Institutional Independence Of the Judiciary

, New York Law Journal

In remarks given upon receipt of the William H. Rehnquist Award for Judicial Excellence, Jonathan Lippman, presiding justice of the Appellate Division, First Department, said: So much of the criticism directed at judges and courts these days is predicated on a distorted concept of accountability. Well-funded and organized interest groups are campaigning to convince Americans that the judiciary is no different from the political branches of government. With the judiciary no longer sitting on a public pedestal or enjoying the kind of societal esteem that sustained us in the past, there is no greater challenge for court systems today than to prevent these efforts from metastasizing into broader attacks on the judiciary's capacity to govern itself as a co-equal branch of government.

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