Judicial Independence: The Cornerstone of DemocracyPDF
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Today, judicial independence is facing new and unprecedented challenges. In his keynote speech at the Council of Chief Judges of State Courts of Appeal’s annual conference, John R. Wester addressed the history of judicial independence, its critical importance and the challenges facing today’s judiciary. Wester, the inaugural chair of the American College of Trial Lawyers General Committee for Judicial Independence, reviewed assaults on the judiciary by politicians, physical attacks on judges and their families, and the attempts by state legislative and executive branches to weaken and politicize judicial authority. He also reported on the American College’s education initiative designed to broaden public awareness about the role of the judiciary and, subsequently, neutralize politicians, special interest advocates and disgruntled pundits from retaliating against judges who issue unpopular judicial decisions.