Judicial Selection Principles: A Perspective
We commend the Albany Law Review for focusing attention on the critical issues involved in judicial selection. Our country prides itself, justifiably, on being a nation of laws. But history tells us that the rule of law cannot survive without an independent judiciary. No matter how magnificent a court’s building, no matter how dedicated its staff, and no matter how skilled the advocates who appear, if judges make their decisions for reasons other than as a faithful application of the law, the rule of law as we know and revere it does not exist. Judges must be free to apply the law without prejudice and without favoritism, free of improper outside or political influences, and unencumbered by the threat of removal from office when a decision required by the law does not meet with public or political approval. Our institutional framework, including the methods we use to select our judges, must assure our judges the freedom to render unbiased decisions.