Saturday, December 10, 2005

Election of Judges

Doesn't the election of Judges pose an ethical problem? Tort Reform for example is a big action item on the landscape for US business. As we have seen in Texas, business can be very effective raising money on behalf of a canted for a judgeship. Isn't the process however in effect bribing the court? I am paying to have a person installed in a position of power that is going to make legal decisions in my favor. (Hey...This is what congress is for) I know justice is not blind but shouldn't there at least exist the perception of impartiality The second largest fundraiser for judges....drum roll please.....the lawyers that will be appearing in the court. As a plaintiff or gulp a defendant, doesn't that bias the decision that is supposed to be granted fairly on my behalf? Especially since any money that is changing hands between these people is invisible to me as I am sitting in court?

P.S Here is Minnesota the appointment process for Judges is very sneaky. They are supposed to be elected in general elections but watch this. If a Judge retires during his term, the replacement is picked by the governor. The replacement picked by the governor then runs on the ballot as the incumbent. An Incumbent has such a high probability of winning they often run unopposed. The majority of voters not knowing any information on a candidate will overwhelmingly select the candidate that is listed on the ballot as the incumbent……so please be aware of the stacking of judges by the governor the paying and financing of elections on behalf of judges and when you vote, select the non-incumbent.


Rocketstar said...

The problem you highlight here is one that affects every facet of our society, politics, culture, power, social interaction etc...

The problem is money. Money begets power, power begets privelage and corruption; it's the nature of the beast.

The question is how does this tie back to evolutionary biology? Why do we enable this behavior?

How is this going to further us as an animal?

Brian in Mpls said...

"A nation of sheep begets a government of wolves." Edward R. Murrow

We enable it because we are still playing king of the mountain just a variation of it, I think May West said it best when she said "a man can be short bald and fat but if he has fire women will want him." Power, Money, Status is our modern day fire. Our measure of how successful we play the game of life our peacock feathers if you will....and remember it is not about what helps "us" it is about what helps "me."(Selfish Gene theory)

Granted some women are visionaries and like to mate with tall intelligent men who will help to boast their offspring’s IQ and would rather choice this over wealth....long live these women and feel free to IM me if you are one or know one who is free on Friday

dawnmarie said...

Brian, you need to stop requesting dates. You're in a relationship, punk.

i hate word verification

Brian in Mpls said...

I hate it will henceforth be banished...

dawnmarie said...

true story, I have the code for:

i hate word verification

programmed into my programmable keyboard at work so I can put it on every comment that makes me use it.

Anonymous the Second said...

I think the election of judges is very much a mixed bag. On the one hand, we don't have what some see as a problem in the federal judiciary where unelected officials can exercise substantial power. The only real oversight by Congress is impeachment and removal, but only if the judge is not engaging in "good behavior." On the other hand, having state judges run for re-election is dangerous in that in can damage their independence.

To address the issue of taking money from a party and then having that party appear in front of you, a judge is ethically obligated to recuse himself from the case in those circumstances.

The Minnesota system is, I think, actually fairly solid. Judicial campaigns here rarely get nasty, and there is generally little reason for judges to become beholden to any special interests.

I think always voting for the challenger would be a mistake. Though I'm more fond of some judges than others, many (most, I think) judges in Minnesota are very competent, hard-working, and fair. If everyone voted for the challenger, we would lose many outstanding public servants.

Brian in Mpls said...

Good point "the second" I might have been too all encompassing in my statement and it might bear clarification. I just think the process should be more transparent. If you are appointed by the Governor you should not be on the ballot as an incumbent(should be called out separate). This would avoid the vote for the non-incumbent statement and is more logical.

I do not mean this as a dig on any of the judges as you are correct they are some outstanding judges that are in the process, but this still does not prevent the system from being is the case in Texas.

Yes the judge is supposed to reproach when confronted with the moral dilemma of client privilege but it is not easy to determine who paid what to whom or maybe it is and I just don't know to find the information. (If you have a good site please pass along)