Archive for August, 2008

Aug 29 2008

Setting the Record Straight About Nominating Commissions

Gordon L. Doerfer, president of the American Judicature Society (AJS), has issued a statement in response to the Wall Street Journal’s most recent attack on Merit Selection. In this statement, AJS sets the record straight about the composition of judicial nominating commissions and the history of success of state Merit Selection systems. how to remove […]

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Aug 28 2008

And The Money Keeps Rolling In

Published by under Judges,News

An Associated Press article chronicles the rising costs of judicial elections, focusing on current contests in the Midwest. This sounds just like what we’ve been seeing in Pennsylvania — rising contributions from lawyers and entities likely to come before the courts, fundraising records being broken and spending by third party groups to influence elections. how […]

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Aug 27 2008

Get Judges Out of the Fundraising Business

On August 23, the WSJ continued its criticism of Merit Selection, to which Gavel Grab posted a thoughtful and thought-provoking response. Gavel Grab poses an important question: As the Journal continues its critique of merit selection, it should perhaps acknowledge the downsides of its own position. If the public has concluded that big-money politics can […]

One response so far

Aug 27 2008

Virginia Looking for a Better Way to Pick Judges

An editorial in the Roanoke Times calls on Virigina to move away from its system of having the legislature appoint judges and find a better way to pick judges. The preferred method is Merit Selection. Why? “Electing judges, even in nonpartisan elections, is problematic because it forces judges to engage in fundraising and campaigning, either […]

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Aug 26 2008

A Letter That Didn’t Make It Into the Wall Street Journal

Published by under Judges,Merit Selection,Opinion

Last week, we wrote about the Wall Street Journal’s August 14th editorial criticizing Merit Selection. Although the Journal did publish several letters in response (including letters from the American Bar Association and Justice At Stake), unfortunately the letter submitted by PMC Board Chair Bob Heim and PMCAction Board Chair Bob Fiebach was not among them. […]

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Aug 25 2008

Non-partisan Elections Not A Real Solution

Over at the Commonwealth Foundation’s Policy Blog, Nathan Benefield asks why changing to nonpartisan elections isn’t enough of a reform to solve the problems inherent in judicial elections. The answer is two-fold. First, the problem isn’t just the involvement of political parties in the process. It’s the money and the whole need to act political, […]

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Aug 21 2008

Voices of Merit: Save the Tennessee Plan

There is an insightful editorial in the Tennessean urging Tennessee to maintain its Merit Selection system. Buck Lewis, who’s seen the Tennessee Merit Selection system from the perspective of a nominating commission member and a disappointed judicial candidate, wants the people of Tennessee to know that the system works. That’s right, Mr. Lewis first failed […]

One response so far

Aug 20 2008

Senator Piccola Includes Merit Selection in List of Institutional Reforms

Senator Jeffrey E. Piccola (R. Dauphin and York) has been advocating for Pennsylvania to hold a constitutional convention — the first such convention in forty years. In a commentary piece on the Commonwealth Foundation’s website, Senator Piccola explains why he believes a constitutional convention would be useful: personal statement writing services Historically, a constitutional convention […]

One response so far

Aug 19 2008

Merit Selection — A Fair Process that Brings Us Good Judges

Merit Selection is a favorite target of those who worry that a process that removes money from judicial selection and weakens the role of political parties will keep the critics’ preferred candidates from reaching the bench. And once again, the Wall Street Journal criticizes Merit Selection in a thinly veiled call for more politically conservative […]

One response so far

Aug 18 2008

Why One Kansas Voter Prefers Merit Selection

Cristina Janney, the news director of the Newton Kansan, has written a column about the upcoming judicial elections and retention elections. Some Kansas counties use elections and some use Merit Selection to pick their judges. Janney explains why she would choose Merit Selection: I have lived in counties that have used both processes, and I […]

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