Mar 16 2012
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 Justice Joan Orie Melvin. Then the editorial notes:
These seamy doings have helped spark a promising effort by Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, a nonprofit advocacy group, to persuade the State Legislature to approve a constitutional amendment that would scrap competitive partisan elections. Instead the state would adopt a new system of initial merit appointment and nonpartisan retention elections.
The editorial notes that no system of choosing judges is perfect but opines that Merit Selection “would be a start toward ridding the state’s courtrooms of politics and campaign cash.”
Passing the pending legislation is the first step in a long process of amending the constitution, a process that culminates in a public referendum. We hope the people of Pennsylvania will get the opportunity to decide whether there is a better way to choose appellate court judges.Tags: Alabama, Jane Orie, Joan Orie Melvin, Merit Selection, New York Times, Pennsylvania, PMC