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Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Fairer Ways to Choose Judges

Fairer Ways to Choose Judges
The New York Times  -  EDITORIAL  -  May 23, 2012

More than two dozen states are holding elections for judges on their top courts this year, with millions of dollars expected to pour into those races. Among the states with the highest judicial campaign spending is Michigan, where three justices, running in partisan primaries, will be elected to a seven-member court.  To reduce partisanship and repair damage to the court’s reputation and integrity, an independent task force in Michigan, convened by a state justice and a federal appeals court judge, recently proposed crucial reforms, which include model elements for other states.  “The 2010 campaign season for the Michigan Supreme Court,” the report notes, “was the most expensive and most secretive in the nation,” but the problem goes back more than a decade. Under Michigan law, spending by independent groups in judicial elections does not need to be disclosed. Since 2000, when special interest groups with innocuous-sounding names began spending money on electioneering television ads, the average spending by all candidates for Supreme Court seats has reached $3.5 million, with half the total spending, or $20.8 million, being from undisclosed sources. This has made it impossible for litigants to know when they should ask for recusal by a justice since they don’t know if their case involves a party that supported the justice’s campaign.  Increased spending on campaigns also amplifies the public’s perception of judicial partisanship. Justices have to seek a party nomination or be selected by the governor, who fills temporary vacancies, with no input from the Legislature.  The task force has recommended legislation to require all financing for campaign ads in Supreme Court races be disclosed and that the partisan nominating process be replaced by a nonpartisan system with open primaries. Regrettably, it did not reach consensus on having an independent commission nominate justices based on merit. That would have been the best way to end the profoundly harmful effect money has had on the Michigan court.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey, New York Times, do you have anything to say about how we get our judges?

Anonymous said...

Another blather piece by the NY Times, which refuses to cover the corruption in NY courts well known to it. This corruption exists because the NY Times deliberately covers it up. Non-partisan is more NY Times nonsense, where the media (The NY Times)will pick the judges and then cover up their corruption later. The major obstacle to ending judicial corruption is sunlight on the courts with complete reporting of complaints, not a media cover up.

Anonymous said...

The problem isn't picking them, it's holding them accountable for what they do once the become judges.

It seems pretty clear that it doesn't make much difference if they are appointed or elected, either way you get good and bad. The problem is there are way to many bad and they do too much damage. And, unfortunately, the systems in place where they discipline themselves and review each others work, has also failed.

There is just too much money and no morals or ethics.

Anonymous said...

It's all very simple. Just start getting rid of the bad judges.

victim of cohen said...

Sherry Cohen: like a bad nickel, it just keeps coming back.

Anonymous said...

Please find a link to my website where I have been fighting a serious
case of out of control corruption within the Michigan legal system and
many people in government involved. This case has more detail than I
have posted, which I have reason to believe the instagoator in this
matter may have a problem with young boys as well. Someone is blocking
the investigation into this matter for some unknown reason.

Cordially,
Need Justice

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See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

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               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
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