Tuesday, September 25, 2007

At Least One More Year of Boss Rule Selection for New York Courts

This morning's Buffalo News featured a piece illuminating a probable deal between Democratic and Republican party leaders in Erie County to effectively deny voters a real choice in two of the three state Supreme Court races that will take place there this fall. The party leaders are poised to cross-endorse Democrat Rose Sconiers and Republican Frank Caruso, which means that their names will appear on both party lines on the ballot, in effect assuring them reelection.

Cross-endorsements are just one additional, after-the-fact aspect of the complex ways in which New York's system of judicial selection lacks accountability. The complex convention process for judicial nominations that precedes a cross endorsement is even worse. That is why the Second Circuit court of Appeals aptly described it as "byzantine"...and unconstitutional. Next week, the U.S. Supreme Court, which granted review, will hear the case. The Brennan Center's Fritz Schwarz will argue the case for the plaintiffs who are systemically denied a voice in the choice of their own party's standard bearear.

The Daily News expressed our thoughts exactly in an editorial this morning: this year "must be the end of boss rule over New York's courts."

Read a collection of "best-of" excerpts and quotes from the extraordinarily powerful amicus briefs submitted by groups on the right, left, and in-between.

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