In­de­pen­dent ju­di­ciary a cor­ner­stone of democ­racy

The Mercury News Weekend - - OPINION - — Richard Doyle, City At­tor­ney, San Jose

Two of the cor­ner­stones of Amer­i­can democ­racy are a free press and an in­de­pen­dent ju­di­ciary.

Re­spect­ing the in­de­pen­dence of both is cru­cial to the suc­cess of a free so­ci­ety. I op­pose Judge Aaron Per­sky’s re­call be­cause of its po­ten­tial to cause se­ri­ous harm to ju­di­cial in­de­pen­dence. I ap­pre­ci­ate that our le­gal sys­tem is de­pen­dent on judges who ap­ply the law, with­out fear of ret­ri­bu­tion for mak­ing dif­fi­cult or con­tro­ver­sial de­ci­sions. The re­call un­der­mines this im­por­tant role.

The Com­mis­sion on Ju­di­cial Per­for­mance re­viewed com­plaints about Judge Per­sky and con­cluded that he did not abuse his au­thor­ity, he did not dis­play bias and the sen­tence was law­ful. The re­call ef­fort sets a dan­ger­ous prece­dent. A judge who has fol­lowed the law should not be re­called merely be­cause of an un­pop­u­lar de­ci­sion.

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