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Jim Wayne | Kentucky judicial elections need to stay on high road

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BridgeTheGap Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jul-30-10 07:32 AM
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Jim Wayne | Kentucky judicial elections need to stay on high road
The ideal justice system is symbolized by Lady Justice, the blindfolded goddess who holds perfectly balanced scales. She represents fairness and impartiality untainted by partisanship, bias, or the influence of money that we want our own courts and judges to display.

Imagine if we instead had a court system contaminated by party politics and big money. How would you feel, in such a system, if you had a legal dispute with a well-connected political player who had given large amounts of money to the campaign of the judge deciding your case, as well as to the political party that endorsed the judge? Would you have faith in the system? Or would you question whether the scales were tilted against you from the start?

To avoid such distortions we have safeguards to keep judicial elections free of the party politics and influence of big money that have infected the other two branches of government. Unfortunately, those safeguards and our hopes for clean elections for judgeships took a hit with a recent federal appeals court decision that says Kentucky's judicial candidates can announce their political party affiliation while personally soliciting campaign contributions.


This ruling runs counter to the words, the intent and the spirit of the Kentucky Constitution, which states in Section 117 that judges shall be elected from their respective districts or circuits on a nonpartisan basis.

http://www.courier-journal.com/article/20100730/OPINION... |+Kentucky+judicial+elections+need+to+stay+on+high+road
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varkam Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jul-31-10 03:27 AM
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1. I agree. Nothing good comes of making judicial elections explicitly political affairs.
While it is all well and good to make the judiciary accountable to the public, these sorts of elections do nothing but invite the sort of pandering we would normally expect from politicians, but not judges. The qualities that we should value in judges just don't play well in 20-second advertisements.
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