The Role of The Courts and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”

Open forum features judges from Arizona, Indiana and Massachusetts

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 5, 2011 – If both the executive branch and the legislative branch have weighed in on sexual orientation in the military, why does the judicial branch have to weigh in?

Aren’t two out of three branches enough?

Do lifetime appointments enable a system that is resistant to social change?

Are judges trying to tell the masses, “We know better than you?”  Shouldn’t court decisions reflect the results of polls and the cry of the public?

Have the courts lost touch with the American public, or has the American public lost touch with the basic constitutional separation of powers principle?

These questions, and more, will be discussed during the _ Judicial Division’s forum on the role of the courts, judicial independence and “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” April 12, from 10 a.m. to noon in Arlington, Va.

_ Judicial Division, Least Understood Branch Project
Hon. Robert B. Collings, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts;
Hon. Leslie Miller, Arizona Superior Court in Pima County; and
Hon. G. Michael Witte (ret.), executive secretary of the Indiana Supreme Court Disciplinary Commission

Open forum about the role of the judiciary

April 12
10:00 a.m. – noon

Women in Military Service for America Memorial Theater
1 Memorial Drive, Arlington National Cemetery

Reporters who are interested in attending, please contact Kristin Loiacono at or 202/662-1092.

The Least Understood Branch (“LUB”) Project is a joint effort of the ABA Standing Committee on Judicial Independence and the Judicial Division that focuses on partnering with state and local bar associations to carry the message of the importance of fair and impartial courts to every possible venue.

With nearly 400,000 members, the _ is the largest voluntary professional membership organization in the world.  As the national voice of the legal profession, the ABA works to improve the administration of justice, promotes programs that assist lawyers and judges in their work, accredits law schools, provides continuing legal education, and works to build public understanding around the world of the importance of the rule of law.

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