at risk. And if you want to kill yourself, that's fine. But if you have a child and because you're a crack head, you bring some boyfriend into your house that beats and starves and strangles your two-year-old, that's the court's problem, even though you're an addict.

And it's not an excuse. Being an addict is not an excuse if you have placed the public at risk.

KING: Middlefield, Ohio, as we go to some calls for Judge Judy. Hello.

CALLER: Yes, what a thrill. Thank you so much. I would like to ask Judge Judy, of all the years she's taped her shows, did she -- is there any show we have never gotten to see because of the outcome or the attitude of the people, any violence or anything?

KING: Or any language.

SHEINDLIN: You know, I don't know. I just try them. And then it's up to my very competent --

KING: Have you ever been told we're not going to run this show?

SHEINDLIN: No. Actually, nobody has ever gotten violent with me.

KING: Nobody's punched anybody else across the counter?

SHEINDLIN: No. Outside -- I don't know what they did outside, but not in front of me.

KING: Callas (ph), Maine, hello.

CALLER: Yes, hi. It's an honor to speak to you, your honor. I would first like to say, out of all the women I know in my life that I admire the most, you're number three after my wife and mother. I was just curious, since you've had your own show, is there one case that you have overseen that sticks out in your mind that you say, wow, that was a tough one?

SHEINDLIN: You know, I haven't had any of those on the court television, my court television. But there have been a couple of cases that I tried in my family court experience. Most of them had to do with children. Most of them had to do with abusive children. The inhumanity that a parent can impose on their child. Sometimes --

KING: In a custody case, how is a judge trained? How do you know when a man says I'm a better father, she says I'm a better mother, how do you know? Where do you learn that?

SHEINDLIN: You know, I think that you probably learn from life's experiences. And that's why there are some good judges and some lousy ones. Some judges have their own predisposition as to whether mothers make better parents or fathers make better full-time parents. I never had that predisposition.

KING: There are groups that get together with family judges, right? They have seminars and they train on things like this.

SHEINDLIN: Well, they try. Actually, I mean judges are only human beings. They're lawyers who are human beings. Some are skilled. Some are sot skilled. Unfortunately in the family courts in the early '70s and '80s, when I was practicing, before I went on the bench and before Ed Koch became a mayor, we had a roster of judges who were just so mediocre handling family cases because it was a dumping ground for political hacks.

And Ed Koch really fixed that, so that people's lives were really being adjudicated by people who had no skill.

KING: The family court has to be Solomon-esque.

SHEINDLIN: Well, we try. We're not always successful, but you're supposed to try to evaluate the best possible evidence and make a judgment.

KING: There's been a lot of unexpected courtroom drama on Judge Judy. We're going to show you a scary moment after this.


KING: Judge Judy usually is the one who shakes things up in her TV courtroom. There was an episode when Mother Nature rocked the proceedings. Take a look.


SHEINDLIN: OK, well he got your credit -- your bank cards somehow and he got your pin numbers somehow.


KING: That was back in 2008. Several people have Tweeted us in King's Things wanting me to ask you about that episode. What was -- that was an earthquake? What went through your mind?

SHEINDLIN: You know, earthquakes go so fast here in Los Angeles, by the time my mind connected with what it was, it was over. I don't remember what the case was. But anyway it was over. I have to say something to you because I know we have very little time left.

KING: We have time.

SHEINDLIN: One of the joys for me, and I know probably for a lot of other people who spent an hour with you on this wonderful television program is that despite the fact that Larry King may not agree with individual things that we believe in, we get to voice our views in a non-confrontational way with you, who is probably the most guest friendly host that I have ever encountered. An example of that is a very easy one for the people who are watching who don't understand what I'm talking about; you are a person who does not believe that the state should be, for instance, in the business of executing people, irrespective of the crime. And we've discussed that, and we've even discussed today when I finished my segment.

But you allowed me my voice. And you have allowed over the course of your 25 years other people their voice who may not share your opinion. That's not something that's around these days, Larry.

KING: I know.

SHEINDLIN: That's what I mean when I talk about the vitriol. I know somebody else is going to be doing this hour starting the first of the year. I don't know whether I will be invited as a guest. And I don't know if I will do it, because most people who have an hour are out to feather their own nest. They're out to make themselves look good. They're out for their own charismatic perspective on things.

And that's what makes Larry King's hour so special. It made it special to me for the many times that I have appeared. I just wanted to tell you that publicly.

KING: I would invite a guest if what they had to say wasn't important. I try to ask very good questions.


KING: But I think I'm a conduit.

SHEINDLIN: You are. That's what this is, but it's without hostility. And that's what's missing in politics today. You see, you and I can differ, but we can still respect each other's opinions. I respect your opinion about things that I may not embrace.

KING: The best thing I ever heard, and we'll go to break and come back, is -- it's a great sentence -- I never learned anything when I was talking.

Should school decide what your kids eat? We'll see what Judge Judy has to say about that next.



KING: What do you make of that? First, let me quote -- I don't have to quote exactly the right to freedom of speech. Does Amazon have a right to publish a book on how to be a pedophile successfully under the law?

SHEINDLIN: It's so hard to live in this country. It's so hard to live under a Constitution that sometimes is ridiculous. It is ridiculous. Do I think that Amazon has the right to publish it? Probably. Do I think -- to sell it? I don't know if they published it.

KING: Probably didn't publish it.

SHEINDLIN: Probably didn't publish it. They probably are just selling it. Do they have the right to sell it? Absolutely. They also have the right not to sell it. And if they choose to sell it, people have the right to protest their poor judgment by doing a lot of things. One of the things is going back to Barnes & Noble and not buying their books on Amazon anymore. You know, you have the right to do it. Barnes & Noble has the right to put that in their window.

KING: Economic protest is law of the land.

SHEINDLIN: That's what this country is all about.

KING: We were calling on friends of CNN Heroes to tell us more about this year's top ten honorees, all of whom are going to be honored at a celebrity-studded gala Thanksgiving night hosted by Anderson Cooper. Tonight, an Olympic hero and a champion tells us about a hero who deserves a gold medal for helping war veterans. Watch.


EVAN LYSACEK, OLYMPIAN: Hi, I'm Evan Lysacek. As a champion of Help USA, which aids the homeless and those in need, I'm committed to breaking the cycle of homelessness and poverty in our country. And I see just how much the world needs heroes.

Now I'm thrilled to help CNN introduce one of this year's hop ten honorees.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Baghdad ended up being a hell of a ride. I sustained a very severe blast injury. My life just came to a complete halt.

DAN WALLRATH, CNN HERO: How are you doing? How's everything? You look sharp today.

I've been building custom homes for 30 years. One of the most important things for a family is a home.

I want you to read a sign for me.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Future home of Sergeant Alexander Reyes, United States Army.

WALLRATH: Congratulations.

Giving these folks a new home means the world.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Just thank you. That's all I can say.

WALLRATH: My name is Dan Wallwrath. We build homes for returning heroes from Iraq and Afghanistan. The houses are mortgage free. It changes the whole family's life. Welcome home.

It gives them just a new start so that they can move forward. These young men and women are doing this for you and me. How can I not help them?


KING: Wow. To meet all top ten heroes and vote for the one who inspires you the most, go to Back with our remaining moments with Judge Judy, my hero, after this.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None of this would have never happened if that didn't happen, what he started this whole thing.

SHEINDLIN: Are you not following me? Are you just being thick? Is it just being thick or you want another ten minutes?


SHEINDLIN: I tried to explain it to you in a kind way. Bird can tell you, it's the kindest he's seen me in about three hours.


KING: I'm going to try to get another call in. But I wanted to quickly ask you, do schools have the right and the duty to teach their children not to go to McDonald's and Burger King?

SHEINDLIN: No. I think that the school should teach children positively. You teach the positively these are the food groups that you should eat and these are the portion and exercise, and this is what's good for you. It's part of physical education or health. We used to call it health when we were in school. And that's what school is supposed to do, educate you.

If the school educates you appropriately, you will eat once --

KING: They shouldn't campaign against.


KING: Charlotte, North Carolina, hello.

CALLER: Hello. Hi, Judge Judy. It's an honor to speak with you. I enjoy watching your show.

SHEINDLIN: Thank you.

CALLER: My question is, have you ever been threatened or physically harmed after a ruling? SHEINDLIN: Have I ever been threatened. Yes, once. Not with physical harm, but with professional retribution. And it was a very long time ago. It had -- it was not in my television court. It was in family court. And I guess I have the kind of personality that somebody threatens me, I get my back up and I probably go just the opposite direction from where you want me to go.

KING: You're the wrong person to --


KING: Dearfield, Illinois. Hello.

CALLER: Hello, Larry. Hello, Judge Judy. I'm a huge fan.

SHEINDLIN: Thank you.

CALLER: You rule my DVR.

SHEINDLIN: Thank you.

CALLER: How do we better rehabilitate our felons and drug addicts? You seem to be so spot on spotting them out in your courtroom. How do we better help them to get back on positive ground?

SHEINDLIN: You know, I think -- first of all, I don't think that with felons -- you're lumping people who have an addiction problem with felons.

KING: You can be a drug addict and a felon.

SHEINDLIN: You can be. But those people that hurt other citizens and who are using drugs, sometimes I think that rehabilitation just doesn't work. You just have to slap them down and say, this is conduct we're not going to tolerate. I think that you just have to keep trying with those people who become addicted to drugs. And I certainly don't think you should start down a slippery slope of saying these drugs are OK and these drugs are not OK.

KING: You're signed through 2013?


KING: What about after that? Or is that too far ahead to think?

SHEINDLIN: You know, I don't know. I'm still having a good time. I still find my work exciting. The public still seems to be watching it, but I just have to see. I don't think I have to make a commitment right now.

KING: Do you ever get tired of it?

SHEINDLIN: No. I don't. I don't know what I would do if I didn't have it, actually.

KING: But you're not sitting there once and saying -- oh. SHEINDLIN: No. I find each case still interesting. People are different, and they may have the same basic story, but the personalities are different. There is always something unique about the way a case turns out. Sometimes I'm surprised by the outcome. So, no, I'm not bored.

KING: You're one of our favorite people.

SHEINDLIN: Thank you, and you are one of mine.

KING: Judge Judy. Hey, want to interview me right here? You can. Enter the Be the King Contest and win. You go to for details.

The "Dancing With the Stars" semi finalists are all here tomorrow night. And Michael Moore returns on Friday. Right now, here he is, Anderson Cooper -- some incredible story tonight -- "AC 360" is next.