Friday, September 08, 2006

More on Lopez Torres

As we wrote on August 31st, the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals handed down a ruling last week in the Lopez Torres v. NY Board of Elections et al. case, upholding a decision to abolish New York’s undemocratic process of electing trial court judges. Our own James Sample is featured on the Blog of the American Constitution Society explaining where we stand:

The Brennan Center’s position is simple. Whatever else the legislature may do, it must start first by seriously addressing the specific constitutional infirmities identified by Judge Gleeson and the Second Circuit. The decisions provide a combined 152 pages of analysis that will serve as guideposts for reform...Incremental reform measures are helpful, but New York needs the best of those measures and more. The state constitution requires a system in which voters have a meaningful say, and in which candidates who were previously excluded have genuinely meaningful access to the electorate. It is well past time to replace the last vestige of Boss Tweed and Tammany Hall with a system marked by transparency, democracy, and openness of access. New York’s constitution requires it.

Check out the full post for a thorough examination of the possible effects of the decision.

Update: The New York Times powerfully echoed our sentiment on Saturday with a piece entitled Breaking Down the Clubhouse:

Some legislators, who have their own ties to political power brokers, will be tempted to make only small changes. Minor tinkering will not be enough to cure the constitutional flaws. The Legislature needs to immediately develop a process that is truly open to any candidate, and that gives voters the deciding say in who becomes a judge.

Categories: General, Judicial Selection

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