The Trusted Voice of AJS

By Doerfer, Gordon L. | Judicature, July/August 2009 | Go to article overview

The Trusted Voice of AJS


Doerfer, Gordon L., Judicature


When the American Judicature Society was founded in 1913 there was a sense that the justice system in this country was in need of thoughtful examination in which "scientific principles" (in the idiom of that day) would be applied to improve the administration of justice. AJS was organized to draw upon a national panel of experts and was expected to make rational, evidence-based recommendations. It appealed to the altruistic instincts of the legal and judicial professions, academia, and the broader community to work on improving the justice system, not as an interest group, but as an independent and non-partisan "blue ribbon" enterprise. That tradition continues to this day.

Some recent events illustrate how AJS is regarded as a trusted resource.

Judicature is a peer-reviewed journal that is highly respected by scholars of judicial administration and the public for its timely and evidence-based articles and commentary. The Mayjune issue, devoted to a review of the impact of the appointments of George W. Bush to the federal bench, was acknowledged in the Blog of the Legal Times as "the most comprehensive empirical look yet at the judicial legacy of former President George W. Bush." In its recent report on the ABA summit on 'Justice is the Business of Government," the ABA Presidential Commission on Fair and Impartial State Courts referred to a Judicature editorial on the impending financial crisis in the state courts and the impact of a reduced state court system on a broad spectrum of social problems. Judicature has consistently been able to attract authors and editorial writers of the highest caliber and epitomizes the work we do.

The AJS Center for Judicial Ethics is recognized as the country's most reliable and authoritative resource for information and analysis of issues relating to judicial ethics and discipline. It is constantly referred to in the press when judicial conduct issues receive public attention. For example, the Tacoma, Washington, Netas Tribune recently cited AJS as a source of background information on judicial discipline in an article explaining the judicial discipline process in that state. Since the Caperton case reached public consciousness, AJS has contributed regularly to the conversation about campaign contributions and recusal and will continue to do so. …

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