Archive for November, 2012

Nov 28 2012

Don’t Hate the Player. Hate the Game.

Published by under Judicial Elections

Texas selects its judges via partisan judicial elections, and Texas Supreme Court Justice Don Willett acknowledges that there are problems with this system. “Hate the game, don’t hate the player,” he said. “Our imperfect system requires judicial candidates to put on their game face, get over their delicate sensibilities, and run unabashedly the way Texas law defines them: as politicians.”

hives treatment

Justice Willett has been criticized for running his reelection campaign on a staunchly conservative platform. But in a series of emails between Justice Willet and The San Antonio Express-News, he tries to explain the “dance” that judicial candidates have to navigate in order to earn a place on the bench. “Justices [are] expected to rule impartially after emerging from campaign fights.”

Justice Willet admits that during his campaign his “singular goal was to appeal to hardcore Republican voters and activists.” Despite espousing hardcore conservative politics during his campaign, Justice Willet avows that he remains fair and impartial in , he tries to explain the “dance” that judicial candidates have to navigate in order to earn a place on the bench. “Justices [are] expected to rule impartially after emerging from campaign fights.”

Justice Willet admits that during his campaign his “singular goal was to appeal to hardcore Republican voters and activists.” Despite espousing hardcore conservative politics during his campaign, Justice Willet avows that he remains fair and impartial in the courtroom. “My vote follows the law,

cialis casera

no matter who the parties are or what they believe. If the law’s on your side, I won’t hesitate a nanosecond before ruling in your favor….”

The stark dichotomy between how judges are forced to act during campaigns and how they’re mandated to act on the bench is a clear indication that partisan elections are not a suitable method of judicial selection. When a judicial candidate solicits votes by advertising that he holds certain beliefs, that’s like a promise — a promise that’s impossible to fulfill. Further, it’s a promise that we wouldn’t want fulfilled.

Judges are supposed to be unbiased. We don’t want them to adhere to political ideologies. We want them to abide by the law. Judges

generic cialis

aren’t “dancers” and they shouldn’t be politicians either. Instead of “hating the game” we should change the rules. Judicial selection should be based on qualifications, not political connections.

zp8497586rq

2 responses so far

Nov 21 2012

A Closer Look at Judicial Election Campaigns

Published by under Merit Selection

Judges are increasingly forced to raise huge amounts of money for state judicial elections.  A recent New York Times editorial focuses on these judicial campaigns across the country.

According to the the Brennan Center for Justice and Justice at Stake, more than

canadian pharmacy

$28 million was spent on television advertisements in state supreme court races around the country.  More than half of these television ads were paid for by groups not connected to the candidates’ campaigns.

Three Florida State Supreme Court justices raised more than $1.5 million for their retention campaigns.  They needed to raise so much money because they were targeted for their alleged liberal views.  Although the justices felt they needed to fight back, the public may question whether the judges are still

comprar cialis

impartial because of new donor debts.

Michigan set Pokies records gabrielle anwar pokies for the amount of money spent.  “Of the $15 million or so spent for TV ads in Michigan, 75 percent cannot be attributed to identifiable donors, notes Rich Robinson, executive director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network.”  The problem with unidentifiable donors is that litigants will not know when to request that the judge recuse himself/herself.  The knowledge that a party in litigation donated money to the judge’s campaign leads to an appearance of impropriety.

This election experience, with an increasing amount of money spent on judicial campaigns “should at least hasten state efforts to revise rules for judicial recusal to take campaign contributions into account.”

Pennsylvania’s 2013 elections are looming.  With expensive campaigns and a state Supreme Court Justice awaiting trial for campaign finance misconduct, what else will it take to reform our system?

No responses yet

Nov 16 2012

The Name Game

Published by under Merit Selection

Last week’s Ohio Supreme Court elections held some surprises. William O’Neill and Sharon Kennedy displaced two incumbent justices in Tuesday’s election, and the Toledo Blade thinks that the shakeup makes a compelling case for merit selection.

The editorial argues that O’Neill and Kennedy won by riding a wave of name recognition all the way to the bench. Ohio Republic Chairman Bob Bennett told the Associated

viagra

Press that in Cuyahoga County, “we elect anybody with a good Irish name, even if they wind up going to jail later.” Rather than advocating for voter education, Ohio’s party leaders have suggested putting party labels on the ballot so voters can vote down straight party lines.

“That is an irrational way to select people who can deprive their fellow citizens of their liberty and property.” Judges have a lot of power, and it’s enormously important to get thoughtful, steadfast, well-qualified people on the bench. Whether it’s name recognition or party affiliation, we don’t know why people vote the way that they

viagra cheap

do. There are a host of factors that weigh on a voter’s choice, and “most qualified candidate” isn’t always one of them.

casino gamble online

Although the justice system affects everyone, people don’t always have a great deal of interaction with the court system or with judges in any given election cycle. It can be hard to get enough information about any given candidate for voters to shape an informed opinion. Merit Selection “puts the selection process in the hands of people who will evaluate the credentials of judicial candidates.” With so much riding on the formation of our state judiciary, are we really willing to roll the dice with the hope that the most popular name will make the best judge?

zp8497586rq

Comments Off

Nov 14 2012

Money Undermines Impartiality

Published by under Judicial Elections

“The explosion of campaign cash in judicial elections has led citizens to doubt whether judges can be impartial. Every litigant — regardless of wealth or power — is supposed to be equal in the eyes of the law. But this principle is less true with each passing judicial election.”

USA Today took a money spent this year came from special interest groups entirely outside of candidate campaigns. Even worse, some of these groups are entirely outside of the states

viagra

where elections were held.

buy argumentative essay

With our own 2013 judicial elections looming on the horizon, Pennsylvania needs to take a cold, hard look at other races around the nation and decide if the Commonwealth can afford the price of special interest spending. We don’t need special interests pouring money into Pennsylvania judicial elections to push their agendas and poison the public perception of our bench. It’s time to reclaim our courts. Pennsylvania is the birthplace of independence, and we need to put politics aside to return to a judiciary that guarantees liberty and justice for all.

zp8497586rq

Comments Off

Nov 09 2012

Who Paid for Those Ads?

Published by under Merit Selection

Now that the storm has subsided, it’s time to take stock of the damage. No, not Hurricane Sandy. I’m referring to the staggering amount of political spending that propelled this year’s judicial elections.

Sixteen states spent almost $28 million on TV advertising in Supreme Court races. Finalized fundraising totals for these races won’t be available until the end of the year, but this number is on track to break spending records. And it doesn’t end there. That number only accounts for television spending in Supreme Court races. It doesn’t even begin to account for spending in circuit or other

buy tadalafil online

appellate court contests.

This begs the question — Where is all of this money coming from? Less than half of the money was spent by candidates’ campaign committees. Almost $16 million was spent by independent groups and political action committees. Keep in mind, these totals only include money that was accounted for by states’ reporting and disclosure systems. Many campaign donations are untraceable. They hover like ghosts casting a specter of mystery and doubt over the election cycle, identifiable only by the whisper of a footprint left on the books of TV broadcasters and cable networks.
.

best places to buy cigars online

As Rich Robinson, Executive Director of the Michigan Campaign Finance Network, points out, “The reason this matters is that unaccountable spending undermines the presumption of impartial justice. No one has a real incentive to spend big in a Supreme Court campaign like an

viagra

interest with a high-stakes case in the appeals pipeline.”

During his election night coverage, NBC news anchor Brian Williams made several references to the insane amount of money that was spent on the various campaigns and how that money could have been redirected toward more worthy pursuits. Nowhere is that observation more germane than in judicial elections.

Pennsylvania already has some of the most contentious and expensive judicial contests in the nation. We also have a Supreme Court Justice awaiting trial for campaign finance misconduct. It’s time for Pennsylvania to implement Merit Selection. It’s time to take judges off of the campaign trail and put them back on the bench. It’s time to reinvigorate the public’s confidence in the independence and impartiality of the judiciary. It’s time to put the millions of dollars that will pour into next year’s judicial elections to better use.

zp8497586rq

Comments Off

Nov 07 2012

Press Release Details National Judicial Election Results

National Merit Selection Coalition partner Justice at Stake issued the following press release today:

 

Judicial Election TV Spending Sets New Record,

Yet Voters Reject Campaigns to Politicize the Judiciary

Contact:
Seth Hoy, Brennan Center for Justice, seth.hoy@nyu.edu, (646) 292-8369
Eeva Moore, Justice at Stake, emoore@justiceatstake.org, (202) 588-9462

For Immediate Release

WASHINGTON, D.C., Nov. 7, 2012 — Americans overwhelmingly rejected big-money attempts to hijack their courts on Election Day. The 2012 campaign saw record spending in state Supreme Court races, with Super PACs and other outside groups spending millions on TV ads and mailers seeking to influence judicial races. At the same time, voters rebuffed a series of costly campaigns seeking to make courts accountable to partisans and special interests, ignoring calls to unseat judges over their decisions, and rejecting referenda in three states designed to give politicians more power over the courts.

This year’s court-related campaigns also featured interesting side-stories, including spending by Super PACs, entry by the Koch brothers’ Americans for Prosperity into judicial elections, national politicians seeking to unseat an Iowa justice, and a viral video with TV stars that helped elect a high court candidate.

“The arms race around our courts is growing worse, but voters are seeing through campaigns to make courts more political and less impartial,” said Bert Brandenburg, executive director of Justice at Stake.

Although final fundraising totals are not yet available, spending on television advertisements in state Supreme Court races set an all-time record this year, totaling an estimated $27.8 million as of November 5, according to data provided by TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG and released by the Brennan Center for Justice and Justice at Stake—easily exceeding the record $24.4 million spent in 2004. (More than $31.7 million was spent in the 2011-2012 judicial election cycle, shattering the previous record of $26.6 million set in 2007-2008.)  Ten states saw races where TV spending exceeded a million dollars, and seven states (AL, IA, KY, MI, MS, NC, OH) saw negative ads released in the final weeks before the election.

“Judicial elections this year were characterized by attack ads, record-breaking spending, and outsized influence by special interests,” said Alicia Bannon, counsel in the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program. “As judges face increased pressure to act like politicians, the integrity of our courts is at risk.”

Political parties and independent groups dominated this year’s races, in many cases relying on secret money that does not appear in campaign finance disclosure filings. More than 50% of all TV ads came from non-candidate groups, compared with roughly 30% in 2010. In Michigan, home of the nation’s most costly judicial race, the state’s two political parties vastly outspent the candidates for three seats on the state Supreme Court. The parties spent an estimated $7.4 million in the TV ad wars, according to CMAG data, compared with approximately $1.1 million in TV spending by candidates and other independent groups, with total spending in the state surpassing $8.5 million.  The Michigan Campaign Finance Network estimates that TV spending by political parties was even higher, reaching $10 million this year. In North Carolina, outside groups including Super PACs drove TV ad spending to more than $3.1 million – higher than the state’s total TV spending from 2000-2010.  Political parties and independent groups were the four top TV spenders in the general election season: the Michigan Democratic State Central Committee ($4.1 million), the Michigan Republican Party ($3.3 million), the Florida group Defend Justice from Politics ($2.7 million), and the North Carolina Judicial Coalition, a Super PAC ($2.6 million).

In yes-or-no judicial retention elections two years ago, three Iowa Supreme Court justices were unseated over a unanimous decision finding it unconstitutional to deny marriage to same-sex couples. Some predicted a new wave of ousters this year, but yesterday Justice David Wiggins won another term in office with 54.5% of the vote. And in Florida, an unprecedented special interest and partisan campaign failed to unseat three Supreme Court justices, who won by a 2-to-1 margin.

Voters also rejected referenda to change merit-based judicial selection systems in ways that could inject partisan politics into state courts.

In Missouri, 76% of voters rejected Amendment 3, a proposed constitutional amendment to give Missouri’s governor a greater hand in picking the nominating commission that screens judicial candidates. In Arizona, 73% of voters rejected a similar proposed constitutional amendment, Proposition 115. In Florida, Amendment 5, a referendum to require state Senate confirmation of Supreme Court justices who are nominated by the governor, was defeated by a margin of 63%-37%.

Three in four Americans believe that the special-interest money needed to finance such elections influences court decisions. From 2000 through 2009, the last decade for which data is available, fundraising by high-court candidates surged to $206.9 million, more than double the $83.3 million raised in the 1990s.

Overall, there were 20 states with contestable state Supreme Court seats in 2012, with a total of 46 seats at stake. Twenty-five high court judges in 13 states faced one-candidate retention elections, in which voters choose whether to give incumbents another term.

The following is a round-up of major trends and developments in the 2011-2012 judicial election campaign season, as identified by Justice at Stake and the Brennan Center for Justice. National TV spending data for judicial races, as well as links to ads, are available at “Judicial Elections 2012,” a web page jointly hosted by the Brennan Center and Justice at Stake. Additional analysis is also available at the Brennan Center’s “Buying Time 2012” web page.

Final estimates of TV ad spending, as recorded by TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG, are expected within a few days. Complete candidate fundraising data often are not available until weeks, and in some cases months, after the elections, meaning that campaign fundraising estimates tend to rise over time.

TV Ad Data

Television ads ran this year in 16 states with elections for the state Supreme Court: Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Michigan, Mississippi, Montana, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Texas, and West Virginia.

Michigan saw the highest overall spending on Supreme Court TV ads, with about $8.5 million spent on airtime, according to TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG; a state-based watchdog group estimates that political parties spent $10 million on Supreme Court “issue ads,” based on an inspection of public inspection files at local TV stations.  Alabama, with a contentious election for chief justice, was second in TV spending at $3.3 million. Alabama chief justice candidate Judge Bob Vance spent more than $1.5 million on his campaign, the most of any judicial candidate.

Of the $27.8 million in total TV spending, approximately $12 million was spent by candidates, while $15.7 million was spent by parties and independent groups.

A Closer Look at Key Judicial Races

Partisan Attacks in Florida, Iowa through Retention Elections

In Florida, all three Supreme Court justices appearing on a retention ballot won a new term after an aggressive campaign to unseat them over a few controversial rulings. Justices R. Fred Lewis, Barbara Pariente and Peggy Quince were targeted by Americans for Prosperity, the Republican Party of Florida and a tea party-linked group, Restore Justice 2012.

“Special interests and partisan politicians waged an unprecedented campaign to unseat three Florida justices. But Florida voters stood up for fair and impartial courts that resolve disputes based on the facts and the law, not partisan pressure,” Brandenburg said.

In Iowa, state Supreme Court Justice David Wiggins won a retention election after facing a major campaign to unseat him. Outside groups opposing Justice Wiggins pumped in national money, and two national Republican politicians, former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania and Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, campaigned in Iowa against his retention. The Iowa GOP also opposed his retention. Opponents criticized his joining a unanimous 2009 ruling that permitted same-sex couples to marry; in 2010, the backlash swept three Iowa Supreme Court justices from the court.

“Iowa voters delivered a powerful message,” Brandenburg said, “that they will shield their courts when special interests try to intimidate judges.”

Justice Wiggins did not campaign or raise money in his own defense. According to the most recent state filings, retention opponents spent $466,125, including Iowans for Freedom, $317,794, and the National Organization for Marriage, $148,331. Pro-retention expenditures of $348,285 included the Iowa State Bar Association, $37,087, Progress Iowa, $4,939, Justice Not Politics Action, $301,191, and Human Rights Campaign, $5,068.

Florida’s Supreme Court had not seen a contentious retention election before this year. Americans for Prosperity, founded with the support of David and Charles Koch, released an advertisement opposing the justices and spent about $155,000, according to media reports. A pro-retention group, Defend Justice from Politics, released a TV ad urging voters to support the justices and to reject the “political power grab” by opponents of retention. The group spent more than $2.7 million on TV advertising by Nov. 5.

The targeted justices’ campaigns raised more than $1.5 million, according to state filings. “It’s terribly disappointing when judges have to raise big money from attorneys to defend against partisan attacks,” Brandenburg said.

“Judges need to be able to make hard calls based on the law, without looking over their shoulders at threats of political retaliation,” said Adam Skaggs, Senior Counsel in the Brennan Center’s Democracy Program. “It’s heartening that Florida and Iowa’s voters rejected attempts to politicize their courts.”

Referenda on Judicial Selection in Missouri, Florida, and Arizona

In Missouri, voters rejected a ballot measure that sought to undermine the Missouri Nonpartisan Court Plan, which has served as a model judicial selection system for impartial courts in more than 30 states.

Also defeated was the proposed constitutional amendment to require Florida Senate confirmation of state Supreme Court appointees. The amendment also would have given the legislature access to confidential records of the commission that investigates complaints against judges.

The Arizona measure, Proposition 115, would have allowed the governor to pick more members of the nominating commission, and eliminated a requirement that a final list of candidates recommended to the governor include individuals from different political parties.

“Tuesday’s vote will send a strong message around the country not to tamper with a system that has helped insulate judges from politics for decades,” Brandenburg said.

Judicial Ad Spending in Michigan Highest in the Nation

With three of five Supreme Court seats up for grabs in the general election, Michigan led the country in TV spending. Michigan saw more than $8.5 million and perhaps more than $10 million spent on judicial TV campaign ads, making it the highest spending state in the nation. A nominally nonpartisan judicial election model did not deter political parties and independent groups from dominating in TV spending in the races as they sought to influence the makeup of the court.

Michigan saw the most star-studded campaign video, as well as some of the most negative ads.  Judicial candidate Bridget Mary McCormack’s campaign released an online video starring the cast of the hit TV-show West Wing.  Part campaign ad and part public service announcement about the importance of voting for down-ballot Supreme Court candidates, it was the first-ever viral judicial campaign ad. McCormack herself also became the target of a particularly severe attack ad, in which she was criticized for offering to provide legal representation to detainees suspected of terrorism held at Guantanamo Bay.

Republican Stephen Markman and Democrat Bridget McCormack won eight-year terms to the high court, gaining 33% of the vote and 30%, respectively. Republican Brian Zahra was elected to a partial term on the court with 53% of the vote.

Despite the runaway spending, lax state disclosure laws mean that little is known about who funded the races. Even though nearly all of Michigan’s multi-million dollar TV spending has been financed by political parties and special interests, reported independent expenditures by parties and political action committees is only  $679,094.

Judicial Ad Spending Stays High in Alabama

From 2000-2009, Alabama had the costliest Supreme Court races in the nation. With only one of five seats on the high court contested in the 2012 general election, spending was predicted to fall far short of previous years. While overall spending in the state remained low this year relative to previous cycles, a heated race for Chief Justice generated significant campaign expenditures, leaving Alabama with the second highest TV spending level in the country.

With Republicans dominating the high court, Democratic interest in Supreme Court races had waned in recent years, causing a drop in spending. However, former justice Roy Moore proved a controversial Republican candidate, as he was best known for his removal as Chief Justice in 2003 after defying a federal court order to take down a monument of the Ten Commandments he installed in the Alabama Judicial Building.  Moore struggled to attract funding from business interests that traditionally fund Republican candidates, and was outspent by two opponents in the Republican primary. While Democratic candidate Bob Vance lacked Moore’s name recognition, he was able to attract some traditional Republican supporters — and donors — who viewed Moore as too extreme.

Vance spent more on TV ads than any other judicial candidate this year, but was unsuccessful. Moore won election to his old seat by 52-48%.

Super PACs Dump Millions into North Carolina Judicial Races

In one of the year’s most surprising races, Americans for Prosperity, other national groups and Super PACs dominated spending in a North Carolina Supreme Court contest. Incumbent Justice Paul Newby defeated Court of Appeals Judge Sam Ervin IV by 52-48% of the vote.

The court’s 4-3, right-leaning balance was at stake in the election. Justice Newby’s campaign was supported by more than

buy generic levitra

$2.5 million in TV ad spending by a conservative Super PAC called the North Carolina Judicial Coalition. AFP pitched in with viagra online canadian pharmacy its largest effort ever to swing a judicial contest and spent $225,000 for direct mail. Another Super PAC, Justice for All NC, began airing an attack ad against Judge Ervin late in the race; the Super PAC has received $865,000 from a Washington-based group, the Republican State Leadership Committee.

Judge Ervin spent more than $300,000, and Justice Newby, more than $200,000, on TV ad spending. Total TV spending in the state was more than $3.1 million.

Both candidates participated in North Carolina’s public financing program for appellate judicial campaigns, and foreswore raising significant donations from attorneys and parties who might appear before them. But a recent court ruling bars the state from providing additional funds to candidates to compensate for Super PAC spending in support of their opponents.

“The flood of outside spending has put a tremendous strain on North Carolina’s public financing system for judicial candidates,” Bannon said.

Judicial TV Ads Turned Negative in Ohio

TV ads grew increasingly negative in the run-up to the Ohio Supreme Court election, with Ohio witnessing one of the nastiest ads of the season. A Republican Party ad in support of incumbent Justice Robert Cupp described candidate Bill O’Neill as having “expressed sympathy for rapists” while serving as a judge. In a letter to the Republican Party, the Ohio State Bar Association described the ad as misleading and stated that it “impugn[s] the integrity of the judicial system, the integrity of a candidate for the Supreme Court of Ohio, and erode[s] the public trust and confidence in the independence and impartiality of the judiciary.” Justice Cupp distanced himself from the ad, stating through his campaign committee that “he has not and would not approve a commercial like this.” The Ohio State Bar Association stated that Justice Cupp needed to go further and requested that the GOP cease airing the ad.

Democrat O’Neill defeated Republican Justice Cupp for a seat on the high court. Democrats Justice Yvette McGee Brown and Michael Skindell lost to Republican challengers.

After Expensive Primary, Texas Stays Quiet

In Texas, Justice Don Willett raised $1,686,031 in his successful reelection, spending a total of $1,167,930 on TV ads in the primaries. After his victory in the primaries, no money was spent on TV advertising by his campaign, as he faced only a nominal challenger.

TV Methodology

All data on ad airings and spending on ads are calculated and prepared by TNS Media Intelligence/CMAG, which captures satellite data in the nation’s largest media markets. CMAG’s calculations do not reflect ad agency commissions or the costs of producing advertisements, nor do they reflect the cost of ad buys on local cable channels. The costs reported here therefore understate actual expenditures.

# # #

Justice at Stake is a nonpartisan, nonprofit campaign working to keep America’s courts fair and impartial. Justice at Stake and its 50-plus state and national partners educate the public, and work for reforms to keep politics and special interests out of the courtroom – so judges can protect our Constitution, our rights and the Rule of Law. For more about Justice at Stake, go to www.justiceatstake.org, or visit our blog, Gavel Grab http://www.gavelgrab.org.
 
The Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law is a non-partisan public policy and law institute that focuses on fundamental issues of democracy and justice.  Its work ranges from voting rights to campaign finance reform, from racial justice in criminal law to presidential power in the fight against terrorism. A singular institution – part think tank, part public interest law firm, part advocacy group – the Brennan Center combines scholarship, legislative and legal advocacy, and communications to win meaningful, measurable change in the public sector.  For more information about the Brennan Center, go to www.brennancenter.org.

No responses yet

Nov 05 2012

A Crumbling Cornerstone

Published by under Merit Selection

On the eve of this year’s election when you’re inundated with political ads and robocalls, take a minute to ask yourself why YouTube sensations like “Bronco Bama Girl” are more popular (and have more name recognition) than most of the candidates running for office.

What is it about elections that we find so tiresome? Is it the blatant agenda pushing? The dogmatic partisan platforms? The negative ads attacking rival candidates? The tidal wave of money donated by anonymous donors? Maybe we’re all tired of being misdirected and obstructed when we try to get meaningful information about any of the candidates?

Though these attributes can sometimes make us cringe, the fact remains that electoral politics are a cornerstone of American democracy. The Supreme Court has told us that political donations are the equivalent of free speech, and ads and debates help us to learn about the beliefs and policies of individual candidates. Traveling down the campaign trail allows the electorate to be informed and to choose presidents, governors, and legislators that are representative of the people.

Another cornerstone of American democracy is the separation of powers – the idea that each branch of government has a distinct and independent role to play within the American political framework. When Pennsylvania asks its judges to put on their politician hats and hit the campaign trail, that cornerstone begins Volume Pills to Volume Pills crumble.

Judges have a fundamentally different role than that of legislators and executives. We expect officials in the executive and legislative branches to have and respond to their constituencies. But judges aren’t supposed to have constituents; they’re supposed to answer to nothing and no

You can buycheap viagra online in out pharmacy.

one but the law. Judges aren’t supposed to engage in lowest price viagra acrimonious disputes with competitors; they’re supposed to show sound judgment and character beyond reproach. Judges aren’t supposed to advance political agendas or partisan beliefs; they’re supposed to be independent and unbiased.

This time next year, when Pennsylvania will once again be electing judges, all of the negative characteristics that we identify with politicians and electioneering could attach themselves to our judiciary, and the Commonwealth will be forced to ask itself, yet again, whether there is a better way? Judicial elections have turned Pennsylvania’s judges into politicians in the public’s mind, but Merit Selection can reverse that trend. Merit Selection takes the focus off of money and politics and puts it back on qualifications and reputation.

When you leave the polls tomorrow breathing a sigh of relief that another election cycle has come to an end, realize that your relief is short lived. You’ll be back in the same position next year, but you don’t have to be.

No responses yet