I read an ACLU report on a judge who sentenced a non-violent drug offender with 2 kids to life in prison. Is there any one who thinks this kind of thing is just? Is there any one who would vote for this judge and the prosecutor in the case if they were elected instead of appointed? State judges and DAs are elected. Why not federal judges and DAs? Sitting on the bench is too powerful a position to put in the hands of unelected individuals.
We can compromise on this by having several "qualified" individuals nominated by different political affiliations and then elect one of them. This ensures that everyone wins. This should apply to each and every level except the Supreme Court. This would uphold the Constitution and everyone SHOULD be happy. O. K.!
Judges need to be held accountable for what they do. Appointed judges usually have many contributors to their campaign and it is almost like i'll scratch your back if you scratch mine kind of thing. Elected judges are picked by the people and not some rich fat cat.
Judges, in effect, make law. While some might be of the opinion that judges are accountable to "the law", they're not if they are able to change law by reinterpreting it, creatively applying it, or even nullifying it. I find it interesting, in the case of the US Supreme Court, that nine bright people reading the same facts in a case, the same Constitution, and the same precedent and case law can come to a 5-4 or 6-3 decision. This tells me that they are not accountable to "the law" as written, they are imposing their personal political philosophies on the citizens, without recourse by those citizens. In this way, judges serve a legislative function. As de facto legislators, they should be accountable to the voters. Short of direct elections, I think that term limits should be applied to judicial tenure.
I have perhaps a unique and strange compromise proposal: In the case of SCOTUS, justices should be elected to serve twelve-year terms. Every presidential election year, three of the nine justices would be up for re-election or new candidates would run for office. The terms would be staggered so that, over twelve years, the entire membership of the court would be subject to the scrutiny of the ballot box. This would strike a balance between stability of the court and accountability. Since a justice tends to vote in accordance with his/her personal political philosophy, there needs to be some accountability to the electorate. Lifetime appointment, in my opinion, is not compatible with the concept of a republic; it more in keeping with a judicial oligarchy.
Judges must carry service for people, not for politics. Why elected judge is better? Because law+people is better than law+politicians. Otherwise we are locked in circulus vitiosus. Judges serving politicians for life make those politicians immortal, too. Judges being not accountable for people make their own rules which were not legitimised by people.
It's apart of every Americans right to be heard by elected judges. They are somethings that are ingrained into our society through the constitution and common law. One of the most powerful tools we have in our defense is elections. We could take America in one direction in an instant with a vote. Any direction that is the will of the people could possible be achieved. Without an elected judge in office we lose rights bestowed upon us by the founding fathers. Elected judges are the only judges with legal rights to hear your case in a common law court room. Not all courts are common law or even courts of record and it takes several appeals before you usually get to them for any real justice.
British Government was created to uphold the power of the crown. Ignorant founder parents just replaced appointed officials by elected ones, but their original power was not removed. Judges were appointed lifetime precisely to be immune to the public opinion or influence. The house of Lords as the king or queen could assassinate a judge and go away with it (even today), so the loyalty and obedience of judges to the crown was never in doubt. Today Judges owe no loyalty to other than to themselves, their political party and the lawyers as a group in the bar association. I've seen judges afraid of the prosecutor office but never afraid of jurors or public, while all the contrary from witnesses to jurors and public in court room...EVERYBODY IS ORDERED WHAT TO SAY AND HOW TO THINK IN EACH SINGLE TRIAL IN ANY COURT ROOM.
JUDGES HAVE TO RUN FOR OFFICE AT THE SAME LEVEL AS HOUSE REPRESENTATIVES AND ANYBODY FROM PLUMBERS TO TEACHERS CAN RUN FOR OFFICE AS JUDGES SO AS TO REMOVE THE POWER AND VANITY OF THE BAR ASSOCIATION FROM THE JUDICIARY.
THE US CONSTITUTION PREAMBLE SAYS "WE THE PEOPLE" NOT "WE THE JUDGES".
LAWYERS CAN BE HIRED AS CONSULTANTS TO JUDGES AND COMPUTERS CAN ASSIST ELECTED JUDGES IN CURRENT LAWS AND CASE LAWS FOR EACH INDIVIDUAL CASE EACH JUDGE IS CONSIDERING...NO NEED TO BE AN EXPERT LAWYER KNOWING ALL.
LAWYERS CONTINUE FAILING ANYWAYS WITH INNOCENT PEOPLE IN JAIL AND CRIMINALS ON THE STREETS. THERE ARE ONLY 2 MILLION JAIL CELLS WHILE 12 MILLION PEOPLE GET ARRESTED EACH YEAR...OF COURSE "CRIMINALS" JUST GO THROUGH IN AND OUT TO CONTINUE VICTIMIZING THE PUBLIC. We need other solutions and other mindsets in those court rooms to address the situation of 1.5 million drug users arrested each year, 1.7 million drunk drivers (with 17 millions drunk-drivers each year), 3+ millions thieves arrested each year....And so on. Then we need to lower the crazy US $250 billion in tort lawsuits and the US $100 billion in fees and salaries from lawyers, police & legal workers.
Most law students that I have ever met tend to be more liberal than the average person. I believe that this translates into liberal sentencing in many cases. In this respect they are not upholding the law, they are imposing their own personal political bias onto a process that should be unbiased. Having elected judges would mean that those who hand out sentences which are not commensurate with the crimes committed would be removed from office.
First of all, electing judges makes the system much more democratic. Did you know senators were originally supposed to be appointed by state legislatures? In 1913, the 17th Amendment superseded that, making senators elected by voters. Why? Because the USA is a democratic country, and such a method was best representative of that.
Secondly, elections make the judges more accountable to the people, another effect the 17th had on senators. I see a response in the Con column saying that judges should 'only be accountable to the law'. It is manifestly naive and idealistic to hold that even the best judges are truly without political leaning; in fact, nowadays we even classify them by party. Given, then, that a perfect judiciary is impossible anyways, it is preferable to at least have a judiciary that knows the thoughts of the people, as opposed to a judiciary composed of a bunch of, frankly, old people (in general) who may not be as receptive to controversial topics such as abortion.
If the election of judges is withdrawn as a means to appointment a candidate into office, then judges would serve on the bench for the sake of duty rather than service to the community. Electing officials into office empowers members of the voting community by giving registered voters the opportunity to select a representative who can address the concerns of the citizens. Voters expect judges to be authoritative officials who address legal matters in hopes that communities and lives will be protected from wrongdoing. It is important for judges to be involved in the positive construction of a community. Voting is a fundamental right that should not be taken away.
Judges are part of the judicial branch of government and the constitution states that the judicial branch should be independent. If judges were to be elected they could not do this they would have to earn votes from the people and to do that they would have to have an opinion of some form which would go against the constitution.
Judges should be accountable to the written law not special interest groups or people who do not understand the legal system. A public out cry to convict an innocent person before a election can end badly for the accused and justice would suffer. The judge and jury should be free from any pressure by the media or public to make a decision. If the legal system is broken then their are other ways to fix the problem.
I believe that judges should be appointed and confirmed by our elected officials. This helps judges remain focused on the Law and not supporters. They have to be confirmed by both parties and thus are not beholding to either. Judges should be free to interpret and apply the law without being concerned about political reprecussions.
Judges are supposed to be unbiased and uphold legal precedent as well as the constitutional values of this nation in law. The people who want judges to be elected are control freaks, usually the kind who can't stand that things like abortion are allowed by our law. Judges create legal precedent and follow that precedent. They represent this nation yes.. but not its people, they represent the legal foundation of everyone.. we may not always like their rulings but the law is the law. Electing judges would only corrupt them.
When judges run for election, they have to spend time fund raising and running a campaign. The most successful judges may not be the most popular judges. The positions should be appointed by merit and not left to the whim of the electorate.
Although I don't agree with judges being appointed for life, I also don't think that the American public is educated enough to intelligently vote on judges. Our elections have become nothing more than sound bites and candidate appearances, and that certainly isn't what is important when picking a judge. So, let the judges be appointed and screened by the Senate.
While it's good to have the accountability of elections, judges should not be subject to running campaigns or winning the popular vote. This creates too much overlap with the legislative and executive branches, which are subject to popular vote. Appointing judges allows for a different type of selection process for one branch of government, and generally leads to more qualified candidates.
Judges should not be elected to serve on the bench because it politicizes criminal and civil law enforcement. Most countries have judges appointed so it's based on skill rather than popular opinion. When judges fear re-election campaigns, it influences their rulings and decisions. Judges should be free from such concerns and be able to focus on the trial in front of them.
Judges should not be able to serve on the bench if they can do so with no law experience, but are able to sway the voters by a chance election. The U.S. judicial system needs to be held to the highest standards and a popularity contest is no way to achieve that. A panel made up of police, lawyers and serving judges could fill any vacancies that open on the bench.
Elections often become popularity contests that cost a lot of money. If a judge is not well-known or does not have a lot of money, then they do not have as good of a chance. They might still have a better record and be a better judge, compared to the other person. I think the judge with the best record should be elected, rather than the one with the most money and name recognition.