Sunday, April 24, 2005

Good reason for judicial canons of ethics

[OPINION] Judge M. Margaret McKeown responds to her 9th Circuit colleague Judge Alex Kozinski's critique of the Canons of Judicial Ethics in a letter to Legal Affairs (May-June 2005 issue, at 6).

The full text of Judge McKeown's letter is not on the magazine's website -- but you could read the library's copy in print. In the meantime, here are excerpts:

The guiding principles of the canons --integrity, impartiality, and avoidance of the appearance of impropriety -- serve as daily reminders of the public trust placed in judges.
* * *
Although the appearance-of-impropriety rule may seem objectionable to Kozinski, it is not trivial to public confidence in the judiciary . . . . Kozinski's solution to this dilemma is "to trust the judges" and operate with fewer rules. Our system does function in large part on public trust and credibility. But that trust should not be blind, and accepting accountability through rules of judicial ethics is a small price to pay for the honor and responsibility of servicng as a judge.

Categories: , , ,

No comments: