LAW DAY REFLECTIONS: John M. Gerrard

As the American political system, and increasingly the American public, be-come more polarized, an unwavering commitment by attorneys and judges to the rule of law could not be more important. The founders took great care to insulate the judiciary from political forces, and it is our responsibility to maintain (and in some cases regain) the public trust that Courts are impartial arbiters of society's most pressing disputes.

It would be disingenuous to suggest that judges, merely by holding that ti-tle, have a special power to automatically compartmentalize their personal convictions (often gained by hard-earned life experience). Rather, judges are responsible, because of their titles, to relentlessly ask themselves tough questions about what biases (conscious and unconscious) they bring to the bench and how those biases may interfere with their ability to adhere to the rule of law. And judges must address any preconceptions they find, in a thoughtful way, guided by the law.

In other words, we have to check our blind spots, and in so doing will be in greater service to the people, the Constitution, and laws of the United States we are sworn to defend.

John M. Gerrard

Chief United States District Judge, District of Nebraska

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