The Responsible Judge: Readings in Judicial Ethics

By John T. Noonan Jr.; Kenneth I. Winston | Go to book overview

PART I
THE IDEAL JUDGE AND THE PARTIAL JUDGE

Part I begins with the ideal judge--an ideal impossible of human realization because the judge was conceived as divine. The divine model was apparently necessary to break out the judge's impartial role in societies where blood relationship and the rule of reciprocity governed.

Other symbols of impartiality such as the blindfold and the scales became important adjuncts in creating the standard of a judge above the litigants and the interests of the litigants. Important as these symbols have been, they risked creating an image of a judge that masked completely the play of human personality in judging. Section A looks at the images, and Section B, at the mask.

There is an ideal judge, never quite realized in human experience. At the other extreme, there have been real judges so depraved in character or forgetful of function as to systematically take money for their judging. We have not scrupled to denominate such judges monsters: They show how far human judges can depart from the ideal. Section C is devoted to them.

Neither ideal nor monsters are judges who are seriously affected by influences outside the case, by factors not on the record before them. The recurrent influence is politics--the politics of a political party, the politics of a great cause, the politics of money in campaign financing. The judge who has to pay for office or the judge who has to raise money to campaign for office seriously risks his or her integrity. The judge who is responsible to a political party is not much better. Is the judge different who treats the court as a political body responsible for major political change? Does the nobility of the cause make a difference, or the fact that the court is "supreme"? Section D explores these and related questions.

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The Responsible Judge: Readings in Judicial Ethics
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Copyright Acknowledgments v
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xiii
  • Part I The Ideal Judge and the Partial Judge 1
  • A. The Impartiality of God 3
  • B. The Mask of Impartiality 22
  • C. Monsters 35
  • D. Political Judges 50
  • Part II Judging 97
  • A. Waiting for the Litigants 105
  • B. Deciding on the Record 113
  • C. Adjudicating the Case at Hand 115
  • D. Creating a Precedent 121
  • E. Following the Rules Laid Down 129
  • F. Exercising Judgment 138
  • G. Preserving Proportion 142
  • H. Displaying Compassion 148
  • I. Deliberating with Colleagues 156
  • J. Writing and Dissenting 171
  • K. Judging in a Different Voice 188
  • L. Managing Public Institutions 208
  • M. Settling a Case 223
  • N. Blowing the Whistle? 243
  • O. Retaining One's Humanity 257
  • Part III Independent and Accountable 265
  • A. Proclaiming Independence 267
  • B. The Duty of Recusal 278
  • C. Forms of Accountability 309
  • Selected Bibliography 387
  • Index 391
  • About the Editors *
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