Jun 10 2008
As the campaign for Merit Selection progresses, we hear some inaccurate arguments repeated by those who oppose Merit Selection. In an effort to set the record straight, we’ll reveal the truth and clear up these myths.
Myth #6: Merit Selection supporters want to do away with all elections.
This is a favorite scare tactic of opponents of Merit Selection, usually worded as a question; “While we’re at it, why not replace election of the governor or the legislature with Merit Selection too?” It suggests, falsely, that supporters of Merit Selection of appellate judges plan to somehow create a world where nobody votes for anything, and the entire government is appointed rather than elected.
The truth is that Merit Selection supporters aren’t trying to replace election of all public officials. We think that Merit Selection is a better way to select appellate judges because judges are different from other elected officials. Judges are sworn to act impartially, to apply the law without regard for personal pref
erence, political pressure or the interests of campaign contributors.
Impartiality isn’t a requirement for other officials, like governors, senators, representatives and mayors. Candidates for those offices make promises in order to raise money and win votes. Donors give money to these campaigns with the expectation that the candidates will vote or act a certain way if elected.
Because the judiciary has to place the law above all other considerations, it’s different from the other branches of government. It doesn’t make sense to treat judges like political officials up until the moment they start doing their jobs. Instead, we should be treating judges differently from the moment they seek to join the bench.
Merit Selection supporters want to ensure a fair, impartial judiciary for all citizens. To that end, we’re seeking to change only how appellate judges are selected. Don’t let anyone tell you any different.
Keep visiting JudgesOnMerit.org to learn the truth about Merit Selection.