Judge Elrod advocates “judicial restraint”

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Judge Elrod advocates “judicial restraint”Nov. 2, 2011 –U.S. Fifth Court of Appeals Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod told Law Center students yesterday that courts need to exercise “judicial restraint” in terms of making public policy decisions.

“The judicial branch has been facing an onslaught of public criticism over the notion that courts have been flexing their muscles,” Elrod said during a standing-room-only presentation hosted by the Federalist Society and the Association of Future Prosecutors. “In large part, this is because we have been forced to handle public policy issues. To protect ourselves from this, we need to be modest in our judgments. The judicial branch is not supposed to make decisions on public policy.”

Prior to joining the Fifth Circuit bench, Elrod was appointed and twice elected Judge of the 190th District Court of Harris County, Texas, where she spent five years presiding over more than 200 jury and non-jury trials.

Elrod graduated cum laude from Harvard Law School, where she was an Ames Moot Court finalist and Senior Editor of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy. Following law school, she clerked for the Honorable Sim Lake of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas. Before serving as a judge, Elrod was in private practice, focusing on civil litigation, antitrust, and employment matters.

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