Protecting St. Charles County Values
"If you're going to be a good and faithful judge, you have to resign yourself to the fact that you're not always going to like the conclusions you reach. If you like them all the time, you're probably doing something wrong."
- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
Our American court system is not always perfect, but it is by far the best system mankind has ever devised to provide a mechanism for the peaceful resolution of disputes and the adjudication of civil and criminal cases.
Our system of self-governance depends on a judiciary administered by well-qualified, honest, ethical, fair and impartial judges. Judges must be committed to ensuring the courts provide a level playing field for all. We've all seen statues of Lady Justice. She wears a blindfold and carefully holds her scales of justice in balance. A judge's role is to make sure those scales stay balanced and to see to it that individual justice is done in individual cases.
If judges allow the scales to tip out of balance, ignore the Constitution, or disregard the rule of law, our court system would fail and our constitutional republic would not long survive. That is why it is critically important for judges to understand and respect the proper role of the judiciary as one of the three co-equal branches of government under the Constitution. Good and faithful judges must have the right judicial philosophy in order to do the job justice requires.
Chris cares deeply about the Constitution, the rule of law, and the importance of a fair, independent, non-activist judiciary that does not exceed its constitutional boundaries. Chris strongly believes that judges should not legislate from the bench. A judge's role is to interpret and apply the law as it is written, not as the judge would like it to have been written. Put another way, judges should not use their positions to inject personal policy preferences into the law, but should instead apply the law according to its original meaning. Judges who want to write laws should run for the legislature. While it is improper for judges to legislate from the bench, the judicial branch must also exercise the power of judicial review when appropriate in order to provide an important constitutional check on the legislative and executive branches of government when they act in excess of their constitutional authority.
Sometimes judges are called upon to make unpopular decisions. It is not unusual for judges to have to make decisions that are contrary to their personal political beliefs or policy preferences. Judges must have the strength of character to make judicial decisions in accordance with the Constitution, the relevant law, in keeping with controlling precedent, and based on the evidence before them. The integrity of our system demands that. Our courts are protectors of the Constitution and guardians of the rule of law. All who serve as judges must take that role seriously. That's why we need good and faithful constitutionalist judges like Chris.
Being a judge is not for every lawyer. Good judges have to possess a certain temperament. Judges must be impartial and treat all who appear before them with dignity, courtesy and respect. One characteristic that sets Chris apart is that he has demonstrated he has the right judicial temperament. Litigants, lawyers and witnesses appearing before Chris in the municipal courts where he serves as judge are always treated fairly.
Chris will bring that same judicial temperament, humility, reverence for the Constitution and respect for the rule of law to the bench as your St. Charles County Associate Circuit Judge.