Advancing the Rule of Law Now: Ensuring Equal Justice for All

Janet DiFiore, Chief Judge of the State of New York, focuses on a core element of the rule of law—ensuring that every individual is treated equally under the law. She writes that the existence or even the perception of bias and discrimination in the courts and the justice system undermines public faith in the legitimacy of our cherished legal institutions.

The Rule of Law and the Courts

Lawrence K. Marks, Chief Administrative Judge of the New York State Unified Court System, writes that although the past year brought unprecedented challenges for society as a whole, including the courts, we can take great assurance in the fact that, despite the challenges, the rule of law has endured through the efforts of courts to keep cases moving.

A Crisis of Faith (in the Rule of Law)

Rolando T. Acosta, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, First Department writes about the importance of civic education, as the rule of law depends on the public’s faith in government and an understanding of how it works.

Preserving the Rule of Law for the Challenges That Lie Ahead

William F. Mastro, Acting Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Second Department, writes: History teaches that such challenging times and vexing issues can sometimes produce widespread social unrest and the general perception that some individuals or groups are above the law. Thus, it is critical that when disputes, no matter how far-reaching and ominous, arise, we look to our institutions of government, and particularly to the courts and the legal profession, to resolve those controversies with fairness and equanimity.

Reconciling the Rule of Law and Racial Injustice

Elizabeth A. Garry, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Third Department, writes that like so many of our cherished principles and values, within a democracy the Rule of Law calls for—and requires—our ongoing attention and action to serve the underlying cause and purpose of justice.

Technology and the Quest for True Equality

Gerald J. Whalen, Presiding Justice of the Appellate Division, Fourth Department, writes that while technological advances will continue to assist judges in the performance of their duties in a digital world, sentencing and the judicial system generally will always remain analog at its heart.

With Truth on Trial, Judicial Branch Upholds Fragile Rule of Law

Scott M. Karson, President of the New York State Bar Association, writes that the Association offers an antidote to the misinformation that has been plaguing our society: robust public civics education that instills the knowledge and values of our democratic republic to guard against the disrespect and wanton violence such as we witnessed at the Capitol on Jan. 6.