Judge Not | Indy Week

Judge Not 
Member since Apr 10, 2010


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Re: “Should North Carolinians elect jurists?

Judges are unlike any other politician who runs for election-- they do not represent any constituency; judging is not a function of personal politics- it's exactly the opposite. Judges are sworn to uphold the laws of NC...that's it.

Mr. Storch opines that the public should support his candidacy because he is not taking campaign contributions. However, he hasn't followed the current law. In 2009, as a result of contribution issues with Meg Scott Phipps and Jim Black, our legislature amended the threshold amount to $1000. It is no longer $3000. So if the filing fee for any position exceeds $1000, which it does for district court judge, that candidate is no longer exempt from filing financial reports with the State Board of Elections. (NCGS ยง 163‑278.10A). Storch hasn't updated his filings with the SBOE.

Direct election of judges is popular with the public. Since so many people don't feel that they know enough about the people running for judge or that they know what qualifications are required for an individual to be a good judge, the desire of the public to participate directly in these elections does not necessarily produce the best jurists. We are about to watch, again, how a nominee for US Supreme Court is vetted, nominated and confirmed. That is a rigorous form of merit selection which results in a lifetime appointment to the bench. Consider that no NC judge sits for a lifetime and any merit selection process would include a retention election system. The time for merit selection for judges is here and the legislature should move in that direction.

Posted by Judge Not on 04/10/2010 at 11:33 AM

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