More than any other branch of government, the courts are the stewards of the foundational principles of our country, such as the freedom of speech, the freedom of religion, the rule that all are equal under the law, and the rule that all are entitled to fairness under the law. When the courts decide well, we are given something all Americans can be proud of. When the courts fail, it can do incalculable harm.
Judges must apply sublime principles in a less than sublime world, remembering that all are entitled to fairness and that the small are equal to the great in the law’s eyes. Judges must decide based on the law, not politics or special interests. Judges must have the compassion to understand how the law touches people’s lives outside the courtroom and the discipline and courage to make hard decisions. Judges, also, must exercise proper judicial restraint and not strike down laws simply because they may disagree with them. Above all, judges must keep in mind that all deserve justice; and that justice is not justice if it depends on who you are, whom you know, the size of your bank account or the weight of your influence.
As a judge, I would do my utmost to serve these goals, to decide each case impartially, and to work for a fair, humane and principled application of the law.