Faith leaders: Justice demands fair and impartial courts
By Bishop Richard B. Wilke, the Rev. Tobias Schlingensiepen and Rabbi Mark H. Levin
Justice administered by fair and impartial courts is a hot button issue on the November ballot as our Kansas judges and justices stand for voter retention. Some special interest groups are urging voters to vote not to retain judges based upon the decisions they have entered in specific high profile cases
The Bible speaks clearly about the demands of justice. Justice demands fair and impartial courts with highly trained, independent judges.
“Justice, justice shall you pursue,” the Bible commands us in Deuteronomy 16:20. But what is justice? Fortunately, the Bible gives us more detail.
In Exodus 23:2-3, judges are commanded to be impartial before both rich and poor, while avoiding following public opinion even when that opinion represents the majority.
Deuteronomy 16:18 says, “You shall not judge unfairly; you shall show no partiality; you shall not take bribes, for bribes blind the eyes of the discerning and upset the plea of the just.” The clear and unwavering biblical standard demanded by God is absolute honesty and intensive scrutiny while being impartial. Only the facts of each case matter, regardless of public opinion or prevailing sentiment. Thus, judges must be highly impartial, demandingly discerning and overwhelmingly independent.