(Host) Vermont Supreme Court nominee Paul Reiber told members of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday that he does not bring any ideological principles to the court that will influence how he rules on future cases. Reiber’s comments came at a special confirmation hearing that was held to review his nomination.
The former Rutland trial attorney has been on the court since October. Governor Jim Douglas named Reiber to replace former Justice James Morse, who resigned to take a post in the Douglas Administration last winter.
Reiber told the committee that he generally believes it’s not appropriate for the courts to issue opinions that essentially create new laws:
(Rieber) “So my own point of view is that judges who act in a manner that is consistent with this definition of judicial restraint that that is appropriate. Judges are there to judge they are not there to legislate.”
(Host) However Reiber told members of the committee that it would be a mistake to try to predict how he would rule on future cases:
(Rieber) “I don’t see things in doctrinaire kinds of way. I think that – let me say this to you, too. I think the hallmark of a good judge is somebody who makes judgments, yes, but is open to consider and reconsider new information that is presented to them.”
(Host) The Senate Judiciary Committee plans to vote on the Reiber nomination Friday morning. Most members say they plan to strongly support him.