“If you’re going to be a good and faithful judge, you have to resign yourself to the fact that you’re not always going to like the conclusions you reach.” ~ Antonin Scalia, U.S. Supreme Court Justice
Over the past 40 years, we’ve seen a disturbing rise in what I refer to as “judicial activism,” or judges making rulings based on their own personal or political considerations rather than on existing law. This type of “activist” behavior on the part of some judges is not only improper under our constitutional framework, I believe it’s a systemic threat to the very delicate balance of power that was outlined and fortified in our nation’s founding documents.
I believe the proper role of a judge in our system of governance is to view himself as the servant of the law, not the master. Regardless of how we as judges may feel about the wisdom or prudence of a certain law, it is not our place to substitute our judgment for that of the duly elected legislators who enacted that law by twisting or manipulating its language in order to fashion an outcome that ultimately fits our own personal or political agenda. Simply put, a faithful judge leaves the lawmaking to the lawmakers. The role of a judge is to make sure that there is equal and consistent application of the law to each and every citizen, regardless of background. Equal application of the law and, ultimately, equal protection for all our citizens — that should be the primary and singular focus of a judge.
As your judge, you have my solemn pledge that every decision I make will be grounded in principle, rooted in the Constitution, and faithful to the letter of the law. Obedience and adherence to our constitutional system requires nothing less.