Feb 09 2011

PMC’s Shira Goodman on WILK Radio

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Shira Goodman, Deputy Director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, will make an appearance on WILK Newsradio, 103.1 FM, at 4:05 EST this afternoon. She’ll discuss state policy about gifts to judges, and the corruption trial of former Luzerne County judge Mark Ciavarella, with host Steve Corbett.

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Jul 07 2008

Merit Media Watch: Radio PA on Interim Appointments

Amidst the coverage of recent interim appointments to Pennsylvania’s appellate courts, we’ve tried to make it clear that the system used to select these judges is not Merit Selection. A recent report on the appointments from Radio PA correspondent Matt Paul features PMC Associate Director Shira Goodman, who explains how Merit Selection differs from the highly-politicized appointment process. You can listen to the mp3 here.

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May 20 2008

Talk About Merit Selection on Live TV Tonight

Published by under Merit Selection News

Tonight PMC/PMCAction Executive Director Lynn Marks will appear on PCN’s Call In Program. The show airs live from 7:00-8:00pm . The program will focus on judici

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al elections and Merit Selection, and viewers can call toll-free, 1-877-PA6-5001 (1-877-726-5001) to join the discussion. Also appearing will be Barry Kauffman of Common Cause PA and Russ Diamond of PA Cleansweep.

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May 19 2008

Merit Selection On the Airwaves

This week, you can listen to both PMC Chair Bob Heim and PMC/PMCAction Associate Director Shira Goodman talk about Merit Selection with members of the Commonwealth Foundation. You can watch a video of Heim ‘s presentation to the Commonwealth Foundation’

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s Policy and Principles lunch on May 14. And you can listen to Goodman discussing Merit Selection with Matt Brouillette on his radio program The Box, which aired May 17.

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More information on pending legislation can be found here.

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May 13 2008

Merit Selection Debate Takes to the Airwaves

This week, the Susquehana Valley Center for Public Policy’s TV show Behind the Headlines will focus on Merit Selection. PMC/PMCAction’s Lynn Marks debates Lowman Henry about how Pennsylvania should select appellate court judges. Check this link for a list of cable systems that carry the show.

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On Saturday, PMC/PMCAction’s

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Shira Goodman will discuss judicial selection on THE BOX: Inside Outside On, on WHP 580 AM. Shira will discuss Merit Selection and the current elective system with host Matt Brouillette, president and CEO of the Commonwealth Foundation. The show airs on May 17th at 8 am.

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Apr 11 2008

Merit Media Watch 4/11/08

On Wednesday, PMC and PMCAction Associate Director Shira Goodman discussed Merit Selection of Pennsylvania’s appellate judges on Legislative Journal, with Representative Barbara McIlvaine Smith, from Chester County’s 156th District. Video of the appearance will be available shortly.

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Apr 05 2008

Setting the Record Straight — What the Wall Street Journal Got Wrong

There’s been a lot of chatter about a recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal criticizing those calling for Merit Selection of state judges. The editorial opened with a discussion of John Grisham’s new novel The Appeal, a story about a big corporation trying to influence the outcome of a case by contributing to a judicial election campaign. In response to Grisham’s comments that the novel was being played out in real life examples throughout the country, the editorial moved on to attack Merit Selection.

The editorial asserted: “In a result that might surprise Mr. Grisham, a 2007 Harvard study actually found that judges who are elected directly by voters are overall less corrupt than those who win their robes through other methods of selection.” This is a blatant mischaracterization of both the focus and the conclusions of the 2007 Harvard study.

The study, conducted by James Alt and David Lassen, focused on government corruption. It addressed whether the way judges are picked affects the ability of the judiciary to thwart corruption by the other branches of government. The study did not address judicial corruption, and it certainly didn’t reach conclusions about whether the way judges are selected affects levels of corruption in the judiciary.

The author of the editorial twisted the results of the study to serve her purpose of attacking those who support Merit Selection. In doing so, she misled the readers of the Wall Street Journal.

The facts about the Harvard study were presented to the Wall Street Journal in a letter to the editor authored by Lynn Marks of PMC and PMCAction and Seth Andersen of the American Judicature Society. However, this letter has not (at least as yet) been printed by the Journal.

Reasonable people can and do disagree about how judges should be selected. But reasonable people should make their decisions based on the facts. We trust the people of Pennsylvania to do just that and to vote on whether to change the way we select our appellate judges. What are the critics of Merit Selection so afraid of?

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Apr 02 2008

Radio Update

Published by under Merit Selection,News

Lynn Marks’ appearance on this morning’s Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane is now available for download in Real Audio and mp3 formats. Guest host Dave Davies asked a lot of great questions, and the discussion is definitely worth a listen.

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Apr 01 2008

Merit Media Watch

Published by under Merit Selection,News

This morning, PMC and PMCAction Associate Director Shira Goodman gave a presentation on the current Merit Selection proposal at the Philadelphia Bar Association. Shira spoke to a joint meeting of the Bar’s Appellate Courts and Professional Responsibility committees. Her presentation is available as part of the Bar’s podcast series.

At 10 am on Wednesday, April 2nd, PMC and PMCAction’s Executive Director Lynn Marks will speak about Merit Selection on WHYY 91 FM’s Radio Times with Marty Moss-Coane. Lynn will discuss judicial reform along with James Mundy, partner in the Philadelphia firm of Raynes McCarty and a past president of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Trial Lawyers associations. Tune in to 90.9 FM at 10 am, or listen live online.

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Mar 27 2008

An Unexpected Agreement To Let the People Decide

Last night on 1210 Tonight with Anthony Mazzarelli (WPHT 1210 AM, the Big Talker) Bob Heim, Board Chair of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts, and Russ Diamond, founder and chair of PA Clean Sweep, found common ground. Heim and Diamond — who don’t necessarily agree about judicial selection issues — together called for the people of Pennsylvania to have the chance to decide the best way to pick appellate judges. Despite their different perspectives, they each declared that the people should have their say.

Heim and Diamond agreed that there should be a public referendum (the final stage in amending the Constitution) to settle the question of how to choose appellate judges. Big Talker host Anthony “Mazz” Mazzrelli also argued that it’s time to allow Pennsylvanians to determine the best way to pick our appellate judges. To listen to the discussion, you can download the podcast.

Future posts will discuss this further, but PMC and PMCAction want to be clear that changing the way we pick judges is a decision only the voters of Pennsylvania can make. And we trust them to make it.

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