By Edwin Meese and William T. Robinson
The Founding Fathers separated our government into three co-equal branches by design, with each, at times, checking the other branches and holding them to their limited purpose.
Alexander Hamilton especially understood the challenge inherent in preserving an independent but accountable role for the judiciary. As he explained in The Federalist No. 78, the courts are in “continual jeopardy of being overpowered, awed or influenced by its co-ordinate branches.”
Today, our state courts face budget cuts that threaten the kind of independence described by Hamilton, and intended as well by the drafters of state constitutions. These budget shortfalls limit the ability of the courts to function, and to remain an effective forum to punish criminals and for the American people to resolve disputes.