The Ottumwa Courier

Court Calls

July 5, 2012

Independence, freedom and the courts

Court Calls

OTTUMWA — “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness …” These words in the Declaration of Independence, and the framework of government that they so eloquently express, lay the foundation and remind us of the challenge to preserve a free and independent people.

How do we preserve, maintain and protect those freedoms? I remember and honor the service and sacrifice of my dad who flew Navy planes off carriers in the Pacific in World War II and in Korea. Every time he entered the cockpit of his plane and was catapulted off the carrier there was a good chance he would not come back. I remember and honor the current service of our son, a 1st Lieutenant in the U.S. Marine Corps serving in Afghanistan, our daughter-in-law who is a lieutenant in the Navy and deployed to the Middle East and a nephew who is a captain and helicopter pilot in the Marines; in fact, their service and welfare are constantly on our minds and in our family’s prayers.

It is our duty to protect, preserve and defend the freedoms, paid for by the sacrifices of our military and those who have gone before us. How is this accomplished? Why is it so important?

In our civilian life the courts, enforcing the rule of law, act every day to preserve our freedoms. “Rule of Law” is the principle that no person is above the law. Also, the idea is that governmental authority is to be exercised based upon a written, disclosed, duly adopted, and uniformly enforced set of procedures sometimes referred to as due process of law. The courts are the key to maintaining our freedoms. The legal system must be transparent with a clear set of laws, strong and consistent enforcement, coupled with a fair judiciary. Every citizen is to be protected from the arbitrary use of power by the state or by any individual.

Our economic system, and ultimately whether people have jobs and can be independent and self-sustaining, depends on a business environment and economy where people have incentive and the opportunity to take risks and create jobs. Disputes occur when the rules are not clearly understood, or where reasonable procedures are not uniformly followed to resolve differences. Property rights are one of the keys to freedom and prosperity. In the end, within certain parameters, people must retain the ability to make their own decisions, accept the benefit of their good choices, and bear the costs of the bad ones.

This week I will pause to consider and celebrate our freedoms, and the courage and faith of our founding fathers in their pursuit of liberty.

Judge Wilson lives in Centerville and has served nearly 17 years as a trial court judge on the District 8A bench. He may be reached at dan.wilson@iowacourts.gov

1
Text Only
Court Calls
  • 0824 Court Calls photo Scieszinski -M -T The reach of sociology Every year Iowa judges are invited to speak in local schools, on college campuses and at civic events to help the community understand the role of the courts in daily life. An interesting trend on my circuit of judicial outreach is the demand for pre

    August 23, 2013 1 Photo

  • Good news By Chief Judge Mary Ann Brown The Iowa Judicial Branch dedicates itself to providing independent and accessible forums for the fair and prompt resolution of disputes, administering justice under law equally to all people. -- Iowa Judicial Branch Mis

    July 27, 2013

  • 0622 OTT Opinion Judge Lucy Gamon photo -T -L The judge as gatekeeper when the goal is justice "… no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized." Constitution of the United States, Amendment 4 It is 2 a.m. on a dar

    June 22, 2013 1 Photo

  • 0608 OTT Judge Joel Yates photo -L Who was James Otis? Most Americans can associate some names with our country's fight for independence from the English Monarchy, which began in earnest in 1775: Washington, Jefferson, Franklin and Adams. Few, if any, would credit James Otis. Here is why they should. It

    June 8, 2013 1 Photo

  • 0529 OTT Opinion Judge Annette Scieszinski photo A different kind of cyber threat The reality is, that in our country's culture, people depend on electronic devices. For many, it's become a 24/7 relationship. Sometimes I wonder where it will lead us, and if coming generations will be born with advanced dexterities to instinctively

    May 29, 2013 1 Photo

  • 0511 OTT Opinion Judge Myron Gookin -T -M We never really graduate It's May, and the graduation announcements are rolling in. It's a wonderful time to celebrate the educational achievements of those who are graduating from various schools. It did not take me long, however, to realize that learning does not end with

    May 11, 2013 1 Photo

  • 0425 Opinion Judge Mary Ann Brown photo -L Spring brings magistrate commissions Hopefully, spring color will soon be here. It seems like it's been a long time coming. This spring also brings with it the process associated with selecting judicial magistrates. Local commissions have begun the process of taking applications, interv

    April 25, 2013 1 Photo

  • The kind of judge I will be

    April 6, 2013

  • Selecting a new judge

    March 16, 2013

  • Symbolism and functionality

    March 2, 2013

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National