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Sandra Day O'Connor leads new push to eliminate elected judges:
http://hosted.ap.org/dynamic/stories/U/US_APPOINTED_JUDGES?SITE=AP&SECTION=HOME&TEMPLATE=DEFAULT

JAS
 
Posts: 586 | Location: Denton,TX | Registered: January 08, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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That's about the hundredth time she has led that charge.
 
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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http://www.abqjournal.com/opinion/guest_columns/guest12-28-02.htm

Here's an opinion piece I wrote for the Albuquerque paper some time ago about this very subject and how it works in N.M.

The worst judge I ever had to appear before was Dist. Judge Paul Onuska of Farmington, N. Mex. He was picked and appointed under the very system Justice O'Connor favors. After 18 years he was finally not "retained" by the voters, by a tiny margin. If he had served in a large media market, he'd still be on the bench. Here's the website I put up about him: http://judicialtruth.com/index.html

Collectively, the best judges I served before were in Zimbabwe, right after Independence. To be a magistrate there, you had to pass a civil service exam, and then be selected by a board, I believe. Then you sat beside an experienced magistrate and heard cases with him, and he tutored you on the art of deciding cases for about 6 mos. Then they sent you to do the same thing with another experienced magistrate. Then they gave you a minor court in a big courthouse, where you could call on your more experienced fellow judges when you needed help. You climbed up the ladder by being a good judge. It was not a place for prima donnas, ignoramuses or lazy bones.
 
Posts: 686 | Location: Beeville, Texas, U.S.A. | Registered: March 22, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Obviously anyone can make a bad initial choice in picking a judge regardless of who does the choosing. But partisan elections make it more difficult to remove poor judges and on occasion cause the removal of the better candidate. We must find a way to remove the influence of money in judicial elections. I do not have the answer, but I recognize the need to solve the problem, just as others have on this forum. Merit Selection and Appoint Now and Grisham to the Rescue.
 
Posts: 2368 | Registered: February 07, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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We also need to remove the influence of party affiliation - there have been outstanding judges who lost due to nothing more than having an R or D by their name.
 
Posts: 1089 | Location: UNT Dallas | Registered: June 29, 2004Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Interesting subject of discussion on a forum set up for the benefit of elected prosecutors and their staff.
 
Posts: 261 | Location: Lampasas, Texas, USA | Registered: November 29, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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On that note, here's an interesting fact: If I recall my numbers correctly, all but 7 states appoint their local judges, whereas all but 3 states elect their local prosecutors (in the other 3, the state AG appoints local prosecutors).

Why the discrepancy?
 
Posts: 2418 | Location: TDCAA | Registered: March 08, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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Prosecutors have better lobbyists.
 
Posts: 7860 | Location: Georgetown, Texas | Registered: January 25, 2001Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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I think to some extent it reflects the amount of discretion each official should have in setting office policies- prosecution decisions such as intake, charging, sentencing, pretrial diversions, trial frequency, and many, many others are a direct reflection of community standards. The fine for a first time DWI in Texas might vary from one county to another by a factor of 10. However, the ruling on a suppression hearing ought to be relatively consistent across the entire state. I realize that judges do end up making discretionary decisions (probation, shock probation, etc) but by the time a case has gotten there the ADA has made a half dozen discretionary decision that ought to reflect local community standards.
 
Posts: 394 | Location: Waco, Tx | Registered: July 24, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
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