#1. The court system is better suited to protect the individual than the elected branches of the government is for multiple reasons:
- It not only allows for the individual to sue other individuals, but also government entities if the individual feels they have been wronged in some way.
- If the individual chooses to use a jury trial, they will be judges by a jury of their peers rather then elected/appointed officials.
- The courts have to follow a precedent made by other similar cases, sans providing a valid reason not to. This makes discrimination within the court system less likely; harder to justify different rulings for similar cases where individual’s creed/race/gender might differ.
- Since there are multiple tiers of the judicial system, an individual can appeal the ruling of a lower court and move onto a higher one. Thought his does not mean that the initial ruling will change, still it might allow for the clearing of any rights violations suffered by the individual.
A good example of this is Miranda vs Arizona; a man named Earnest Miranda was found guilty of kidnapping and rape, the court used a written and signed confession by Miranda -obtained while in police custody- in their ruling. He appealed this decision and the Supreme Court ruled that his 5th and 6th Amendment rights -the right to remain silent and the right to counsel- were violated and he was allowed another trial with the exclusion of his confession letter. He was still found guilty the second time around, but this time due to the testimony of witnesses.
This specific court case, Miranda vs Arizona, was especially impactful in the precedent it created. From now individuals confessing to a crime, in the presence of police, first need to sign away their Miranda rights before confessing, otherwise the confession will not be admissible in court.
#2. Since federal judges do not get elected by the people, this technically does make the Federal Court System anti-democratic, or at least, undemocratic.
Federal judges get appointed by first being nominated by the president of the US, and then the senate holds a hearing before deciding if they approve of the nominee, and if they do, they vote to confirm the nominee who then becomes a judge.
This process excludes the general public from a decision that will impact not only their own lives, but possibly the lives of their descendants, since some federal judges serve for life. This leaves the decision making to those with enough money to run for office. It takes millions for individuals to run for state or local electoral office, never mind the amount of money it takes to run for US Presidency. The average citizen simply does not have this type of wealth, and eve if they are able to get it through funding, this leaves them susceptible to the influence of their donors’ interests.
In other words, the system was created by the wealthy for the wealthy in such a way as to ensure the power remains with the wealthy. So that, at the end of the day, their interests, as opposed to the interests of the general public, always remain top priority.