Sunday, December 06, 2009

Testimony Tomorrow on Merit Selection of Judges

Tomorrow, Monday, Dec. 7th, at 10:00 a.m. Lynn A. Marks, executive director of Pennsylvanians for Modern Courts (PMC) and PMCAction and PMC board chairman Robert Heim will testify before the Subcommittee on Courts in support of merit selection legislation (HB 1619 and 1621). Also testifying will be Charlotte Glauser, League of Women Voters of PA, J Wyatt Mondesire, president of the Pennsylvania NAACP and David Taylor, executive director of the Pennsylvania Manufacturers' Association.

From their press release:

PMC and PMCAction - along with a diverse coalition of civic, business and legal groups - are advocating for a constitutional amendment to change the way Pennsylvania selects its appellate court judges.

In this year's Supreme Court race, two candidates raised over $3 million as of Election Day, with a great deal of this money coming from lawyers, law firms and other organizations that could later litigate cases before the same judges they helped to elect. This amount will rise when fundraising concludes at the end of the year and third party spending, such as political party expenditures, are included.

Merit selection eliminates the problems caused by money in the judicial selection system by getting judges out of the fundraising business and eliminating expensive campaigns. It combines elements of elective and appointive systems and adds the new feature of a nonpartisan citizens nominating commission. The system is designed to get the most qualified and impartial judges on the bench.

No comments: