Reflections from the Bench
Personal essays by your fellow judges (active or retired) talking about their experiences in the judiciary. Have an idea for an essay? Email it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Hon. Don Ash
This September I will have served on the bench for 25 years. I have presided over divorce trials, medical malpractice lawsuits, sat on appellate panels, and been involved in numerous murder trials, including two death penalty cases. I was honored to be elected president of the Tennessee Judicial Conference in 2001, and I have served as a
A new book, The Chief Justices, by former Chicago Bar Association President Dan Cotter profiles the 17 men who have held the title Chief Justice of the United States. In this second of two excerpts (Part I can be read here), we learn about Taney’s tenure as chief and his legacy.
The Taney Court
When Taney began
Chief Justice John Marshall, the nation’s fourth, served thirty-four and a half years in that role. Roger B. Taney, who succeeded Marshall, served for twenty-eight and a half years. The two are the first and second longest serving chief justices. Taney’s tenure would be marked by continued national struggles over the institution of slavery, and his Court’s decision in Dred
By Hon. David S. Keenan
“Your Honor, I’ve made that motion before eight different judges, and you’re the first one to deny it.”
By Hon. Jess Clanton Jr. (Ret.)
Changes in laws and in everyday practices seem to crawl along in our court system, usually brought about by absolute necessity and occurring every decade or so. I discovered changes that I hadn’t known about when I returned to the bench for the last 10 months of 2018.
Photo: The author, far right, with staff and team leaders of the
group monitoring a peace agreement in South Sudan
By Hon. Larry G. Sage (Ret.)
My first entry into the cafeteria at a U.N. mission in South Sudan reminded me of the cantina scene in the original Star Wars movie.