Judges and candidates for judicial office are prohibited from making promises or pledges about how they will rule on particular cases and issues. When deciding whether to vote for a judicial candidate, voters must instead look to whether the judge or candidate possesses the requisite requirements for the office. Here is how Justice Doherty stacks up with respect to the requirements for serving on the Illinois Appellate Court.
"If you're going to be a good and faithful judge, you have to resign yourself to the fact that you're not always going to like the conclusions you reach. If you like them all the time, you're probably doing something wrong." Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
Justice Doherty firmly believes that a judge should not use a judicial position to promote his or her own personal beliefs and policy preferences. The judge's role is to apply the constitution, and the laws consistent with it, in accordance with their terms.
"Judges should participate in activities that promote ethical conduct among judges and lawyers, support professionalism within the judiciary and the legal profession, and promote access to justice for all." Rule 1.2, Comment , Illinois Code of Judicial Ethics.
Since 2013, Justice Doherty has served as a member of the Illinois Judicial Ethics Committee ("IJEC"), a joint committee of the Illinois Judges Association, Illinois Bar Association, and Chicago Bar Association. IJEC gives confidential ethics advice to judges and judicial candidates, sometimes publishing written opinions on the questions received.
Judge Doherty has been trained to serve as a judicial mentor, and he has acted as a mentor to both new judges and veteran judges confronting issues affecting their work performance. He has also served as a facilitator assisting judges in understanding the results of judicial performance evaluations sanctioned by the Illinois Supreme Court.
"A judge shall perform judicial and administrative duties competently and diligently." Rule 2.5(A), Illinois Code of Judicial Ethics.
Justice Doherty previously served as chief judge of the 17th Judicial Circuit, a role in which he was tasked with the administration of 25 judges and more than 200 staff. As a member of the Conference of Chief Judges, Justice Doherty worked collaboratively with fellow chief judges from throughout the State to improve the administration of Illinois courts.
"[J]udges are encouraged to engage in appropriate extrajudicial activities. Judges are uniquely qualified to engage in extrajudicial activities that concern the law, the legal system, and the administration of justice, such as by speaking, writing, teaching, or participating in scholarly research projects." Rule 3.1, Comment , Illinois Code of Judicial Conduct.
Justice Doherty has researched, written, and published numerous articles in legal publications. He has been a frequent faculty member at continuing education sessions for both lawyers and judges.