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Discussion: Judicial Elections


Judicial Elections  

4 members have voted

  1. 1. Should the current system be replaced

    • Yes, and we should justices appointed
    • Yes, but we should have non-partisan elections
    • No, it is fine as it is

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Editorial from the Birmingham News about the state's judiciary selection process

The topic of the judiciary selection process in the state has become more prominent than ever since both State Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has the most expansive judiciary election in the country. We should have an open discussion on our current system on whether it should or shouldn't be thrown out.

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State considers new way to pick judges

It seems that there are 2 bills both in the State House and Legislature to change the judicial elections in the state from partisan to nonpartisan elections/appointment system.

However, opponents like Mike DeBow of the Stamford's Cumberland School of Law, is saying that partisan election is the voters' way of controlling judges.

"They can vote for judges with judicial philosophies closer to their own, lowering the chances that state judges will engage in judicial activism," he said.
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The 'hybrid' method sounds best to me, with non-partisan retention elections every 4 or 6 years: the Governor appoints, the Legislature confirms, the voters retain. Selecting candidates would still be wrought with politics, of course, and mediocre judges could still make it through, but at least they're not standing in partisan elections or appointed for life.

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Sue Bell Cobb wants PAC money banned in all state judiciary races

On Thursday before the Rotary Club of Birmingham, State Chief Justice Sue Bell Cobb has called for the limiting of campaign contributions to $250 and all out ban on PAC funds in state court and judiciary races. She also called for including merit appointments for judicial vacancies and nonpartisan races for sitting appeals court judges. The proposed reforms would promote judicial independence, which is crucial to the justice system.

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