Mary Ann Glendon, The Rise of the Romantic Judge, in Renewing the American Constitutional Tradition 67 (Peter Berkowitz, Larry Diamond, Richard A. Epstein, Mary Ann Glendon, Stanley Kurtz, Michael W. McConnell & George F. Will eds., Hoover Inst. Press 2013).
Abstract: This chapter discusses the author's concerns regarding how, during the second half of the 20th century, traditional ideas about what it meant to be a good judge were being challenged by a new, romantic, ideal. Judges were praised for compassion rather than partiality, boldness rather than steadiness of temperament, creativity rather than craftsmanship, and specific results regardless of the effect on the legal order as a whole. In our increasingly heterogeneous nation, it is more important than ever for citizens to be able to rely on the administration of justice by impartial judges without regard to a person’s wealth, power, ethnicity, or other characteristics. It is more important than ever that the lives, liberties, and fortunes of our citizens not be left to the mercy of a judge’s personal opinion of what procedures are fair, what outcome is just, who does or does not need protection, and what Congress or the Constitution ought to have said rather than what is present in the text. It is more important than ever to have judges with a demonstrated capacity to take the judicial oath and mean it, to swear to: “administer justice without respect to persons, and do equal right to the poor and to the rich, and impartially discharge and perform all the duties incumbent on me according to the best of my abilities and understanding agreeably to the Constitution and laws of the United States.”