Skip to main content
344 POLITICAL SCIENCE.
in law, and that cases of obvious decay require to be attended
to by themselves, it would be well to have some kind of
arrangement by which a judge who is really incapacitated
shall, on representations from the bench and perhaps from
the bar, be invited or forced to resign, a retiring pension
being given him. Such a suggestion needs to come from
others, since a man is often unconscious of his own decay.
In regard to the salary of the judge it is hardly necessary
to say that it ou^ht to be liberal, so that men of
Salary of judges. .
the best talent, who in middle life seek rest from
the contentions and worrying details of a lawyer's work, and
would gladly devote themselves more to the science and less
'to the practice of their profession, may be induced to accept
one of the most honorable of offices. Otherwise, if the salary
were mean, the office would be filled with third-rate men,
their decisions would command no respect, and there would
be less stability in the system of justice. The salary also .
ought to be independent of the work done by the judge, not
derived From fees in whole nor in part, since this would de-
grade the judge and put him under temptation. With still
greater reason ought it to be so far fixed, as not to be dimin- -
ished during his term of service. This is made a provision
of some constitutions, and with reason; because, if such
reduction were allowed, it would be applied, as a political
weapon, to drive out of office a judge obnoxious on political
grounds to the legislature, perhaps obnoxious on the ground
of his interpretations of the constitution.
The term of office, furthermore, ought to be limited accord-
ing to previous remarks only by intellectual incapacity or
moral delinquency ; in other words, it should be for life and
not for a short term of years. Formerly this tenure, perhaps
with the limit of superannuation at some period of life or
another, was universal, we believe, in the states of the union;'
now a large part of them have given up this plan for a short,
term of office, varying in different states, but not generally
exceeding a decennium. In most states these short-term
judges are chosen by the people. The reasons that led to