Essay about Judges

803 Words Aug 18th, 2011 4 Pages
In our system of government, one that relies on balance to prevent a concentration of power, the judicial branch is arguably the most powerful. With its ability to declare both executive and legislative actions unconstitutional, the judicial branch has a lot of leeway in determining the final say on whether or not our country can or cannot do a particular thing. This power, however, requires that the judicial branch have effective judges for everything to work properly. Judges have immense responsibility. In criminal trials, they are responsible for making sure that the lawyers follow all of the rules of evidence, and insuring that defendants get every right afforded to them. They make sure that everything is fair, and that the …show more content…
Everything I have said up to now is true of lower court judges. However, when talking about Supreme Court Justices, effectiveness can vary depending on who you ask. There are several schools of thought on what a Supreme Court Justice is supposed to do, depending on how you believe the constitution is to be interpreted. For example, the originality, like current Justice Scalia, believe that the constitution is to be interpreted the way it would have been when it was written, in the eighteenth century (Scalia, 2005). Other schools of thought believe the constitution is a living thing that is to be interpreted differently as times change (Gutmann, 1998). It is therefore very hard to evaluate the effectiveness of a Supreme Court Justice without first choosing a camp to side with. There are, however, a few qualities that all Justices share, most of them relating to more general aspects of the job. For instance, an effective Justice will have an open mind, and will not go into a case with his mind already made up. What is more, a Justice will be an umpire as much as possible, merely applying rules and not making them (unless they have to). On the other hand, an ineffective Justice may pick sides, and decide a case based on his own personal legal philosophy that he or she wishes to advance. Or even worse, they may decide a case based on their

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