As a justice, I have endeavored to carefully exercise the powers of the office, and not usurp the roles of the other branches of government. My duty is to apply the law as it is, rather than what I would personally want it to be. The Helena Independent Record described my approach in a case as "a model of letting the law, not ideology, determine the outcome." Another newspaper said that the Court, in a decision I authored, "did the right thing in ruling....through a strict interpretation of the law as it is written, rather than using its own judgment to declare what the law ought to do." It further stated that the case was a "textbook example" of not legislating from the bench.(Daily InterLake, January 3, 2006). A properly functioning Supreme Court earns the respect and confidence of the citizenry, and is in a position of strength from which to ensure that the other branches of government stay within their respective constitutional bounds. The ultimate duty of the courts is to protect the individual liberties and freedoms guaranteed by the constitution. I believe we have entered an era of increased government involvement in the lives of citizens at all levels, and that our courts will need to be increasingly vigilant in protecting individual liberties in the years ahead.