47:3 Judging in the Time of the Extraordinary

Judge John R. Brown Memorial Lecture

Abstract

For Judge John R. Brown, no court worthy of its name ignores the reality of the society it inhabits, even if that forces an uncomfortable confrontation with grave wrongs. In certain contemporary events, such as Bush v. Gore and the Global War on Terrorism, we can see the judiciary accepting the challenge of confronting institutional failure. By trial and error, by hope and by need, the United States has developed a judiciary capable of rescuing our national ambitions and our national institutions in times of stress. At those moments, we call upon our judges, men and women drawn from the main walks of American life, to rise above their station and to address the demands of extraordinary times.