Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Question 1: Non-Partisan Court Plan.

VOTE NO on Question 1 (Non-Partisan Court Plan) and keep local judges, locally elected, not appointed by the current liberal trial lawyers that make up the "non-partisan" committee.
MO Non-Partisan Court Plan (What is it?)
Section 25 of Article V of the MO State Constitution
Conservatives Speak out on the Non-Partisan Court Plan

Despite making up just four percent of total attorneys in Missouri, personal injury lawyers account for 100 percent of the Appellate Judicial Commission. This has resulted in the transformation of a non-partisan, non-ideological process into a politically-slanted one. Nineteen of the last 21 nominees for the Supreme Court have been Democrats. Four of the last six have been members of the Missouri Association of Trial Attorneys.

...since its adoption, the public has not voted any appellate judge out of office, and only two circuit judges have been voted out of office. Judge Marion D. Waltner of Jackson County was voted out in 1942. The other, Judge John R. Hutcherson of Clay County, was voted out in 1992 after receiving failing reviews from lawyers in the judicial evaluation survey.
Debate of New York State Constitution 1868
Pennsylvania Constitution Development
Where do Judges Come From?

Hillenblog says...I actually like this post below by Calvin Dooglas (Maricopa County, AZ)

I think the idea is that at local levels, a judge is still expected to be a barometer of how the community interprets its own laws. The values of a particular municipality are particularly important in cases such as obscenity. Local judges are also more than adjudicators, they bring with them ideas to reform the community justice system. Local judges also do not set precedent the same way federal judges do, so local judges are not typically elected because of their stance on the issue du jour.

It's not laid out in the constitution that local judges must be elected rather than appointed, so it's really a decision made by states and municipalities. I think the election of local judges helps keep local government in touch with the communities they work for. A city's attitude towards certain laws can change dramatically in a short time, and they need judges who reflect those values. The huge amounts of caselaw and observational evidence that Federal and Supreme Court judges require to change their interpretation of a law simply do not exist at the local level, and therefore local judges have latitude to make decisions based on the attitudes of the community. Elections allow citizens to choose judges whose philosophies and priorities more closely reflect their own. Election of judges is part of how community values/common law become local policy, and eventually national policy.

The election rather than appointment of local judicial and law enforcement also means that a mayor cannot make the courts and cops implementers of his priorities. The complex system of checks and balances is not nearly as well-defined at the local level, and is not necessary when direct appeal to a small number of relatively homogeneous citizens is possible. Were local judges and sheriffs appointed for long terms, the only way to fix a corrupt or ineffective city officials would be through impeachment. For local government with very limited funding and participation, the idea of having to deal with calls and motions for impeachment would be an incredible waste of time.

1 comment:

coacher said...

all joking aside, thank you for the info about all the ballot items. all of the information up in the right hand corner of your page is extremely helpful to me.

also, even though i am a teacher, i am still voting NO on the Proposition A. it is not that i am a fighter against gambling, but i think that casinos and gamblers need limitations.

anyway, thanks!!