“I promise to respect the rights of all who will appear before me in the discharge of my duties, because I will not be a weak Justice, neither will I be a wicked one, so help me God,” Supreme Court Justice-designate Senator Joseph Nyenetue Nagbe told the Senate conducting his confirmation hearing on Friday, August 17, 2018. Sen. Nagbe is a lawyer by profession.
Sen. Nagbe, who before the Senate in Chamber’s convening as a committee of the whole, reminded his colleagues that, “The Supreme Court, as we all know, is the pedestal of our democracy; the respect for the rule of law is the foundation of any vibrant society; in this respect, I beseech you, my fellow countrymen, that decisions coming out of the Court, whether good or bad, must be respected by all.”
Also the longest-serving Senator of Sinoe County (since 2003; NTLA-to present), Nagbe told the open hearing presided over by Senator Varney Sherman, chairman of the Senate committee on Judiciary, that the Justice he aspires to be will be a person dedicated to duty, maintaining a cordial and cooperative posture with his colleagues at the Supreme Court.
“So far we constrained ourselves to respect the Constitution; in like manner, we must encourage ourselves to respect the courts, for it is before the courts complaints are heard, argued and disposed of, not in street corners. I assure you, fellow citizens, the earth has no sorrow that the Court cannot cure,” Cllr Nagbe assured the well attended public hearing.
Justice-designate Nagbe said that even though the Judiciary is often referred to as the Third Branch of the Government, “however, this constitutional order does not relegate the Judiciary to a third position, for the Judiciary is the anchor of society and the pedestal upon which the peace and stability of society rest.”
Therefore, Nagbe said, the Supreme Court should be seen from a broader perspective that, in addition to its constitutional duty, assigned as the branch of government that interprets the law, “and is also seen as the branch of government that must maintain the peace and stability of society through its opinions, and judgments rendered therefrom, bearing in mind also that the Supreme Court cannot or does not exist in a vacuum.”
If confirmed, therefore, Senator Nagbe assured that his preferment will contribute to a respect for the rule of law, a sine qua non (something necessary, unavoidable) upon which the peace of society is nurtured and sustained.
“As Justice, I will not deceive a complainant that he/she has a case even though such may not be the truth; I will look in your face and advice you that you need not waste your time, and that of the court,” Nagbe promised.
Senators who attended Nagbe’s confirmation hearing posed emotional questions to someone they unanimously agreed will be greatly missed, and there are indications of his confirmation on Tuesday.