Today marks 33 years on the bench. Thanks to Governor Perpich, who appointed me; the people of Hennepin County, who elected me; family, friends, and colleagues who supported me.
The challenges to the judiciary today are serious. We need to have courage to speak about injustice, and we need to focus on making sure our courts are fair. It is not an easy task. Each generation of judges has likely claimed theirs was among the most critical of their democracy. The answer to that debate can’t be agreed upon, but what can be agreed upon is the judges in the United States and Canada have the capacity to make our courts the best they can be. Some of our excuses for why we fail are, frankly, tired and lame: “We simply have too many cases to do a quality job.” Volume should be viewed as one of our strengths, not as a weakness. Each case gives us the opportunity to show litigants and their supporters that there is a fair and responsive justice system. So what we need…what each judge needs…is to take a deep breath, reflect for a moment, and then rededicate ourselves to achieving excellence.