Judicial Philosophy

The US Constitution makes clear that the six purposes of the national government are:

  1. To form a more perfect union

  2. Establish justice

  3. Insure domestic tranquility

  4. Provide for the common defense

  5. Promote the general welfare, and,

  6. Secure the blessings of liberty

The PA Constitution is not as specific, mentioning only “civil and religious liberty.”

As we start out interpreting any law, we assume that the lawmakers intended to follow those respective Constitutions. And so, the laws must be interpreted in a way that will protect, or further, the purposes of government as mentioned in the two Constitutions.

It is possible to uphold the constitutionality of a law while concluding that it is being applied in an unconstitutional manner in the case before the court. In that case, a judicious court (which should be a redundant phrase) will uphold the constitutionality of the law while declaring that it is unconstitutional to apply it as it is being applied in the case before the court.

At times in our history, there have been movements to restrict the freedom of the people based on their disagreement with current political power or based on religion, race, socioeconomic status or some other irrelevant (to law) demographic category. At such times, any judge worthy of the title “judge” will join in the resistance to these anti-American forces. I would be such a judge.

The justice system, both civil and criminal, was established to ensure that justice is done. That is why it is called the “justice” system. Consequently, in analyzing any legal issue, the overriding question is: “What would a just society do?” We assume that that is how the creators of any law would want it interpreted.

Disclaimer: This is not meant to say how I would rule on any given case. All cases are judged individually on the real (not alternative) facts proven in court while applying the laws and the PA and US Constitutions to those facts to reach a considered decision.