Judge Confirmations

To the Editor:

Recently 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 prior, when the Governor brought Chief Justice of the Supreme Court nominee NH Attorney General Gordon MacDonald up for a vote, the Council responded by blocking his confirmation with a 3-2 vote for self-admitted 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.

Part 1, Bill of Rights, of the New Hampshire State Constitution.

[Art.] 35. [The Judiciary; Tenure of Office, etc.] 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.

June 2, 1784

Amended 1792 to provide for age limitation as provided by the constitution.

[Art.] 37. [Separation of Powers.] 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.

June 2, 1784

Russell Prescott (R-Kingston) represents District 3 on the NH Executive Council, and lives in Kingston, NH.

Russell E. Prescott, P.E.

Kingston, New Hampshire

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