Brief of the New Civil Liberties Alliance as Amicus Curiae in Support of Plaintiff-Appellant and Reversal
The Constitution requires federal judges to exercise independent judgment and refrain from bias when interpreting the law. These are foundational constitutional requirements for having an independent judiciary. Article III gives federal judges life tenure and salary protection to ensure that judicial pronouncements will reflect a court’s independent judgment rather than the desires of the political branches. Also, the Due Process Clause forbids judges to display any type of bias in favor of or against a litigant when resolving disputes. These statements of judicial duty are so axiomatic that they are seldom if ever mentioned or relied upon in legal argument—because to even suggest that a court might depart from its duty of independent judgment or display bias toward a litigant would be a scandalous insinuation.