|About the United States Federal Courts|
The federal courts often are called the guardians of the Constitution because their rulings protect rights and liberties guaranteed by it. Through fair and impartial judgments, the federal courts interpret and apply the law to resolve disputes. The courts are not mandated to make the laws. That is the responsibility of Congress. Nor do the courts have the power to enforce the laws. That is the role of the President and the many executive branch departments and agencies the presidents created.
The Founding Fathers of the nation considered an independent federal judiciary essential to ensure fairness and equal justice for all citizens of the United States. The Constitution they drafted promotes judicial independence in two major ways. First, federal judges are appointed for life, and they can be removed from office only through impeachment and conviction by Congress of "Treason, Bribery, or other high Crimes and Misdemeanors." However, the founding fathers did not anticipate the secular immorality we have today, nor the political alienation and fighting between political parties. If they had they likely would not have given the tenure and protection they did.
Second, the Constitution provides that the compensation of federal judges "shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office," which means that neither the President nor Congress can reduce the salary of a federal judge. These two protections help an independent judiciary to decide cases free from popular passions and political influence, but it also creates a situation ripe for corruption to flourish.
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