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Back to 1100

In 2001, Judge Richard Paez (of the US Ninth Circuit) rebuked Judge Sonia Sotomayor, the self-described "wise Latina" who has been nominated to the US Supreme Court. His remarks and his principles were based on the aspirations expressed in the Charter of Liberties of 1100, Magna Carta, 1215, centuries of common law and the US Constitution.

"I used to tell jurors when they entered the courtroom and took their oaths as jurors, 'You walk into the courtroom with a lifetime of experiences, and we don't ask you to suddenly forget all that experience, to ignore that experience.' I asked them if they could judge fairly the case that they were about to hear. I explained, 'As jurors, recognize that you might have some bias, or prejudice. Recognize that it exists, and determine whether you can control it so that you can judge the case fairly. Because if you cannot - if you cannot set aside those prejudices, biases and passions - then you should not sit on the case.'

"The same principle applies to judges. We take an oath of office. At the federal level, it is a very interesting oath. It says, in part, that you promise or swear to do justice to both the poor and the rich. The first time I heard this oath, I was startled by its significance. I have my oath hanging on the wall in my office to remind me of my obligations. And so, although I am a Latino judge and there is no question about that - I am viewed as a Latino judge - as I judge cases, I try to judge them fairly. I try to remain faithful to my oath."

A beautiful summing up of a thousand years of men and women striving to achieve justice under the law.

Thanks to Instapundit for the link.

Comments (1)


This same concept of justice is given in the Book of Exodus, Ch 19 if I recall the reference correctly. It is the only approach that is rationally supportable.

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