American Judges Association



Kevin S. Burke

Date of this Version



Court Review, Volume 47, Issue 4, page 79


Copyright © 2011 American Judges Association. Used by permission.


Robert F. Kennedy once said, “There is a Chinese curse which says, ‘May he live in interesting times.’ Like it or not we live in interesting times. They are times of danger and uncertainty; but they are also more open to the creative energy of men than any other time in history. And everyone here will ultimately be judged—will ultimately judge himself— on the effort he has contributed to building a new world society and the extent to which his ideals and goals have shaped that effort.”

There is little doubt that the judges in the United States and Canada “live in interesting times.” We face three enormous challenges: First, there is the budget. From California to British Columbia, the courts have seen a serious erosion of court funding. What has happened there is devastating, but not being as bad off as those courts is hardly acceptable. In part, lack of funding explains the membership challenge the American Judges Association faces. Many courts no longer pay for memberships in organizations like the American Judges Association or the National Association for Court Management. Despite our claim to the mantra: Voice of the Judiciary®, AJA isn’t going to single-handedly fix court funding. AJA must offer a reason for judges to spend their own money to be an AJA member.