Giant step backward

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I read an Op. Ed piece in the Nashville newspaper not too long ago.  The writer was concerned with the method that Tennessee had been electing appellate court judges.  He felt that having a committee of informed lawyers and lay people reviewing the first year or so of the appointed judge’s service via interviews and reviewing the cases, followed by making public the result – including an approval/disapproval recommendation, was not giving the voters a fair chance of electing a judge.  Personally I would find it very hard to know who would make a good impartial judge.  I do not follow trials; I do not know the law.  On the other hand, I find it very helpful to be informed by an impartial, knowledgeable committee.  To me, this keeps judges honest.  Indeed, I would like it very much if we had such a rating/review system for those who run for lower court judgeships.  In nearby West Virginia, appellate court judges have to run a full campaign.  Not surprisingly, the results have been judges who are swayed, not by law but by the companies and supporters that fund their campaigns.  To the extent possible government, especially those who interpret the law should be a meritocracy; I find it hard to believe anyone does not want this for Tennessee.

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