Mar 05 2012
In the wake of Thursday’s House Judiciary Committee hearings on Merit Selection for the appellate courts, the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News have each published editorials calling for Merit Selection.
Following a recap of the hearing and a brief discourse on local and state-wide judges whose conduct has been the subject of news reports and disciplinary action, the Daily News concludes:
Fixing this broken system will take time, since it would require legislation and a constitutional amendment, which itself requires a referendum.
Still, this has been an idea already debated for years. How many poster children for tainted justice do we need before we get action? That action can start with letting your state lawmaker know it’s time to get campaign money out of the courts.
The Inquirer opines that the proposed legislation would address the “twin problems with the state’s system of electing all of its judges: the corrupting influence of campaigns and fund-raising, and whether voters are adequately equipped to choose qualified candidates for the bench.”
As PMC and PMCAction pointed out during the hearing, passing the legislation will not change the way we select judges. Instead, it puts the issue to the people: changing the constitution requires a public referendum. The legislature can give the people this opportunity by passing the legislation in two successive sessions. We believe it’s time to let the people decide whether there is a better way to select our appellate court judges.Tags: House Judiciary Committee, Merit Selection, Philadelphia Daily News, Philadelphia Inquirer, PMC, PMCAction