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US Retired Supreme Court Judge O’Connor Says Politics And Courts Don’t Mix

Retired United States Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor explained, “the legitimacy of the judicial branch rests entirely on its promise to be fair and impartial” and if the public loses faith in that — if the public believes that judges are “just politicians in robes” — there’s no reason to respect judge’s opinions any more than the “opinions of the real politicians representing the electorate.”

O’Connor has it exactly right. To perform their constitutional duty, judges have to answer to the law and the constitution — not to political pressure.

Politics and courts don’t mix-O’Connor

Judicial independence means, at least, that the judiciary is neither dominated nor controlled by the political branches and that it is disentangled to the extent possible from the forces that influence those branches’ policy choices.

If judges answer to political parties and electoral majorities to the same degree as legislators, the courts risk being perceived as mere shadow legislatures.

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2 COMMENTS

  1. This is the case with malawi, everything. Our judiciary is political, unima lecturers are political, etc and they eye something in the political scope. Richard banda and kabwira are real examples. They abused their offices in the name of advancing their political ambitions. Whether apm wins again or not our judiciary is trash and is full of shit. They pass judgement to show their invisibility not following that they are duty bound. They think we are rubbish who can not follow sobery their noseating judgements. If one eyes political posts is better to leave the civil service honourably and serve the political master. Jessie stirred unima to the extent of bringing it to a stand still all because her blood was filled with politics. There are so many examples some from the clergy. Kodi peter analakwa chani? Everything you want to take it away from him. After bingu’s death you hide behind the constitution and wrestled power from dpp to pp. The leader of opposition mantle which mcp was supposed to hand over to dpp was denied and everyone was silent. Kapena is it m’godi ndi wathu saga? Stop playing with our reasoning we are humans as well and don’t take as for granted.

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