Archive for April, 2011

Apr 29 2011

Party Politics Mar Ohio Judicial Primary

In Miamisburg, Ohio, the race to replace retiring municipal Judge Robert Messham is getting ugly. Partisan bickering and accusations of misconduct are making headlines. The twist? The candidates are both on the same side, at least politically. Candidates Robert Rettich and John Kolberg are locked in an increasingly messy squabble over the Republican nomination. The Dayton Daily News explains […]

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Apr 28 2011

PMC Executive Director Addresses PA Bar Committee

Lynn Marks, Executive Director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, went before a special committee of the Pennsylvania Bar Association on Wednesday, to make the case for reforming judicial selection in Pennsylvania. The PBA is studying the possibility of recommending a Constitutional Convention, which would rewrite the Commonwealth’s founding document. The Constitutional Review Commission has been […]

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Apr 25 2011

A Call For Recusal Reform in Illinois

In a 4/25 editorial, the Chicago Sun-Times calls for new standards to require a judge to step down from cases involving campaign contributors. The paper laments the increasing price tag of judicial elections, and the perception that campaign contributions to judges have an influence on their rulings. How do judges raise money to run for […]

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Apr 20 2011

Merit Selection Offers a Common Solution

An op-ed in the New York Times by Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and Professor James Sample p How Do I Make My Ex Want Me Back After I Broke Up With Her oints out the problems inherent in electing judges, focusing especially on the money problem. how to treat lipoma Chemerinsky and Sample conclude that the […]

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Apr 15 2011

The Public Loses in Politicized Judicial Elections

An editorial in the New York Times this week describes the damage judicial elections do to the judiciary. The editorial specifically looks at the “furiously contested” Wisconsin Supreme Court election that attracted national attention, and describes it as showing “how politics and money can debase the law.” As discussed in earlier posts, the election was […]

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Apr 11 2011

Judicial Candidates’ Familiarity with Campaign Contributions from Lawyers

Citizens’ Voice reports that of the sixteen candidates for Luzerne County judge, only two did not make contributions to judicial campaigns between 2001 and 2009. Eight candidates contributed to Mark A. Ciavarella’s 2005 retention campaign. Ciavarella was recently found guilty of racketeering and other charges. Eight candidates contributed to Michael T. Toole’s 2003 judicial campaign. […]

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Apr 08 2011

Wisconsin Update

Early yesterday it appeared that JoAnne Kloppenburg had a narrow lead over Justice David Prosser in the election for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, but the Thursday discovery of thousands of uncounted votes has Prosser soundly in the lead. Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus announced yesterday that she failed to save and report 14,315 votes from […]

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Apr 07 2011

Too Close to Call – Too Much Money and Politics

The Wisconsin election for Supreme Court Justice that made national news took place on Tuesday and was still too close to call the morning following the election. Nearly 20 hours after the polls closed challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg had claimed a narrow victory of 204 votes over Justice David Prosser, but with the margin of merely […]

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Apr 04 2011

The Rise of Spending, Campaigning, and Negativity in Judicial Elections

DRI, the Voice of the Defense Bar, published a report last Thursday that confirms the outlandish spending and negative tone that have come to characterize judicial elections. The facts and statistics cited in the report demonstrate why a shift to merit selection is necessary to protect the independence of and restore public confidence in the […]

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