Independence doesn't mean you decide the way you want.
It doesn't help to fight crime to put people in prison who are innocent.
You can have many different selection systems, but the bottom line has to be a system that, once the judge takes office that judge will feel that he or she is to decide the case without reference to the popular thing or the popular will of the moment.
To threaten the institution is to threaten fair administration of justice and protection of liberty.
And the problem is once you get into this campaign business and begin to have a lot of money, then the person on the bench begins to think - what's going to happen if I decide the case this way or that way?
There are loads of countries that have nice written constitutions like ours. But there aren't loads of countries where they're followed.
You will read in the newspaper more often about federal courts, but the law that affects people, the trials that affect human beings are by and large in the state courts.
And in that confirmation process, I sat for 17 hours in front of a senate judiciary committee.
At least there's a political input, but when you put on the robe, at that point the politics is over.
Every citizen has to figure out what kind of government he or she wants.
Independence means you decide according to the law and the facts.
It's important to every American that the law protect his or her basic liberty.
Judges are appointed often through the political process.
Nobody wants a judge to be subject to the political whim of the moment.
People have to be educated and they have to stick to it. If people lose that respect, an awful lot is lost.
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