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Photo: NYLJ/Rick Kopstein

Essay contest winner Christopher Llego, a junior at Sheepshead Bay High School, poses yesterday with, from left, Justice Sylvia Hinds-Radix, administrative judge for civil matters in Brooklyn; Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman; Justice Robert Miller of the Appellate Division, Second Department; and Judge Barry Kamins, administrative judge, New York City Criminal Court. The contest is co-sponsored by the New York City Bar, the Association of Justices of the Supreme Court of the State of New York and the New York Law Journal.

The judicial branch of the U.S. government has the responsibility of upholding the laws of our country and maintaining order. The courts have the obligation of punishing individuals who violate these laws and must ensure fairness and equality with these punishments, in accordance with the U.S. Constitution. The judicial branch must retain its impartiality and unbiased nature, otherwise our court system would promote corruption and would diminish the idea of a fair and equal political system.

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