Archive for June, 2011

Jun 30 2011

New York creates rule to prevent bias in the courtroom

Published by under Merit Selection

This week, New York implemented a new rule to limit the power of campaign cash on the judiciary. Section 151.1 of the Rules of the Chief Administrative Judge mandates that judges will no longer be assigned cases in which the lawyers, their clients or their firms have contributed above a set limit (2500 dollars for […]

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Jun 28 2011

Supreme Court Strikes Down Matching Funds For Public Financing

Published by under Judicial Elections,News

On Monday, a sharply divided Supreme Court voted to strike down the “matching funds” provision of the Arizona Citizens Clean Elections Act. The provision provided additional funding to publicly financed candidates who were outspent by privately financed opponents and special interest groups. In the opinion, authored by Chief Justice John Roberts, the five justice majority […]

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Jun 28 2011

Stricter Recusal Standards Offer Only Part of the Answer

A recent editorial in West Virgina’s The Charleston Gazette implores the American Bar Association’s House of Delegates to consider model recusal standards at its session in August. West Virginia has been at the center of conversations about recusal reform since 2009’s Caperton v. Massey. After a trial decision in favor of Caperton, Massey contributed $3 […]

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Jun 27 2011

PMC’s Lynn Marks Promotes Merit Selection in Interview with

In response to recent criticism that financial support from George Soros is an attempt to “stack the courts,” Executive Director Lynn Marks affirmed the virtue of merit selection in an interview with “Merit selection would end the money race and get judges out of the fundraising business.” Marks further critiqued judicial elections’ emphasis on […]

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Jun 24 2011

NC Bar Disapproves of Attempts to Return to Partisan Judicial Races

Incoming president of the N.C. Bar Association, Martin Brinkley, shared with Citizen-Times that halting legislation intended to return NC to a partisan judicial election system is a priority for the NC Bar. In his interview, Brinkley said, “Being a judge shouldn’t have anything to do with politics…It ought to do with deciding cases on the […]

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Jun 22 2011

Recent blog article questions significance of study on Florida Supreme Court

Published by under Merit Selection

Judicial retention elections are a vital part of both Pennsylvania’s current system and merit selection, the system favored by Judges on Merit. Through them, the people make their voice heard. However, it’s important to remember that though we have the power to remove judges, we ought to wield it wisely, evaluating our judges based on […]

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Jun 16 2011

Report on Louisiana Courts of Appeal Follows the Money

The National Institute on Money in State Politics released a report on June 14, 2011, titled “Louisiana Courts of Appeal: Open Seats Much Sought; Incumbent Seats Rarely Fought,” by Linda Casey. The report indicates that campaign contributions for the 2008, 2009, and 2010 Louisiana Courts of Appeal elections came primarily from lawyers, law firms, lobbyists […]

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Jun 13 2011

Pick Sides on the Playground, not for the Judiciary

Across the country, states continue to grapple with how best to ensure an independent and impartial judiciary. Two examples demonstrate why Merit Selection offers a better way to select judges. Last week, the North Carolina House of Representatives voted 67-51 to restore partisan labels to judicial races.  As the Charlotte Observer reports,  “The main justification […]

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Jun 07 2011

Dual-Party Nominees have a “Distinct Advantage”

Published by under Judges,Judicial Elections

The Times Leader reports that for the six seats available on the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas, five of seven candidates have secured dual-party nominations. The lucky five, in the order they will appear on the ballot, are Joseph Sklarosky Jr., Michael Vough, Fred Pierantoni, Lesa Gelb and Jennifer Rogers. Number one on the […]

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Jun 02 2011

Call for “Extinction” of Judicial Elections

The race for Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice finally ended on Tuesday when Joanne Kloppenburg conceded defeat after a recount, but the “ugly, money-soaked race” has left some questioning the use of judicial elections. Kloppenburg herself expressed hope that the election would be a “wake-up call” that the system needs improvements, but an editorial in the […]

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