Archive for December, 2010

Dec 31 2010

Here's to 2011

When we began the 2009-2010 legislative session, we hoped 2009 would be the last year Pennsylvanians would be electing appellate court judges. Unfortunately, that did not turn out to be the case, and 2011 will bring new judicial elections, including elections to fill a vacancy on the Superior Court and one on the Commonwealth Court. […]

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Dec 28 2010

The Disconnect Between the Courts and the Public

We often write about why perception is so important when it comes to the courts.  We’ve argued that even if campaign contributions never affect a judge’s decision-making, the public perception that there is such an effect is strong enough to damage the courts.  In an op-ed in today’s Philadelphia Inquirer, we make that point more […]

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Dec 23 2010

An Attempt to Restore Trust in the Courts

Published by under Judges

An article in the Traverse City Record-Eagle provides some more details about the newly formed Michigan Judicial Selection Task Force which will examine the need for judicial reform. The task force will be comprised of twenty-four distinguished Michigan citizens, including but not limited to lawyers. The task force is being organized in part by the […]

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Dec 21 2010

San Antonio Editorial Board is Looking for a Change

The editorial board at the San Antonio Express-News is calling for a change in Texas’s judicial selection. Texas currently uses partisan elections to select judges, but the editorial board believes that politics and money play too large a role in the process. In addition to worrying about politicizing the judiciary, the editorial condemns the fact […]

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Dec 17 2010

Increasing Transparency in Judicial Selection

Peter Hardin at Gavel Grab reports that for the first time Iowa will make interviews of state Supreme Court candidates available to the public through a live stream on the internet. The Des Moines Register announced this change along with the commission’s plan to interview applicants the week of January 24. Iowa uses a merit […]

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Dec 15 2010

Michigan Task Force on Court Reform

Dawson Bell at the Detroit Free Press announced that a year-long task force will be launched to examine failings with Michigan’s judicial selection process and make recommendations for reform. The 24-member task force will be comprised of veteran judges, lawyers, and judicial activists, and it will be led by Michigan Supreme Court Chief Justice Marilyn […]

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Dec 14 2010

Looking for a Change

An editorial in the Daily Advance explains that the North Carolina Bar Association believes that the state needs a better method of selecting judges, and the editorial board agrees. The Bar Association’s president-elect explains that there are two reasons for what is perceived to be a decline in the judiciary. First, some of the best […]

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Dec 09 2010

The Importance of Judicial Independence

Over at What About Clients?, JD Hull is again questioning the practice of electing judges. Stating that electing state judges is “beneath all Americans,” Hull looks to Alexis de Tocqueville to provide an opinion from history that elected judges threaten judicial independence. In 1831, Tocqueville described his concerns about electing members of the judiciary: penis […]

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Dec 08 2010

The Role of Judges

Published by under Judges,Opinion

An editorial in the Des Moines Register criticizes governor-elect Terry Branstad for suggesting that new justices on the Iowa Supreme Court should follow the will of voters who recently ousted three justices. text your ex back Looking at Branstad’s comments on the court’s gay marriage decision and the future of the court, the editorial describes […]

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Dec 06 2010

Take Another Look at those Cars

Published by under Judges,Opinion

The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review this weekend published a letter to the editor from PMC. This letter came as a response to an article about the tax-payer paid leases for luxury vehicles driven by judges. Recognizing that appellate judges travel for court business, the letter explains that the practice is extravagant and should be reevaluated. The letter […]

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