… about the Dover decision and judicial independence.

“I have had the most remarkable odyssey since deciding the intelligent design case in 2005. Without the principle of judicial independence in our federal court system, I could not have rendered such a decision. Judicial independence means that judges must strive for fair and impartial ruling, hearing cases free of favor or political influence by those who put the judge in office. This certainly was true in the case of Kistmiller v. the School Distrcit of Dover.”

Jones added, “unfortunately, very few Americans really understand and appreciate the concept of judicial independence. I was a Republican when I was named to the federal bench in 2002. The Kistmiller case came to me in December 2004, and was really an example of the ‘third rail’ kind of hot button issue, the intersection of religion, the Constitution and politics. I decided the case not on the basis of political considerations, but on the basis of the law.”

Jones said that after he handed down the ruling, he was the target of severe criticism from various right-wing TV hosts and commentators, including Bill O’Reilly and Ann Coulter.

“Ann Coulter said that I was a ‘hack,’ and the worst judicial selection Bush made since he nominated Harriet Miers to the U.S. Supreme Court.”


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