2020 Survey Questions for Judicial Candidates

Survey deadline is Friday, September 25th, 2020

  • Alito / Breyer / Ginsburg / Gorsuch / Kagan / Kavanaugh / Roberts / Sotomayor / Thomas
  • “Judges and justices are servants of the law, not the other way around. Judges are like umpires. Umpires don't make the rules; they apply them. The role of an umpire and a judge is critical. They make sure everybody plays by the rules. But it is a limited role. Nobody ever went to a ball game to see the umpire.”(3)
  • “These matters, involving the most intimate and personal choices a person may make in a lifetime, choices central to personal dignity and autonomy, are central to the liberty protected by the Fourteenth Amendment. At the heart of liberty is the right to define one’s own concept of existence, of meaning, of the universe, and of the mystery of human life.”(4)
  • “If the Legislature of the Union, or the Legislature of any member of the Union, shall pass a law, within the general scope of their constitutional power, the Court cannot pronounce it to be void, merely because it is, in their judgment, contrary to the principles of natural justice.”(5)
1 “strict constructionism, n. (1892) 1. The doctrinal view of judicial construction holding that judges should interpret a document or statute (esp. one involving penal sanctions) according to its literal terms, without looking to other sources to ascertain the meaning.” Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014).
2 “noninterpretivism, n. (1978) The doctrine that the meaning of a legal instrument adopted in the past is subject to historical development and must be ascertained at any given time by recourse to insights and values then and there prevailing; esp., the doctrinal view that constitutional adjudication should not be confined to the text and that courts are justified in resorting instead to modern moral and political ideals that represent the judges’ views of sound public policy.” Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed. 2014).
3 Transcript: Day One of the Roberts Hearings, Wash. Post, Sept. 13, 2005, available at
4 Planned Parenthood of Se. Pa. v. Casey, 505 U.S. 833, 851 (1992). Please note: this question does not ask whether you agree with the outcome or holding of the Casey decision.
5 Calder v. Bull, 3 U.S. (3 Dall.) 386, 399 (1798) (Iredell, J., concurring). Please note: this question does not ask whether you agree with the outcome or holding of the Calder decision.