"The leadership of the Utah State Bar is deeply concerned that communications such as Senator Buttars' letter represent more than simple expressions of disappointment and are more appropriately characterized as attempts to improperly influence a judge's decisions based on politics," wrote V. Lowry Snow in on opinion piece in today's Salt Lake Tribune.Mr. Kettle, stop calling Mr. Pot "black. . . . It's a dark, ugly thing." Oh wait, that was Sen. Buttars. But the point stands. Anyone who didn't fall off the turip truck last night knows what Buttars's intent behind the letter was. I scanned in the letter for you to read it yourself and see if you draw different conclusions that I, or Mr. Snow does.
"They do see it differently," said Valentine, an attorney. "Really what they have done is restated the facts and put their own spin on it."
|Chris Buttars Letter|
Here's more of what Sen. Valentine and I's bar president says:
We believe that this type of intrusion into judicial decision making is not only inappropriate but also evidences a lack of understanding in the system of checks and balances framed by our forefathers under our state and federal constitutions, and threatens the fairness and impartiality of our courts.There's lots more and I highly recommend you read the whole thing, especially elected officials who seem to need a primer on the constitution.
When our founders wrote the Constitution, they purposely shielded courts from political influence so judges could protect the rights of each individual. This was a revolutionary idea. Before then, courts too often were manipulated by the rich and powerful seeking to protect their interests and deny justice to those who had been wronged.
We created a system where judges are able to decide cases free from political pressures; where they consider only the facts and the law in making their decisions, which gives us all our "day in court." We must not turn the clock back to the days of justice only for the few and privileged because of a handful of decisions the few and privileged dislike.
Attempts to intimidate judges are attempts to influence their decisions. If we let external pressure tip the scales of justice, we will lose the only place where we each can be heard on an equal footing.
Mr. Snow isn't a partisan and he isn't "spinning." He, like the lawyers in Pakistan who were jailed for protesting, cares about the rule of law and independence of the judiciary. If the judiciary becomes just another political branch, we lose not only our constitutional principles, but what has made this country such an economic powerhouse.
People do business in America because they know they can sign a reasonable contract and it will be enforcible. They don't need to worry about bribing officials or selective prosecution (well, at least until Rove got ahold of the U.S. Attorneys' office). Have a regular set of rules that are evenly enforced and fair makes for a good place to do business. You can't say the same about China or Russia or African or South American countries, where who you know matters more than how good your product/service/price is.