The Importance of Checks & Balances
I recently had the pleasure of volunteering to teach a small segment on the Constitution to 5th graders at Brookwood Elementary School in Levittown, PA organized by the Learning With Lawyers Program. The book we studied was If You Were There When They Signed the Constitution, by Elizabeth Levy.
One of the topics was the concept of checks & balances, and separation of powers. I just explained to these young inquisitive minds the roles of our three branches of government. Further discussing that these separate branches are put in place to diversify the power and also to operate a system of checks & balances to ensure that no one branch or body within it is operating outside of its authority and that it is properly acting in accordance with our laws/rules.
After reviewing the latest legal news this weekend, an interesting issue has arisen in my primary practice area, family law. A Family Court Judge in Philadlephia is being investigated by the Judicial Conduct Board. This is a prime example of the checks & balances that I was just discussing with the children.
While I make no opinion on the actions taken by the Judge at hand, I can with full confidence state that being a Family Court Judge, particularly one handling dependency and adoption matters, is a daunting task and only those with the utmost strength and skill fill these roles.
Regardless of the outcome of the investigation, it is a perfect example of the checks and balances doing what it was intended to do. Oversee.
I will eagerly await the results of this investigation and know many of my peers will also be following along with bated breath as well.