A Fresh Start for the Justice System

Judicature, November/December 2008 | Go to article overview

A Fresh Start for the Justice System


The new administration has a unique opportunity to underscore the importance of an effective system of administering justice and to promote public confidence in that system.

President-elect Barack Obama's plate is piled high with issues: the economy; wars in Iraq and Afghanistan; health care. A cursory review of the nation's most pressing problems might lead one to conclude that the health of America's courts is well down the list until one appreciates the critical role that courts play in grappling with every major issue of the day. As the nation's economic crisis deepens, courts must oversee bankruptcies, mortgage foreclosures, defaulted loans, and labor disputes. In the wake of war, courts must adjudicate cases concerning detainee rights, the propriety of military tribunals, government contracts, and veterans' benefits. And health care woes engender insurance litigation, suits over unpaid medical bills, and health plan coverage. Viewed in that light, the well-being of the nation's courts is inextricably linked to the well-being of the nation itself.

The new administration has ascended to power with the promise of change. One change of critical importance is to restore traditional respect for the judiciary and the rule of law. The nation's courts have recently endured an acrimonious cycle of attacks, led by slogan-wielding politicians and pundits who have decried "judicial activism" and proposed that judges who rule in disfavored ways be punished with impeachment, cuts to their budgets or jurisdiction, or defeat at the ballot box. Indifferent and sometimes hostile legislatures have withheld resources for courts and cost of living adjustments for judges, while mayors and governors from both political parties have sought votes by scoring points at the judiciary's expense.

President-elect and Mrs. Obama are both able lawyers, and as such appreciate the importance of the rule of law and the role of judges in American government. As President and First Lady, they have a unique opportunity to lead by example, to underscore the importance of an effective system of administering jus- tice, and to promote public confi- dence in that system. To those ends, there are several steps that we urge the new administration to take:

* As an initial matter, we fully anticipate that the new administration will take a more restrained and less partisan approach to its oversight of, and key appointments to, the Justice Department.

* In a related vein, we urge the new administration to exercise leadership in restoring a less partisan and acrimonious relationship with the judiciary. Criticism of judicial decisions is healthy and inevitable, but disagreement can be expressed without challenging the legitimacy of the judiciary as a coequal branch of government or threatening to retaliate against the authors of decisions that the President and others do not like. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

A Fresh Start for the Justice System
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.