Archive for the 'Opinion' Category

Mar 26 2015

In Response to Growing Influence of Money in Judicial Elections, Former Alabama Chief Justice Supports Merit Selection

This year, the U.S. Supreme Court is scheduled to decide whether state ethics rules can prohibit judicial candidates from personally soliciting campaign contributions. The case, Williams-Yulee v. Florida Bar, could have major implications in some of the 33 states, like Pennsylvania, which have this prohibition in place. A ruling against the Florida Bar would effectively […]

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Mar 23 2015

Elect Judges Based On Merit, Not Chance

An editorial in today’s Philadelphia Daily News highlights the judicial elections “crapshoot” in Pennsylvania, where judges are often elected based on nothing other than their luck in a lottery for ballot position. The importance of ballot position on winning elections is well documented, especially in judicial races, where voters don’t have a lot of information about the candidates.  The University of Virginia’s Center […]

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Mar 12 2015

Former Montana Supreme Court Justice Joins Growing Calls for Merit Selection

Retired Montana Supreme Court Justice James C. Nelson has joined the growing call for an end to judicial elections. In the February edition of Montana Lawyer, retired Montana Supreme Court Justice James C. Nelson cites Citizen’s United and its related injection of outside funding into state judicial elections as having,“…poisoned campaigns and elections across the […]

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Feb 25 2015

Cast your Vote in Favor of Merit Selection on the Poll

The website is hosting a poll allowing readers to choose whether they think Pennsylvania judges should be elected or appointed. The poll comes in the wake of several controversies involving elected judges in Pennsylvania, including those on the Supreme Court. This week, comedian John Oliver gave his hilarious take on the issue on his TV show, Last […]

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Feb 24 2015

John Oliver Explains Why Judicial Elections are Harmful for American Democracy

On this week’s episode of Last Week Tonight, John Oliver took on the topic of judicial elections, referring to them as a “horrible spectacle.” John Oliver began his segment with a discussion of Alabama’s Chief Justice Roy Moore, who has ordered state judges to ignore a federal ruling that would allow same-sex couples to marry. Justice Moore […]

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Dec 17 2012

Merit Selection System Preserves Competition

Published by under Opinion

According to an op-ed published in the Lawrence Journal-World, Lawton R. Nuss, Chief Justice of the Kansas Supreme Court, the competition inherent in a merit selection system produces the kind of “winners” that Americans love. best casino games online Kansas currently selects judges for the Kansas Supreme Court and the Kansas Court of Appeals through […]

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Sep 06 2012

Unopposed Judicial Elections Limit Meaningful Voter Participation

Published by under Opinion

Opponents of Merit Selection often argue that the benefit of judicial elections lies in the public vetting that judges and judicial candidates undergo during their campaigns. However, as noted in an editorial in the Columbus Dispatch, where judicial candidates run unopposed, the public is deprived of their ability to meaningfully participate in judicial selection. This […]

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Aug 07 2012

Meaningful Voter Participation Lacking in Judicial Elections

Published by under Opinion

An article in the Miami Herald underlines one of the problems with judicial elections: the lack of meaningful voter participation. In the last Florida election, less than 15% of the electorate voted in the judicial election. Further, of the approximately 215,000 people who voted in Miami-Dade County, roughly 40,000 of them failed to vote for the judges on the […]

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Jun 28 2012

The Real Reasons Pennsylvanians Want to Find a New Way to Select Judges

Published by under Opinion

In a letter published in the Harrisburg Patriot-News, PMC’s Lynn  A. Marks points out the problems in Dan Pero’s recent op-ed about Merit Selection.  Pero focused on the fact that even Merit Selection systems cannot totally eliminate politics from judicial selection. While conceding this point, Marks pointed out the big issues that Pero ignores and […]

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Jun 26 2012

Leaders Should Act to "Benefit Our Entire State"

Published by under Opinion

A column in the Holland Sentinel opines about the state of Michigan courts. Four years ago, Michigan was ranked last in a grading of the nation’s supreme courts conducted by the University of Chicago Law School. Michigan’s ranking was partly a reflection of its lack viagra canada pharmacy of judicial independence. In response to the […]

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