Archive for July, 2010

Jul 30 2010

Recent federal appeals decisions "OK" judicial candidates to directly solicit funds

Published by under Merit Selection

Two federal appeals courts have struck down states laws prohibiting judicial candidates from directly soliciting campaign funds.  The Sixth and Eighth circuit courts have recently ruled that clauses in Kentucky and Minnesota, respectively, that prohibit this solicitation, violate the First Amendment. The Sixth Circuit in Carey v. Wolnitzek, which examined a Kentucky solicitation canon explained […]

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Jul 27 2010

Something better than the name game

A Sunday editorial in the Cleveland Plain Dealer explained that, due to a 6th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling, Ohioans may be forced to rethink how the state selects its judges. This may prove to be a blessing in disguise for the Buckeye state.   The 6th Circuit struck down Kentucky rules prohibiting judicial […]

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Jul 26 2010

Judicial Elections Send ‘Lousy Messages’

Published by under Judges,Merit Selection,Opinion

A July 25th What About Clients? post called for an end to judicial elections, declaring, “it’s time for the States to grow up, and adopt systems of merit based appointments.”  The post pointed out how judicial elections have led to a mischaracterization and perhaps even a negative transformation of the judicial role:   State judicial […]

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Jul 23 2010

PMC intern weighs in on recent Inquirer op-ed

Published by under Merit Selection

The Philadelphia Inquirer recently posted a letter to the editor written by a PMC intern in response to a Monday op-ed by Drew F. Cohen entitled, “Fine for Pennsylvania, but Iraq has standards.” In the op-ed, Cohen pointed out that Iraq has rejected electing judges due to concerns of “corruption and nepotism, but also competence […]

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Jul 22 2010

Merit selection ensures "real accountability"

Published by under Merit Selection

A Nevada family court judge recently debunked a favorite target of merit selection critics – that merit selection will take away the voters’ rights to vote – by calling that contention “a myth,” and describing  merit selection as “real accountability,” he told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. Under the Nevada plan, after the initial appointment, the […]

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Jul 21 2010

Justice Thomas: selecting judges through a political process “could be a problem”

Speaking to the Utah State Bar on Saturday, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas said it “could be a problem” to have judges selected through a political process. But a “political process” is precisely what is in place for the state of Pennsylvania. Unlike the federal appointment system, or one of the various merit selection […]

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Jul 20 2010

An Unlikely Model for Judicial Selection Reform

In an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Drew F. Cohen argues that Pennsylvania must change the way we pick judges, and he offers an unlikely  model:  Iraq.  Cohen points to the issues that concerned the U.S. State Department when helping to form the Iraqi judiciary: “corruption and nepotism, but also competence and legitimacy – the […]

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Jul 19 2010

Merit selection an antidote to partisan politics in Wisconsin

Friday’s Wisconsin State Journal editorial asks the question, Shouldn’t a Supreme Court candidate’s legal skill and fairness be more important than ability to raise campaign money and win partisan support? The answer seems clear. Yet, in the wake of the “Gableman affair,” in which the state Supreme Court deadlocked along party lines over a complaint […]

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Jul 15 2010

Judicial elections are ‘partisan bickering battles’

Published by under Judges,Merit Selection

At her swearing in ceremony on Monday, Lorie Gildea, the newly appointed Chief Justice of the Minnesota Supreme Court decried the increasingly political nature of judicial elections in her state. There are those who are working very hard to turn our judges into politicians and judicial campaigns into partisan bickering battles. Like most states that […]

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Jul 13 2010

AJS study reveals merit selected judges are disciplined less

Published by under Merit Selection

When asked, people say that they place a high value on qualified, fair and impartial judges.  One of the most compelling reasons to adopt  merit selection is that it is designed to ensure that the judges who preside over our courts maintain the highest degree of integrity and ethical behavior. New data from American Judicature […]

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