Skip to main content

Full text of "Political Science Of The State"

See other formats

342                              POLITICAL SCIENCE.
ness of judgment, moderation and impartiality, love of truth,
are not brilliant qualities. 2. The candidates for the bench
submitted to the people will be selected generally by a party
convention and the place be offered to a party man. But en-
trance into the office of a judge because one has been a faith-
ful servant of a party is a poor omen for fidelity and impar-
tiality. There is no one who needs to cast off all immediate
connection with a party as much as the judge, and this is
very difficult, if his most intimate relations have been those
of party, and his feelings are strong party feelings. 3. It
tends to lower the office of the judge if he is elected as a
servant of the people. Popular election proceeds on the
principle that the people is the source of all power, which is
true, in the last resort, and that the persons elected are agents
of the people. But it is less true of judges by far that they
are agents of the people than of any executive officer. There
is nothing falling within the sphere of judicial action concern-
ing which the judge can properly inquire what the people
think or prefer. The same is in a degree true of the execu-
tive,, but not to an equal extent of the legislative department.
The existing law—from whatever source it comes—and the
facts of the case the people have nothing to do with, as far
as these bear ori the trial; the law can be altered for future
cases, the verdict can be set aside perhaps by executive par-
don, but the judge knows only existing law with its princi-
ples and the irreversible facts. Now election by the people
tends to make a man feel that he is the servant of the people
who live at the present time, not of the law nor of the consti-
tution, which is the voice of the people for all time. How-
can this fail to injure his firmness and his righteousness, espe-
cially in cases where a political criminal has the people strongly
for him or against him ? Even moral lessons the judge may
not go aside from his strict duty to teach, how much less can
he use his power as the people would have him, against the
claims of justice ? But he will be apt to do this, if he depends
on the people for his power. On the other hand, the execu-
tive, or the executive and legislature, come and go ; no per-