Courts have to earn trust now every day with efficiency and fairness | Hartford Courant


There isn’t a lot of praise circulating for American institutions today. Even though we can see abundant evidence of the shortcomings of alternative systems in Russia, China and elsewhere, too many Americans are buying populist propaganda against their own government.

Lately, it’s the courts’ turn. Judges are being denounced as biased, corrupt and incompetent, not just in Washington and Georgia, but around here, too. I have spent around 40 years in courtrooms, and I suggest that the courts should respond in two ways.

First, our courts shouldn’t stand for being called corrupt. They aren’t. Bribery is the norm in the courts of Russia, China, India and elsewhere, but bribery studies in this country are hard to come by because there are so few cases here. Yes, the United States Supreme Court should have a formal ethics code — and soon — but the need for it doesn’t come from systemic corruption.

Courts should actively expose and punish false corruption claims. When a party to a case calls a judge or other participants corrupt outside of court they should be put to their proof in court. If corruption is found, the consequences…Read More

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