To the editor:
More than a week ago, the governor brought Superior Court justice nominee Martin Honigberg up for a vote, and the Executive Council responded with a unanimous 5-0 vote to confirm him.
I am very happy for future Superior Court Justice Martin Honigberg. I was glad to vote for him, and I thank him for his exemplary life and willingness to serve our state.
A few weeks ago, when the governor brought a nominee for chief justice of the Supreme Court, N.H. Attorney General Gordon MacDonald, up for a vote, the council responded by blocking his confirmation with a 3-2 vote for admittedly political reasons.
I am not happy for Gordon’s sake. He has lived an exemplary life, and he is selflessly serving our state as our attorney general.
Setting that aside, I am even more concerned that the political reasons given to block his confirmation undermine the rights of the people of New Hampshire to have impartial judges and an independent judiciary.
From the Bill of Rights in the state Constitution, Article 35 says: “It is essential to the preservation of the rights of every individual, his life, liberty, property, and character, that there be an impartial interpretation of the laws, and administration of justice. It is the right of every citizen to be tried by judges as impartial as the lot of humanity will admit. It is therefore not only the best policy, but for the security of the rights of the people, that the judges of the Supreme Judicial Court should hold their offices so long as they behave well; subject, however, to such limitations, on account of age, as may be provided by the Constitution of the state; and that they should have honorable salaries, ascertained and established by standing laws.”
Article 37 says: “In the government of this State, the three essential powers thereof, to wit, the legislative, executive and judicial, ought to be kept as separate from, and independent of, each other, as the nature of a free government will admit, or as is consistent with that chain of connection that binds the whole fabric of the Constitution in one indissoluble bond of union and amity.”
Executive Council, District 3