Thursday, February 22, 2007

Newsday: We still need reform of judicial elections

This morning’s Newsday has a great editorial explaining the undemocratic nature of New York’s judicial conventions and encouraging state officials to support reform of the system no matter what happens in the U.S. Supreme Court this fall.

Here’s a peek:
So despite the trappings of elections, party bosses control the process from top to bottom. They effectively choose the largely anonymous delegates, who are rubber stamped by voters. The delegates then rubber stamp the bosses' preferred candidates, ensuring them a place on the ballot. And in jurisdictions dominated by one party, those candidates often run unopposed.

That's tantamount to appointment, but by unelected, unaccountable party bosses.

If New York wants to continue electing State Supreme Court justices, officials should provide some realistic route onto the ballot for qualified candidates not favored by a political party. Albany should make sure that happens, regardless of how the U.S. Supreme Court ultimately rules.

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