Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Head of the Bar Association on our Judicial Election System.

I am too exhausted to write much tonight, but I wanted to highlight a really important column in today's Daily News, written by Philly Bar Association Andrew Chirls, on the way in which Philly picks its judges.
NOW THAT yesterday's primary is behind us, it's obvious that anyone paying attention to the way judges are chosen in Philadelphia is bound to come away with a host of strong feelings, all pretty much negative.

The words that immediately come to mind are: outrageous, disgraceful, pitiful, obscene. And those are the milder terms.

How else to react to a system that openly courts convicted felons as electoral advisers? That measures the worthiness of judicial candidates by how well they can sing karaoke? That has judicial candidates handing ward leaders checks for $1,000 or $2,000 in return for possible endorsements, and party-endorsed candidates forking over as much as $35,000 to Democratic City Committee?

And there is this, which I guess is about judges, but could reference Philly politics generally:
We, as citizens, need for them to live up to their leadership positions by working to make sure that merit and qualifications are part of the system.

The alternative to this is the same old failed mechanisms. Philadelphia cannot afford that. We must demand action from our political leaders now.
Check out the whole thing if you get a chance.


At 10:02 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Phila Bar Association has no right to claim that the Phila Dem Party is responsible for placing unqualified individuals on the bench. They, after all, recommended several individuals who had not even paid their property taxes (which supports the Phila School System). Why has no one spoken on this. In addition, many of the individuals who were rated "RECOMMENDED" by the Phila Bar Association in 2003 are complete disastors on the bench. Furthermore, the Phila Bar Assn. process for determination as to who is RECOMMENDED or NOT RECOMMENDED is flawed, biased and arbitrary. Until they address the fairness that is lacking in their own process no one from that organization is qualified to speak against the current process for selecting judges in Philadelphia county.


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