How are courts accountable?
Our system of government is carefully designed to foster fair and impartial courts while maintaining judicial accountability through a series of checks on judicial power.
- If a party in a case believes a judge made an error in a case, the party may appeal to a higher court to review the judge’s ruling.
- If citizens disagree with a court’s interpretation of a law, they may petition the legislature to amend the law and change the law’s effect in the future.
- If citizens disagree with a court’s interpretation of the constitution, they have the ultimate power to amend the constitution to change its effect in the future.
- If a person thinks a judge has behaved unethically, the person may ask the Judicial Qualifications Commission to investigate.
In these ways, courts are accountable to the laws, to the constitution, and to the people.