The protection and advancement of human rights depends on strong, independent judiciaries. As I witnessed firsthand in the South, fair and impartial judges are the ultimate check on powerful individuals and institutions that would undermine individual rights and freedoms.
In 2008, nearly $20 million was spent on television advertising for contested elections of twenty-six supreme court seats—an increase of 24 percent over the 2006 election.
Justice and administration affect all aspects of state and local government. Understanding the respective roles and responsibilities of state and local government and its justice system is critical.
Federal judges tend to confront more difficult cases and judges who protect unpopular minorities from popular majorities should not worry how their interest in making an unpopular decision might affect their interest in a secure livelihood.
Perhaps nowhere is judicial independence more important to constitutional democracy than within the sphere of the criminal justice system.
Tribal governments need an appropriate forum to address the conflicts affecting tribal members. Authority has become more controversial as tribes have engaged in more extensive use of their authority.
The years of immigration proceedings to remove Ali from the United States are in many ways a case study of the structural and procedural challenges the EOIR faces. Reform is crucial to ensure the protection and expansion of aliens' due process rights.
The struggle for judicial independence around the globe presents a series of challenges. Human Rights offers two accounts, one from Pakistan and one from Kenya, which reiterate how essential judicial independence is to the foundations of modern societies.
Since leaving the bench in January 2006, Sandra Day O'Connor has been a leading voice for judicial independence and is recognized for her outspoken and strong leadership to preserve judicial independence and to raise public awareness on this important topic.