Monday, January 2, 2017

2016 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary

"As winter approached in late 1789, Justice David Sewall of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court received unanticipated correspondence from President George Washington. Washington informed Sewall that he had been appointed and confirmed as United States District Judge for the District of Maine, then still part of Massachusetts. The matter was not open to discussion; Sewall’s commission was enclosed. Writing from his home in York, Sewall noted that the appointment was “unsolicited and unexpected,” and he expressed concern that his service as a state supreme court justice would not fully prepare him for the task. “In this new appointment,” Sewall explained, “the Judge is to stand alone, and unassisted, and in some instances in matters of the greatest magnitude—Such as relate to the life of Man.” Grateful for the privilege of national service and the honor of appointment, he hoped to vindicate the President’s confidence and secure the “approbation of my fellow Citizens.” “All I can promise on the occasion, is, that I will endeavour to merit them—by striving to discharge 2 the duties of the office with fidelity and impartiality according to the best of my abilities.,,,

The men and women across the country who today serve as district judges are generally not well known either, but they deserve tremendous respect. While the Supreme Court is often the focus of public attention, our system of justice depends fundamentally on the skill, hard work, and dedication of those outside the limelight. This year, I would like to recognize the crucial role federal district judges play in the operation of the Third Branch and highlight some of the challenging and often overlooked facets of their service. ”
Federal Judiciary

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