Archive for the tag 'Alabama'

Mar 16 2012

NY Times Editorial Praises Effort to Implement Merit Selection in PA

Published by under Opinion

An editorial in the New York Times entitled “No Way To Choose A Judge” urges Merit Selection as a good solution for Pennsylvania. The editorial recounts recent judicial election news in Alabama and the ongoing investigation into the use of government staff for the elections of State Senator Jane Orie and her sister Supreme Court […]

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Jan 31 2012

Trying to Solve the Money Problem

Published by under Merit Selection

We know that the public is increasingly concerned about the influence campaign contributions to judicial candidates may have in the courtroom.  Yet, many states, including Pennsylvania, continue to elect judges in expensive elections that essentially require judicial campaigns to seek funds from lawyers, law firms, businesses, unions and other special interest groups with frequent litigation […]

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Aug 05 2011

Vanzetta Penn McPherson Speaks Out in Favor of Merit

Published by under Judges,Opinion

In a recent Montgomery Advertiser editorial, Retired U.S. Magistrate Judge Vanzetta Penn McPherson advocates a transition from judicial elections to Merit Selection of judges. Her critique of judicial elections follows the resignation of Alabama Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb. McPherson seconds Cobb’s concern that partisan elections of judges “perpetuate the public perception that judges are […]

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Aug 02 2011

Birmingham News urges Alabama to enforce law limiting judicial campaign contributions, consider merit selection

Published by under Merit Selection

Saturday’s edition of the Birmingham News featured an editorial urging Alabama to enforce its sixteen-year-old law regulating judicial campaign contributions. The law requires that judges recuse themselves from cases in which a party or their lawyer donated $2000 or more to the judge’s campaign ($4000 for appellate judges). However, the law has not been enforced […]

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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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Feb 08 2011

Alabama Judicial Campaign Disclosures Reveals Unusual Giving

Published by under Judges,News

Campaign finance disclosure documents from last year’s Alabama Supreme Court race support the old adage about politics making strange bedfellows. The Birmingham News reports that funding for two Republican candidates for the state’s highest court came from plaintiff trial lawyers, who’ve traditionally supported Democrats in state appeals court races. Through a complex series of contributions […]

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Nov 08 2010

Free the Judges

In the wake of the 2010 election season, the Birmingham News editorial board criticizes the practice of electing judges in Alabama. The editorial uses as an example a particularly ugly race for a seat on a circuit court. enchères en ligne Describing the nasty tones that both campaigns utilized, the editorial comes to the conclusion […]

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Oct 28 2010

Expensive Judicial Elections Create the Perception of “Tainted Justice”

Over at Gavel Grab, Peter Hardin draws attention to the costly judicial elections underway in Alabama. Noting that Alabama has the most expensive Supreme Court elections in the country, Hardin examines an editorial that appeared in the Press-Register criticizing judicial elections. The editorial opens with a strong critique of judicial elections in Alabama: “As long […]

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Sep 21 2010

“A Recipe for Corruption”

An editorial in the Birmingham News condemns Alabama’s system of judicial elections and supports a change to an appointment-retention system. The editorial looks at the recent poll by Justice at Stake, in which a majority of Republicans and Democrats asked said that they believed campaign donations significantly impact court rulings. Noting Alabama’s reputation for having […]

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Sep 07 2010

A Twist on the Money Problem

We often write about the Money Problem — the problem caused by a judicial election system that essentially requires candidates to raise campaign funds from parties, lawyers and law firms that are likely to appear before the winning judges in the future.  Here’s an interesting twist on the problem brought to us from Alabama.  According […]

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