Archive for September, 2009

Sep 29 2009

A Closer Look at the Money — Why Do Some Give

Published by under Judges,News

The Legal Intelligencer today examines (subscription required) the sources of the recently reported contributions to the election campaigns of Supreme Court candidates Jack Panella and Joan Orie Melvin.  Most interesting to us is the focus on one particular contributor and the motivation for its contributions. The article notes that most of the money reported by […]

2 responses so far

Sep 29 2009

Sounding a Warning in Missouri

An editorial in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch echoes a warning sounded by Missouri Chief Justice William Ray Price, Jr. last week to the Missouri Bar Association.  Chief Justice Price urged the assembled lawyers to work to maintain the independence of the judiciary.  Without such a defense, he argued: [T]he judicial branch of government quickly could […]

One response so far

Sep 25 2009

Show Me The Money

Published by under Judges,News

Campaign finance reports were due this week from Pennsylvania judicial candidates.  Judging from the Associated Press’ report, the money is rolling in. The AP reports that Democrat Jack Panella has raised $1.7 million this year, and Republican Joan Orie Melvin has raised $418,000 to date.  Unions and a political action committee of the Philadelphia Trial […]

No responses yet

Sep 23 2009

Wisconsin Takes a Hard Look at the Way it Chooses Judges

Published by under Judges,News,Opinion

Last week, we wrote about a case currently before a state court panel in Wisconsin involving Michael Gableman, a then-candidate for the state’s Supreme Court who ran an ad against his incumbent opponent. The ad was quite misleading (at best). According to the National Law Journal, that case may be ultimately headed for the U.S. […]

One response so far

Sep 22 2009

Praise from an Unusual Corner

Usually judicial candidates — even those who support Merit Selection — are hesitant to criticize the electoral process or call for reform during the election season.  But yesterday, Supreme Court candidate (and current Superior Court Judge) Jack Panella, in an address to the Pennsylvania Press Club, noted that he believes there is a better way […]

3 responses so far

Sep 21 2009

And the Award For Best Blog Post Title Goes To…

What About Clients? for a post today entitled: “Is that an elected county judge in your pocket or are you just hugely happy to see me?”  The post recaps many good reasons to stop electing judges and switch to a Merit Selection system.  Here’s the core argument: The popular election of state judges–permitted in some […]

No responses yet

Sep 18 2009

Should Judicial Candidates be Permitted to Deceive the Public to Get Elected?

Published by under Judges,News

Yet another reason why judges and elections should not mix, brought to our attention by our friends over at GavelGrab: In 2008, Michael Gabelman, then a Wisconsin Circuit Court judge, ran a television ad against his opponent, a then-sitting justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court, Louis Butler, Jr. The ad was, at best, deceptive.  A […]

2 responses so far

Sep 17 2009

PA Gets Good News All the Way from Alaska

Pennsylvanians are working to bring reform to their judicial selection process. A state on the other side of the continent won a resounding victory defending merit selection. A recent suit brought in federal court in Alaska had alleged that the state’s non-partisan, merit-based judicial selection procedure violated the Equal Protection Clause of the 14th Amendment […]

No responses yet

Sep 15 2009

Electing Judges is a Serious Problem

The AP’s report on a speech retired Justice Sandra Day O’Connor gave Monday at Seattle University Law School opens with this eye catcher: The first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court says there’s a serious problem with the government in Washington and many other states: They elect their judges. O’Connor spoke at a […]

One response so far

Sep 14 2009

“Restoring Public Trust in Impartial Justice”

An editorial in the Wisconsin State Journal urges that Merit Selection is the solution to the increasingly expensive and divisive judicial elections the state has been experiencing.  Although Wisconsin currently uses a system of nonpartisan elections, the editorial notes that well-financed third parties have become heavily involved in state judicial elections and that recent First […]

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