Saturday, September 11, 2010

Ousted Michigan judge still favors judicial election

One would understand entirely if a Michigan high court judge, defeated for retention after a bruising election campaign, became a convert to the cause of merit selection. But former Michigan Chief Justice Cliff Taylor, however, still supports the popular election of judges according to the linked story published Thursday on BLT: The Blog of LegalTimes.

Writes Diana Soliwon:
Cliff Taylor, former chief justice of the Michigan Supreme Court, voiced his support for the system that removed him from office during a panel discussion today about merit selection and its power to reshape America’s state courts.

Taylor and former campaign manager Colleen Pero addressed the gathering sponsored by the Heritage Foundation. They released a study underwritten by the American Justice Partnership, and written by Pero, asserting that billionaire George Soros has spent $45 million to "hand judicial selection over to small, unaccountable commissions comprised of legal elites."
With respect to Mr. Taylor, I suspect that there was significant support for merit selection before George Soros took an interest in the issue. Further, if Mr. Soros closes his checkbook tomorrow, interest in merit selection will remain.

On the other hand, I can't help but believe that true "merit selection" of judges is attainable, even under our present elective system, so long the public is informed about the merits of would-be judges. The trick, of course, is in informing the public.

HT: ICJL News Update

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