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Thursday, May 29, 2008

Washington Post: Judicial Tampering

Judicial Tampering - Who pressured a panel to nominate a state senator's son for an Anne Arundel County court seat?

The Washington Post - May 29, 2008

GOVERNORS IN Maryland have sole authority to appoint judges. The legal tradition, though, is for special commissions to vet and nominate candidates. No governor in recent memory has deviated from that process. That makes recent allegations of political interference all the more disturbing. Three members of the Judicial Nominating Commission in Anne Arundel County quit in protest in recent days. They claimed that the work of the panel was compromised by pressure to nominate the son of Maryland Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller (D-Calvert) for one of three open seats on the District Court. Thomas V. Miller III was passed over by the panel of lawyers and other citizens but was selected after Gov. Martin O'Malley (D) demanded more names. The Senate president, his son and the governor, through a spokesman, maintain that they did not tamper with the process.

How then to explain the unprecedented resignations? The three are respected lawyers and community leaders. Paula J. Peters, who has been on the panel since 1985, told the Baltimore Sun that "political people" lobbied her. Ms. Peters makes no bones ab out her feeling that the younger Mr. Miller, a member of the state parole commission who has practiced law for four years, is not qualified for the bench.Regrettably, she is more reticent about who allegedly acted on his behalf. She should name names. We're not so naive as to think that judicial selections occur in a political vacuum; there's nothing unusual about people lining up for and against judicial applicants. Yet, as one member of the nominating commission pointed out, there is a cloud of suspicion in this case that hurts everyone. Mr. O'Malley has yet to name the judges, and it will fall to him to convince the public that his selections were made for the right reasons.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

in New York it's called a fix, a contract. Would think that it's the same in Maryland. That's what politics is about. This is a great country, isn't it.

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

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:

               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2
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