On Supreme Court Justices

One important role of U.S. Presidents is appointing new Supreme Court Justices as the need arises. Each president in recent history has averaged 1 or 2 appointments during his term(s). Because of this, we need to elect a president who will select Justices carefully and wisely. Picking Justices shouldn’t be about partisanship or policy, it should be about promoting justice and fairness. What is the role of a judge then? Is it to change the law? Is it to interpret the law?

The great South African novelist and activist Alan Paton summed up the responsibility of judges in his classic and unequaled Cry, the Beloved Country:

“A Judge must be incorruptible. The Judge does not make the Law. It is the People that make the Law. Therefore if a Law is unjust, and if the Judge judges according to the Law, that is justice, even if it is not just. It is the duty of a Judge to do justice, but it is only the People that can be just. Therefore if justice be not just, that is not to be laid at the door of the Judge, but at the door of the People.”

We need judges who do not strive to change the law, rather, interpret according to the law. We have legislators to make the law. This is why it is important that we elect a President who can put aside petty politics and select judges who will do their jobs and make their rulings based on the law without striving to change the law. The role of Supreme Court Justices is quite specific in the U.S. Constitution: Link to Constitution.

Again, we need to be wise in our selection of President for much hangs in the balance.

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