“In February, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge Edith Jones gave a controversial speech defending and endorsing the American system of capital punishment,” says Stephanos Bibas in today’s column. She was accused of “compromising her judicial impartiality” The complaint:
“Judge Jones used what I would call moral language in praising the death penalty as a means to help people come to terms with the crime they committed.”
Criminal laws and penalties serve a variety of goals, including morally reforming those who harm others and inducing closure. And while judges may not inject their personal or sectarian values into cases that come before them, they are free to advocate policies in terms that may resonate with other citizens. The Founders did not enact the First Amendment to banish religiously motivated viewpoints from the public square.
Read the full column here.