Archive for May, 2011

May 26 2011

Using Public Education to Bolster Merit Selection

An article in the Press-Citizen looks at the dangers of politicized retention elections in Iowa, and what that could mean for Iowa’s judicial system. In the wake of three Iowa Supreme Court justices being voted off the bench in the 2010 judicial retention election, there have been some concerns about money and politics impacting the […]

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May 23 2011

Electing Judges is “Risky”

In an op-ed in the Philadelphia Inquirer, Matthew Zencey, former editorial page editor of the Anchorage Daily News and first-time Pennsylvania voter, expresss big concerns about our judicial elections system: mac osx 10.5 download I’m not too keen on electing judges. Before heading to vote, I looked up who the bar association said was qualified, […]

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May 20 2011

“How Many Miles”

In an Op-Ed in the Patriot News, Robert Speel calls for an end to appellate judicial elections. Speel, an associate professor of political science at Penn State Behrend, uses this week’s Democratic primary for Pennsylvania Commonwealth Court as an example of one of the reasons change is necessary. That race was between Kathryn Boockvar of […]

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May 19 2011

Results from the Judicial Primary

Tuesday’s primary election included a number of judicial races. In terms of statewide seats, there were openings on the Superior and Commonwealth Courts. For the Superior Court seat, Harrisburg lawyer Vic Stabile won the GOP primary. In the general election he will face Allegheny Judge David Wecht, who ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. New […]

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May 18 2011

Post-Election Musings

So, it’s the morning after.  As expected, very low voter turnout yesterday.  In the appellate court races, the Republican endorsed candidates won handily.  The Democrat for Superior Court was running unopposed. But the Democratic contest for Commonwealth Court is not yet determined, and it’ s possible that the unendorsed candidate who received a “not recommended” […]

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May 17 2011

It’s Election Day

It’s Election Day.  There is a vacancy on the Commonwealth Court and a vacancy on the Superior Court. In addition, there are many local races for Magisterial District Judgeships, Common Pleas Courts, and Philadelphia Municipal and Traffic Court. The candidates running for the appellate court seats are:   SUPERIOR COURT Name Residence Party Endorsed PA […]

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May 17 2011

Politics in the Judicial Primary

Recently, an AP article looked at various positions at stake in Tuesday’s primary election, making note of difference in candidates, issues, endorsements, and money that has been raised. Sadly, political issues are playing an ever growing role in judicial elections. An article in the Philadelphia Inquirer explains that this is due in part to a […]

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May 17 2011

PMC’s Marks on PCN Tonight to Talk about Judicial Elections

PMC Executive Director Lynn A. Marks will appear on PCN-TV’s Call-In Show tonight to discuss today’s judicial elections.  Also appearing will be Pennsylvania Bar Association President Matthew Creme and attorney Gary Hunt of Pittsburgh. The show will air at 7:00 pm. To call in, use PCN’s toll-free number 1-877-PA6-5001 (1-877-726-5001).

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May 12 2011

Judicial Candidates and Attorney Contributions

In an article in the Times-Leader, Terrie Morgan-Besecker asks whether local judicial candidates should accept campaign contributions from attorneys. Focusing on the Luzerne County judicial election, the article notes that 13 of 16 candidates in the upcoming primary are accepting contributions from attorneys. There are six open seats. As of May 6, 11 of the […]

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May 10 2011

“A Terrible Idea and A Terrible Practice”

Over at Newsworks, Jan Ting berates Pennsylvanians for continuing to put up with judicial elections: “Election of judges is a terrible idea and a terrible practice. It results in judges beholden to those who helped to elect them.” Ting notes the importance of money and political connections in winning judicial elections.  He goes on to […]

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