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ten years thereafter.Pennsylvanians would still be able to vote for people they know would be good judges for seats on the local courts.Becoming a judge through a statewide election is a purely political process for a job that is supposed to be non political. Local judges are different because they are more likely to be known in their communities. Local elections are significantly less expensive and attract fewer special interest dollars than statewide campaigns.Merit selection won fix all the problems in our judicial system. It won remove all traces of politics or insulate the judiciary from possible future scandal. But it will go a long way toward ensuring that Pennsylvanians have a Bottega Veneta Lauren Bag
By Lynn A. Marks and Suzanne AlmeidaKids for cash. Philadelphia Traffic Court. The conviction of Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin. In the last few years, the Pennsylvania judicial system has been rocked by too many scandals. These problems are not just the result of a few bad apples; rather they are emblematic of a broken system.Although most Pennsylvania judges hold themselves and their staff to the highest professional and ethical standards, those judges reached the bench despite our judicial selection system, not because of it.One need not look further than the case of Supreme Court Justice Joan Orie Melvin to understand that the system is fundamentally flawed. Justice Orie Melvin ran for the Supreme Court twice, once in 2003 and once in 2009. Both campaigns were conducted while she was sitting on the Superior Court. She was convicted of using her court staff and court resources for her Supreme Court races.The unavoidable fact is that without judicial elections, a sitting Supreme Court justice would have gone to trial for alleged campaign misconduct and Pennsylvania judicial system would not be under this dark cloud.Pennsylvanians deserve a judicial system where they can come to their courts with confidence that they will be heard by qualified, fair and impartial judges and their cases decided on the facts and the law, not based on political considerations.Unfortunately, there is no silver bullet. Policymakers, judges, community leaders and everyday Pennsylvanians must do the hard work to achieve real, lasting reform.An important step is changing the way we select statewide judges. Currently, Pennsylvania is one of the few states that elects all judges in contested, expensive partisan elections. This forces appellate judges those 31 jurists who sit on the Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth Courts to campaign statewide, raise huge amounts of money and seek political endorsements from lawyers and potential litigants who may appear before them.This year, 2013, is a judicial election year; candidates in the last state Supreme Court election in 2009 raised record amounts and there is every reason to believe that this trend will continue.Last year, judicial elections across the country broke spending records. Pennsylvanians have the power to change how we select our statewide judges and in doing so, restore confidence in our courts. We can amend the state constitution.A bill in the state Senate proposes to replace judicial elections for the three statewide appellate courts with a merit selection system.Merit selection is a hybrid appointive elective system. When a vacancy occurs on the Supreme, Superior Hermes Backpack Vintage or Commonwealth Courts, a bipartisan citizen nominating commission made up of both lawyers and non lawyers will screen would be judges and give the Governor a short list of the most highly qualified applicants. The Governor must nominate someone from the list. After Senate confirmation, a judge sits for a shortened term before standing for nonpartisan uncontested retention for a full ten year term, and then every Balenciaga Bag Selfridges London
court system they can have confidence in by making qualifications, not politics, the cornerstone of Pennsylvania judicial selection system.It time to get judges out of the campaign and fundraising business. Legislators should pass the merit selection legislation and give Pennsylvanians the opportunity to vote in a referendum on whether there is a better way to select judges.
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