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Chief Justice speaking on judicial independence

Michael W. Hoskins
January 1, 2007
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Judicial independence and accountability are the topics du jour for Indiana Chief Justice Randall T. Shepard.

The state's top judge was the keynote speaker at an Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum this afternoon. The Center for Free Inquiry at Hanover College hosted the free program, "Politics and the Courts: Judicial Independence and Accountability," at the Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum in Indianapolis.

This topic arises as the role of courts in the U.S. has become a focus for criticism, including how the judiciary is often blamed for everything from light sentences for criminals to questionable interpretations of the Constitution.

The seminar examines two themes prevalent in current national debates about the role of the judiciary in a democratic society. Chief Justice Shepard was to discuss the idea that by protecting judges from political pressure, the intrusion of politics can be limited to the resolution of legal and constitutional questions. He also was to talk about how if the judiciary is to play a constructive role, those jurists must be accountable for the decisions they render.

Along with the chief justice's comments, a panel discussion was slated to include professor Charles Geyh with the Indiana University School of Law - Bloomington, and Hanover professor John Ahrens, who've both written about this topic.
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  1. I just wanted to point out that Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, Senator Feinstein, former Senate majority leader Bill Frist, and former attorney general John Ashcroft are responsible for this rubbish. We need to keep a eye on these corrupt, arrogant, and incompetent fools.

  2. Well I guess our politicians have decided to give these idiot federal prosecutors unlimited power. Now if I guy bounces a fifty-dollar check, the U.S. attorney can intentionally wait for twenty-five years or so and have the check swabbed for DNA and file charges. These power hungry federal prosecutors now have unlimited power to mess with people. we can thank Wisconsin's Jim Sensenbrenner and Diane Feinstein, John Achcroft and Bill Frist for this one. Way to go, idiots.

  3. I wonder if the USSR had electronic voting machines that changed the ballot after it was cast? Oh well, at least we have a free media serving as vicious watchdog and exposing all of the rot in the system! (Insert rimshot)

  4. Jose, you are assuming those in power do not wish to be totalitarian. My experience has convinced me otherwise. Constitutionalists are nearly as rare as hens teeth among the powerbrokers "managing" us for The Glorious State. Oh, and your point is dead on, el correcta mundo. Keep the Founders’ (1791 & 1851) vision alive, my friend, even if most all others, and especially the ruling junta, chase only power and money (i.e. mammon)

  5. Hypocrisy in high places, absolute immunity handed out like Halloween treats (it is the stuff of which tyranny is made) and the belief that government agents are above the constitutions and cannot be held responsible for mere citizen is killing, perhaps has killed, The Republic. And yet those same power drunk statists just reel on down the hallway toward bureaucratic fascism.

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