Archive for March, 2009

Mar 31 2009

Chancellor of Philadelphia Bar Association Praises Merit Selection

In her monthly column in the Philadelphia Bar Reporter, Philadelphia Bar Association Chancellor Sayde J. Ladov comments on recent episodes of Pennsylvania judges getting into trouble.  After noting the Luzerne County scandal and several recent judicial discipline cases, Ladov exclaims: At this point, any right thinking human would say: what’s going on here? Is justice […]

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Mar 30 2009

Calling for Merit Selection in Wisconsin

Wisconsin is in the midst of a heated Supreme Court race, but the Wisconsin State Journal has decided not to endorse a candidate for election to the bench. Instead in a strong editorial, the Journal explains it: [E]ndorses a better method of choosing state Supreme Court justices — merit selection. The selection of judges based […]

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Mar 27 2009

Indiana Bar President: Change the Way Judges are Selected

Thanks to the Indiana Law Blog for posting excerpts from Indiana State Bar Association President Bill Jonas’ pro-Merit Selection editorial. In an eloquently written piece, Jonas argues: Now is the time for Hoosiers to speak out in favor of a uniform, non-partisan judicial selection method to insure judicial independence for all of Indiana.  If we […]

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Mar 26 2009

Tennessee Judges Praise Merit Selection System

Tennessee’s Triangle Business Journal reports that “The state’s 29 current appellate court judges are in agreement that Tennessee’s merit selection process should stand.”  If not renewed by the legislature this year, Tennessee’s Merit Selection system will expire. The state’s appellate judges are concerned that if the system expires and is replaced by an elective system, […]

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Mar 24 2009

Praising Merit Selection in Iowa

As regular readers know, we try to bring you stories about Merit Selection from all over.  Today, we want to share a letter to the editor of the Telegraph Herald in Dubuque, Iowa.  Chad Cox wrote in to praise the Merit Selection system.  His key point: In Iowa, any applicant with superior professional qualifications will […]

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Mar 23 2009

Pennsylvania is Talking about Judges and Money

The hot topic in Pennsylvania is the effect of contributions to judicial campaigns. Two papers ran features on the issue this weekend.  The Wilkesbarre Times-Leader posed this question: Two lawyers appear in court. One donated thousands to the judge’s campaign and the other gave nothing. Will they be treated the same? Absolutely, say five of […]

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Mar 19 2009

ABA President Decries Judicial Elections

Published by under Judges,Opinion

The Birmingham News reports that American Bar Association President — and Alabama attorney — Tommy Wells is sharply criticizing judicial elections.  According to Wells, judicial elections “amount to little more than attempts at influence peddling.” Wells speaks from experience. Alabama is one of the few states — like Pennsylvania — that elect all judges in […]

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Mar 17 2009

Looking at the Money Trail in Luzerne County

Right now, a major judicial scandal continues to unfold in Luzerne County, PA where two judges have pleaded guilty to federal charges stemming from their having allegedly taken money to divert many juvenile offenders to a specific detention facility.  Other court officials have also been implicated, and the investigation is ongoing. Earlier this week, the […]

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Mar 16 2009

Money and Talent

An editorial in the Commercial Appeal by Tennessee Bar Association President Buck Lewis makes a good case for why Merit Selection is the best way to select judges. He boils it down to two main reasons:  “money and talent.” Mr. Lewis cites the rising cost of judicial elections across the country and the perception of […]

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Mar 13 2009

Chief Justice of Texas Comes Out Strong for Merit Selection

Texas Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson authored a very persuasive op-ed in the Dallas News urging the adoption of Merit Selection.  His description of the electoral process and his attribution of his own electoral success to factors irrelevant to his qualifications to serve make a strong case for judicial selection reform: My parents gave me a […]

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