Leaders of the National Association of Women Judges Informed Voters, Fair Judges Project participated in a nonpartisan national symposium for judges and journalists recently at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. The historic program, Undermining the Courts and the Media: The Consequences for American Democracy, was sponsored by the National Judicial College and broadcast on C-Span. Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye of California, Justice Barbara Pariente of Florida, and Justice Robin Hudson of North Carolina participated in a Judicial Roundtable panel of federal judges and state Supreme Court justices to address challenges facing the judiciary and the potential consequences for judicial independence and American democracy. The program also included an array of prominent editors and reporters from the Washington Post, The New York Times, Fox News, CNN, and more. A conversation with Nina Totenberg was also featured during the prestigious event.
Justice Hudson and Justice Pariente, co-chairs of the NAWJ Judicial Independence Committee, addressed judicial selection processes and their individual experiences with attacks on the judiciary during their state merit retention elections. A montage of televised judicial attack ads targeting state court justices in Iowa, North Carolina, and Tennessee was featured highlighting the infiltration of dark money to impact the outcome of judicial retention elections. NAWJ IVP leaders Justice Pariente, Justice Hudson, and Chief Justice Cantil-Sakauye discussed the vulnerability of the judicial branch and the critical importance of educating the public. Resources available the National Association of Women Judges Informed Voters, Fair Judges Project were highlighted. The panel discussed the need for the public to understand how judges make decisions based on the facts and the law; how the judicial branch is different from the other branches in that it was not designed to be a political or representative branch; and the critical role of the judicial branch in our constitutional design. The panel also discussed labeling, current attempts to politicize the courts, and other ways utilized to marginalize the judicial branch. The program challenged participants and the public to consider how we can protect our courts and who should speak in defense of judges and the judicial branch.
The National Judicial College provided prime exhibit space for the NAWJ Informed Voters, Fair Judges Project throughout the event at the National Press Club. Participants interacted with IVP leaders and learned about the valuable resources available.
The program concluded with a special evening at the United States Supreme Court and a conversation with Justice Sonia Sotomayor. Justice Sotomayor addressed the National Judicial College participants and walked around the room, engaging with the audience and sharing her personal story.
This historic daylong symposium at the National Press Club can be viewed online at the links below.
National Judicial College website: https://www.judges.org/dcpressclub_livestream/
C-SPAN recorded the full program and broadcast several segments. Three of the recorded segments are currently available on the C-Span website:
- The Judges Roundtable https://www.c-span.org/video/?455874-1/verbal-attacks-courts-media
- Lunchtime conversation with Nina Totenberg: https://www.c-span.org/video/?455874-2/verbal-attacks-courts-nina-totenberg
- Eyewitnesses the Downfall of Democracy: https://www.c-span.org/video/?455874-3/verbal-attacks-courts-eyewitnesses-democratic-failures
For additional information on the National Association of Women Judges Informed Voters, Fair Judges Project, visit www.ivp.nawj.org or email email@example.com. A variety of educational materials and resources exist to assist with public presentations on the judicial branch and the role of judges in our constitutional design. Assistance is also available to educate the public about judicial selection processes and how to evaluate judicial candidates. For additional information on the National Judicial College, visit their website at https://www.judges.org/.
Download the full article here: Judges and Journalists Gather at National Symposium