Thursday, January 04, 2007

Spitzer Says Tinkering with Judicial Selection Not an Option

Since prevailing in the landmark case Lopez-Torres -- which struck down the State's current party boss dominated process for selecting Supreme Court Judges -- the Brennan Center has argued that mere "tinkering" with that process (as proposed by some) will not be sufficient. If there are to be elections for Judges, the voters must have a say — the party bosses cannot continue to control who becomes a Judge in New York.

Today's New York Law Journal reports (subscription required) that at a post-State of the State news conference, Governor Sptizer made clear that he agrees with the Brennan Center, and that he will not allow such tinkering to substitute for changes the Courts have made clear are necessary:

"There are some who are saying let the court's mandate sit where it is and have an open primary," Mr. Spitzer said. "I think there is a superficial appeal to [open primaries] but the very real concern articulated by those who have spent a great deal of time looking at the judicial selection process is that the impact of money in those elections could be monumental. Whether we have an open primary process or restructure the conventions . . . there must be a way to primary onto the ballot. I will not support anything that has a closed convention structure, where only those who came out of the convention could be on the ballot."

Categories: General, Judicial Selection

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