Judges should stay neutral

Judges, like most of the rest of us, have strong opinions on a range of subjects. It would be prudent of them, however, to keep these opinions to themselves, so as to not give the impression that their rulings are biased.

What brings this to mind is something Hinds County Chancellor Dewayne Thomas said last week at a hearing he held in a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of Mississippi’s charter school law.

After the lawyers for both sides had finished their arguments, Thomas said he personally is not a fan of charter schools because he thinks they benefit only a “select few” students. Still, he asserted that he would not let this personal opinion influence how he interprets the state Constitution and whether it allows a school district to send its revenue to schools outside of its control.

Although it may be true that the judge can set his personal biases aside in doing his job, if he rules against the state, charter-school supporters are going to believe otherwise.

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