Picking how to pick judges

Brett Lieberman on the state party chairs now calling for “merit selection” of judges. Several points of irony:

  • Just a few years ago, Rooney, a former state representative from Bethlehem who chairs the state Democratic Party, was all for judicial elections. Ditto for Gleason, a Johnstown insurance businessman.” In other words, when voters completely ignore elections (and the party chiefs had their way) judges elections were fine. Now that voters are more active and have more information, judicial elections are bad.
  • The argument that judicial appointments are anti-reform – and give too much power to the Governor and partisan lawmakers – was used to defend judges in retention elections
  • Both party chair complain about the partisanship of the election – even though it is their fault. Lieberman mentions a Democratic ad implying that Pennsylvania will a Florida-like election case (hanging chads and all) if Republicans are elected to the courts. He could also mention a Republican campaign implying Supreme Court candidate Debra Todd loves drug dealers.