Opinion: ‘Crusade’ by Judges Needed to Rebuild Waning Trust

At a time of all-time low public trust in our courts, it’s imperative that judges from the Supreme Court in Washington to courthouses across America work to build trust, contends a past president of the American Judges Association.

“The ability of courts to be a strong voice in our democracy is dependent upon the trust the people have in the ability of judges to make fair decisions,” explains Hennepin County (Minnesota) District Judge Kevin Burke in a Minneapolis Star Tribune commentary.

Burke writes that “Part of the essence of an effective judiciary is respect for differing opinions on critical issues,” and he suggests it didn’t help when Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia used derisive language about the court when it found a right to marry for same-sex couples. He also says there is danger in the expenditure during the upcoming elections of billions of dollars for images that paint “impending apocalypse that will erode trust in government even more dramatically.”

Alluding to the Supreme Court term that opened on Monday, Burke said that “the U.S. Supreme Court needs to open this term with a singular focus upon building trust — and every judge in the United States needs to join in this crusade.”