This past weekend as we celebrated the Thanksgiving holiday, our nation's attention was focused on the momentous events relating to the selection of our next president. With the stakes so high, it is not surprising that rhetoric on all sides has become heated. Some of it, unfortunately, has taken the form of virulent attacks upon lawyers and our justice system, which have been called upon to help resolve these critical issues and disputes.
Rather than attacking the justice system, we should be thankful that we have a system of government in which disputes can be resolved in courthouses, not in the streets. It is our nation's long-standing tradition that when the political branches of government are unable to resolve their differences, these matters are thrust upon our courts.
Interpretation of often-conflicting statutory provisions and regulatory standards is the daily work of courts in the Virgin Islands and throughout our great country. Our legal adversarial system — like our free-enterprise system, our democratic electoral system and our "marketplace of ideas" — provides a cauldron for the resolution of competing and conflicting views which characterize our American democracy.
Rather than resorting to name-calling and slurs against lawyers and our courts, we should remember their role in ensuring that the Rule of Law is honored. Our system of government, founded on the Rule of Law, is the envy of the world. It is often complicated and messy, but it works. Let's allow the system to continue to do its job, and give thanks for the blessings of our democracy.
Editor's note: Tom Bolt is an attorney in private practice on St. Thomas.