People sometimes ask why Stafne Trumbull, PLLC publishes so many of our legal writings on behalf of our clients. We do so because we believe truth is bright and becomes clearer the more it is seen. The clearer the truth, the more difficult it is to obfuscate. Justice is a type of historical “truth,” which can be best evaluated when it is observed. Stafne Trumbull publishes the arguments of all parties provided to the courts and the decisions of the courts, so that people can evaluate them. In doing so we invite the public to consider the reasoning of the judges deciding those issues based on the facts and arguments. We do this so the public can evaluate the “administration of justice” and the judge’s analysis of the issues.
Our government was organized into three departments. The Executive Department was intended to be the “sword”; the Constitution gave that department the power enforce the laws. The legislative department was given the “power of the purse” and the authority to enact laws which fell within those limited powers of the federal government. The judicial department was given the authority of “judgment”; which includes the duty to declare the sense of the law. The States retained their authority as sovereigns to insure the federal government did not usurp power not granted by the Constitution.
As conceived by our founders, “courts were designed to be an intermediate body between the people and the legislature, in order, among other things to to keep the latter within the limits assigned to their [constitutional] authority.” The judicial department of the federal government was necessary because of the need to decide whether laws had been enacted in violation of the Constitution, which was proclaimed to be the Supreme Law.
The system works only to the extent that the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of the federal government, as well as the sovereign States of the Union, faithfully perform their roles as checks on one another for the purpose of achieving a government for, of, and by the People. This Nation’s Founders foresaw the problems which would result if the checks on federal governmental power imposed by each of the branches of government and the basic sovereignty of the States was diminished. “[A]s liberty can have nothing to fear from the judiciary alone, [it] … would have everything to fear from its union with either one of the other two departments.”
The notion that the authority of the judicial branch of the federal government should stem from judges’ “judgment” serves well as an anchor for governing only when the reasoning of the judges is clearly stated, defensible, and based on the law. Judges performances in adjudicating those cases which come before them can only be evaluated by review of their decisions in light of those specific facts and law before the court.
Courts which routinely make decisions which are not reasoned, poorly reasoned, or deceptively stated cannot be a legitimate part of a government of the people, for the people, and by the people; particularly so, where their judgments are almost always against the people. Certainly, the people can legitimately be suspicious of a judge who almost always (90% +) decides cases in favor of one side. Such suspicion can reasonably evolve into a conviction where the judge’s reasoning does not address the issues raised or resolves them in a deceptive or otherwise clearly unsatisfactory manner.
In Washington State judges are elected. There is a reason for that. It is the same reason the Washington Constitution requires heads of most Executive Departments in Washington to be elected, just like the Governor and legislators. Our founders did not completely trust government; or any of its branches. The framers of Washington’s Constitution wanted the people to have a direct “check” on the government. Thus, in Washington the people are given the opportunity to change the judicial branch of government during elections.
So getting back to the question:“Why does Stafne Trumbull publish on our web site so many of our legal writings on behalf of our clients?” We do so because it’s a reasonable way for people to evaluate the competency of the advocates appearing before the court and of the judge resolving the issues.
In the end, history will be the judge of our time; of our nation; of our leaders; and of us. We should be observant so as not to let injustice go unchallenged.
Here is a link to the Stafne Trumbull PLLC website