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Judicial branch of government requires ‘complete impartiality’ | COMMENTARY

The Supreme Court building in Washington, Oct. 12, the first day of the confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg.
The Supreme Court building in Washington, Oct. 12, the first day of the confirmation hearing for Judge Amy Coney Barrett, President Donald Trump's nominee to replace Ruth Bader Ginsburg. (Anna Moneymaker/The New York Times)

Those of us who took a course in civics while in high school understand that the president (executive branch) and the members of Congress (legislative branch) are political in nature (“Why Amy Coney Barrett’s religious views matter — a dire warning from Justice Clarence Thomas,” Oct. 15). The third branch of government, the judicial branch, is supposed to be non-partisan. It is a neutral branch where all litigants have an equal chance of prevailing in their dispute.

There is now a rush to appoint a replacement for deceased Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. The president openly advocates his appointing a judge with conservative credentials. It is his hope and expectation that such a selectee will vote for stronger gun rights, abolish the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), eliminate, or greatly restrict, a woman’s right to an abortion and other conservative agenda items. Nominating an open-minded and middle of the road selectee appears to be not even a thought to the partisan president and Republican senators.

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I served as a state court judge in Texas. Although not an exclusive list, I would hope any judge would bring certain attributes to their role as a judge. I would expect a judge to be a hard worker and have: 1) diverse experience in the law; 2) critical reasoning skills; 3) excellent speaking and writing skills; 4) integrity above reproach; 6) and, finally, complete impartiality.

Nearly all Republican Senators seemingly would like cases to be pre-decided based on political affiliation. How very sad for the American people seeking an independent judiciary. Their hope for justice depends upon the political leanings of the judge who can only see one side of an argument. If it were up to the president and virtually every Republican Senator, the third branch of government would be political, and the decisions should always favor conservatives over any other group of American citizens. For the record, I am not bound to any political party. I am neither a liberal nor a conservative.

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Ira L. Frank, Springfield, Virginia

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