Archive for April, 2008

Apr 30 2008

Politicians or Professionals

We’ve just been reading a 2007 article by three law professors comparing elected judges to appointed judges. The professors — Stephen J. Choi, G. Mitu Gulati and Eric A. Posner — studied three areas — effort, skill and independence. The independence issue grabbed our attention for two reasons. First, we care about judicial independence and […]

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Apr 29 2008

Call For Constitutional Reform in PA Includes Merit Selection

On Sunday, the Centre Daily Times called for Pennsylvania lawmakers to consider a constitutional convention. the Times says that “it is time to start over. It is time to recraft the document by which we govern ourselves, a document that has changed little in more than a century and a quarter.” Although we’re hoping there […]

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Apr 28 2008

One Of These Things Is Not Like The Other

Published by under Our Perspective

In a letter to the editor published in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts and PMCA Executive Director Lynn Marks explains how Merit Selection of appellate judges differs from the interim judicial appointments currently stalled in the state Senate. Opponents of Merit Selection like to argue that the struggle over Governor Rendell’s nominations somehow […]

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Apr 27 2008

Overheard at the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference

Published by under Merit Selection News

Yesterday, PMC Associate Director Shira Goodman made a presentation about Merit Selection to the Pennsylvania Leadership Conference. Goodman spoke on a panel dedicated to The Future of Reform in Pennsylvania and opened her remarks by saying “I’m here to talk to you about why we believe it’s time for Pennsylvanians to decide how they want […]

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Apr 26 2008

What Opponents of Merit Selection Get Wrong

In an op-ed in the Daily News, Merit Selection opponent Gerald McOscar reiterates some common misconceptions about Merit Selection. We thought we should answer his questions and correct his inaccuracies. Let’s start with his primary question, why Merit Selection for judges but not for other public officials. First, to be clear, the current legislative proposals […]

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Apr 25 2008

Another Blow to Judicial Elections

In today’s editorial about a Pennsylvania Supreme Court justice’s recent remarks from the bench during a case involving the death penalty, the Philadelphia Inquirer takes a swing at judicial elections: “This case illustrates. . . how electing judges isn’t the best way to gauge their temperament for the job.” Although the editorial did not discuss […]

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Apr 25 2008

Clearing Things Up — This is Just About the Appellate Courts

Published by under Merit Selection

Yesterday’s Metro featured an article about the effort to bring Merit Selection to Pennsylvania. While the article identified some of the problems of judicial elections and some of the benefits of Merit Selection, it mistakenly implied that the current Merit Selection legislation would affect all courts in Pennsylvania. The fact is, we are working for […]

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Apr 23 2008

Exposing Myths About Merit Selection

Published by under Merit Selection

As the campaign for Merit Selection progresses, we hear some inaccurate arguments repeated by those who oppose Merit Selection. In an effort to set the record straight, we’ll reveal the truth and clear up these myths. Myth #4 Merit Selection is Just Like the Federal System for Selecting Judges The federal system of selecting judges […]

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Apr 22 2008

Missouri House Protects Judicial Selection From Partisan Politics

On April 17th, the Missouri state House rejected an effort to radically revise the state’s “Missouri Plan,” which has served as a model for Merit Selection of judges in 30 other states. Proposed changes to the plan would have eliminated the nonpartisan nomination commission, and replaced it with a system controlled entirely by the governor […]

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Apr 21 2008

Exposing Myths About Merit Selection

Published by under Merit Selection

As the campaign for Merit Selection progresses, we hear some inaccurate arguments repeated by those who oppose Merit Selection. In an effort to set the record straight, we’ll reveal the truth and clear up these myths. Myth #3 Merit Selection is Just Like the Process We Use to Fill Interim Court Vacancies The interim appointment […]

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