Archive for March, 2010

Mar 31 2010

Inky Editorial Calls for Merit

An editorial in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer roundly endorses scrapping our state’s practice of judicial elections and making the much-needed switch to a merit selection system for choosing appellate court judges. While many in Pennsylvania have long decried the inherent flaws and contradictions of a system that forces would-be judges to run in exorbitantly expensive, hotly-contested […]

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Mar 29 2010

Justice Brought to You By Your Corporate Sponsors

Published by under Judges

As a result of the recent Supreme Court Citizens United v. FEC, corporations, unions and other entities are now permitted to spend directly from their treasuries to support or oppose candidates in political races. The decision has appalled many who believe the ruling will negatively transform the electoral landscape by allowing a new wave of […]

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Mar 25 2010

Talking about Money and Justice in Harrisburg

Published by under Merit Selection

ABC27 in Harrisburg ran a story last night titled “Political Contributions to Statewide Justices Questioned,” focusing on the recent American Judicature Society finding a significant overlap between contributors to Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices’ election campaigns and lawyers, litigants, and law firms later appearing before those justices. PMC’s Lynn Marks was featured in the story explaining […]

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Mar 23 2010

New Study Heats Up Debate Over Judicial Elections

Published by under Judges,Merit Selection

According to yesterday’s Legal Intelligencer (subscription required), a new (and revised) study put out by the American Judicature Society has added fuel to the on-going debate in Pennsylvania over judicial elections. PMC released the results of the study in a press release last week, revealing the high frequency by which donors to Pennsylvania Supreme Court […]

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Mar 22 2010

The Clock Is Ticking, the Time for Merit Is Now

PMC and PMCAction’s editorial appears in today’s Legal Intelligencer (subscription required), outlining why a change from judicial elections to a merit selection process for Pennsylvania’s selection of appellate court judges is important and why the time to begin the steps to undertake such a change is now. Executive director Lynn Marks and deputy director Shira […]

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Mar 21 2010

“One of the Drawbacks to Elected Judges”

KYW 1060 reported on the American Judicature Society report on the degree of overlap between contributors to the campaigns of Pennsylvania Supreme Court justices and those appearing before those justices in Court. The news report quoted PMC’s Lynn Marks explaining that although the report does not draw any conclusions about whether the contributions influenced judicial […]

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Mar 19 2010

Revised Study Confirms Overlap Between Campaign Contributors and Those Who Appear in Court

Published by under Merit Selection

PMC has  announced that a revised study by the American Judicature Society (AJS) confirms that there is significant overlap between contributors to the election campaigns of Pennsylvanian Supreme Court justices and litigants, lawyers and  law firms appearing before the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.  (Due to an error that resulted in some court cases being counted more […]

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Mar 18 2010

New Study Shows Judicial Campaign Fundraising Skyrocketing

Published by under Judges

ABC reported yesterday on a soon-to-be released study revealing a staggering increase in the amounts of money flowing into state judicial elections in recent years. The study, conducted by the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law and Justice at Stake, shows that within the past decade candidates for state judgeships raised more […]

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Mar 17 2010

New Mexico’s Merit/Election Fusion

Gavel Grab alerted us to an editorial in today’s Santa Fe New Mexican criticizing the state’s use of judicial elections. New Mexico employs a hybrid system of judicial selection in which the governor appoints judges to fill vacancies from a list of candidates approved by a merit-selection board; once on the bench those judges must […]

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Mar 16 2010

Survey Suggests Washington Voters Are Open to Merit

A new survey indicates that Washington voters are open to a merit selection system for selecting their state judges. In 2008, a randomly-selected sampling of 1,185 voters was asked to respond to a questionnaire about their current system of electing judges and a hypothetical system of merit selection. This month’s Washington State Bar News expressed […]

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