Statement of Judicial Philosophy of Justice Kurtis T. Wilder


At the heart of my judicial philosophy is the belief that a court’s most basic function is to facilitate and make every effort to secure equal justice under the law.  To this end, a Justice should decide what the law is, not what it ought to be, and then apply that law as dictated by the facts in the case.  A Justice should not legislate from the bench, substituting his or her policy preferences for those of the legislative and executive branches, but instead should apply the law as written.

A Justice should be fair and impartial in his or her interactions with the attorneys and parties before the court.  A Justice should also strive to ensure that he or she maintains the appearance of fairness in these interactions. In addition, Justices should promote fair and equal access to justice.  Finally, fairness without the appearance of fairness, or vice versa, diminishes the confidence of the community in both the court and our system of justice.

A Justice must strive to be an effective manager of his or her docket, to ensure swift deliberation and speedy resolution of the matters presented to the court.  A Justice should also promote and encourage professionalism and civility.

Justices should exercise the power and authority of their position judiciously and in a manner which enables the court to reach a just result.  Ultimately, the constituency of the court is the public.  All judicial decisions should be well reasoned, clear and concise, such that to the extent possible, the court’s rulings build public consensus and support for the rule of law.