Thursday, August 31, 2006

Second Circuit Takes Power Away From Party Bosses

In a unanimous vote, the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit affirmed – in its entirety – the decision of U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson granting a motion for preliminary injunctive relief in Lopez Torres v. New York State Board of Elections. The Brennan Center for Justice at NYU School of Law, together with pro bono counsel, Arnold & Porter LLP and Jenner & Block LLP, argued that New York’s unique convention system -— used by the political parties to select their judicial nominees -— deprives New Yorkers of their right to cast a meaningful vote for trial court judges.

A copy of the (in our unbiased view) excellent opinion can be found here. William Rashbaum's account in the Times is here.

Why is this decision so important? There are many reasons, and we will continue to blog about this in the coming days. But the most simple reason is this: New Yorkers will now have a say in who their trial court judges are. An undemocratic process -- whereby party bosses chose our judges -- seems to have received its death knell.

Categories: General, Judicial Selection

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