Archive for July, 2011

Jul 26 2011

Community Education Needed to Combat Politics in Retention Elections

Published by under Merit Selection,News

In an interview with The Iowa Independent, officials shared that fair courts advocacy group, Justice Not Politics, is “preparing for a fight to keep politics out of the retention vote.” The fight is expected to surround the retention election of Iowa Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins. Like three justices ousted in the 2010 retention election, […]

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Jul 25 2011

Wisconsin State Journal authors Q&A on judicial reform

Published by under Merit Selection

Given the recent scandals on Wisconsin’s Supreme Court, merit selection is rapidly gaining support in the Badger State. On Sunday, the Wisconsin State Journal published a Q&A explaining merit selection to Wisconsin’s voters and highlighting the need for change, as “modern-day, ugly, hugely-expensive judicial campaigns are destroying trust in our top court” and “the quality […]

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Jul 20 2011

Wisconsin’s Badger Herald supports merit selection

Published by under Merit Selection

Yesterday, the Badger Herald came out in support of State Senators Cullen and Schultz’s effort to bring merit selection to the the state of Wisconsin. In a spirited editorial, they criticize Wisconsin’s most recent judicial election, which turned into a referendum on Governor Scott Walker’s anti-union bill, declaring “The influence of outside groups on the elections, be it Wisconsin Manufacturers […]

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Jul 19 2011

Arkansas Law Review Symposium on Judicial Elections: Rachel Caufield’s “The Curious Logic of Judicial Elections”

Rachel Caufield, Associate Professor at Drake University and Research Fellow at The American Judicature Society (a PMC partner), recently published an article, “The Curious Logic of Judicial Elections,” in the Arkansas Law Review Symposium Issue. Caufield expertly outlines the arguments surrounding judicial selection and describes the benefits of merit selection. She uses current research on […]

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Jul 15 2011

New article looks at the ethical implications of lawyers’ donations to judges campaigns

Published by under Merit Selection

Gavel Grab features a review of an article written by Professor Keith Swisher of the Phoenix School of Law. Swisher’s piece, published in the Georgetown Journal of Legal Ethics, looks at the ethical implication of the widespread practice of lawyers contributing to judicial campaigns. essays on abortion Swisher concludes that campaign contributions do affect case […]

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Jul 15 2011

Something We Should Do in the Meantime

A Times-Tribune editorial asserts that although merit selection is the best way to select judges, strict disclosure requirements and clear recusal rules are necessary in the meantime. The author remembers the state Supreme Court race of 2009 in which politics played a central role. During the campaign, there was much concern that Democratic or Republican […]

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Jul 14 2011

Count Phil Hands among those calling for change

Published by under Merit Selection

The recent fracas on the Wisconsin Supreme Court has given cartoonist Phil Hands plenty of material for his political cartoons. However, even he isn’t happy with his muse. In yesterday’s edition of the Wisconsin State-Journal, in “Clowns on the Court” (with cartoon, found here) he criticizes the partisan divide on the court, writing “The court […]

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Jul 08 2011

Public Distrust in Judiciary a Cause for Concern

The recent events in Wisconsin have everyone talking, and no one should like what the public has to say: it has lost respect for and trust in the judiciary. Public faith in the courts is the very basis of our justice system. When allegations of physical altercations arise and enormous amounts of judicial campaign spending […]

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Jul 05 2011

Wisconsin State Senators propose amendment to move WI to merit selection

Published by under Merit Selection

This past Thursday, Wisconsin State Senators Dale Schultz (R) and Tim Cullen (D) introduced a constitutional amendment to replace Wisconsin’s State Supreme Court judicial elections with merit selection. Once a model court, Wisconsin’s court has drawn criticism in recent weeks as allegations have surfaced that Chief Justice David Prosser choked fellow Justice Bradley during an […]

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Jul 01 2011

Alabama Chief Justice Cites Judicial Elections as a Reason for her Resignation

This week, Alabama State Supreme Court Chief Justice Sue Bell announced her resignation effective August 1st, 2011. In her statement, she cited the failure of AL courts to modify their judicial selection system as one of her reasons for leaving. “Alabama appellate court justices should be selected either on merit, and retained or rejected by […]

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