Monday, January 17, 2005

On Judicial Oaths

Tom Parker, a comrade of former Judge Roy Moore was recently sworn in as Supreme Court justice in Alabama. Moore swore him in at a symbolic ceremony. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas presided over his formal oath of office. The Birmingham News reports that:
Parker said Thomas told him a judge should be evaluated by whether he faithfully upholds his oath to God, not to the people, to the state or to the Constitution.

If this is true, and I suspect that it is, what Thomas said is ultimately true. Ultimately all persons will stand before the judgment seat of Christ. Mortal Alabama justices, however, are not authorized to sit in that chair. Neither are U.S. Supreme Court justices. All earthly justices are authorized to do is to fulfill their oath to uphold the laws of the people as embodied in the statues of their state and the Constitution.

An interesting discussion of the propriety of Thomas' remarks is already under way at Sam Heldman's blog.

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