Character Still Counts

One of the things we try to balance in judicial ethics is recognizing that while judges are held to high standards in their public and private lives (there is no moment of day or night when I am not governed by the canons of ethics), they are also merely human.

So as judges striving to follow the ethics canons we try to keep in mind that the concepts “Character counts” and “No one is perfect” are both important. The key is remembering that while it is true that no one is perfect, character still counts.

That’s why we have the ethics canons, and why failure to follow them can lead to discipline no matter how much we also understand that everyone slips up. It’s a price paid for the privilege of serving in an office of not only great responsibility but also great opportunity to do what is good and right.

I love my job.

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    This post on judicial ethics is a follow up to Saturday’s post Speaking up against Sexist Comments. I would hope to act properly even if the canons didn’t exist but having them as a guide helps, I can tell you that. 

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5 Responses to Character Still Counts

  1. roscuro says:

    Exactly, I also have a professional code of conduct to adhere to in my profession, and some of those of my profession have lost their licenses over actions taken outside of their work. It doesn’t mean that I have to be perfect in order to work in my profession; it does mean that ethical violations in either private or professional life are equally detrimental to my ability to practice my profession with integrity.

  2. Jeannie Prinsen says:

    This is very helpful, Tim. Thanks for reminding us of these important principles.

    • Tim says:

      No pressure, Jeannie, but I look to you as an example of a person of good character.

      • That’s very kind of you, Tim, but I have a LOOOOOOONG way to go — when I have another blowup with my kids, I wonder if anything (me, to be specific) will ever change. But I hold on to God’s promise that His mercies are new every morning, and I cling to His grace. I’m grateful He never gives up on me. Thanks again for sharing your thoughts about good character, private and public. Very helpful insights.

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