US Courts Governing US

Excerpt from The Importance of Judicial Neutrality, address at the Second Circuit Judicial Conference (May 8, 1981) in Thurgood Marshall: His Speeches, Writings, Arguments, Opinions, And Reminiscences 187, 189 (Mark V. Tushnet ed., 2001).

"We must never forget that the only real source of power that we, as judges, can tap is the respect of the people.  We will command that respect only as long as we strive for neutrality.  If we are perceived as campaigning for particular policies, as joining with other branches of government in resolving questions not committed to us by the Constitution, we may gain some public acclaim in the short run.  In the long run, however, we will cease to be perceived as neutral arbiters, and we will lose that public respect so vital to our function."

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