If you would find a good judge, seek for someone who is non-judgmental. Search for someone who reserves judgment, who restrains from it. Seek for someone who does not hurry his opinion, but gives it time. Seek for a tolerant person, one who is not quick to cast a blame, who does not rush to find fault. Seek for someone who is not given to the winds of popular opinion, who will stand for what is right despite public pressure.
To be a good judge, you must be non-judgmental. You must be fair-minded, open-minded, even-tempered, and even-handed.
A good judge is like a good sailor. He doesn't set sail for a given destination, without first determining what would be the best destination. And, if there is a world to explore, he sails not for the predetermined point, but in search of the places that might not be known.
A good judge is a technician, not a cheerleader. He weighs the facts carefully, instead of chasing after those of a given opinion. A good judge should be someone who weighs right and wrong, not someone who has thrown away the scales.
A wise person is not someone who knows he is right, but someone who seeks to find out if he is wrong. So it is with a good judge.
A good judge does not seek to be a conservative nor a liberal. Rather, he seeks to find truth whether it falls in the conservative box or the liberal box.
Why, when we seek to find judges for the Supreme Court -- and for any bench position -- don't we seek candidates with these credentials? If we would take politics out of the bench, we must put integrity in. We must seek people of wise judgment, not of set judgment.
If I were in position to suggest to presidents what criteria they should follow in selecting Supreme Court nominees, I would suggest these things. If I had chance to suggest to members of Congress what they should look for as they consider approving candidates, I would give them these guidelines. As they query the candidate, let them ask their questions to determine these things.
Oh, I confess I want someone on the court who would side with me on abortion. I confess that is a big concern. I wonder, though, if we selected a candidate purely on the basis of whether he is of the mettle of a good judge, if the abortion issue would work itself out on its own merits.