Wednesday May 12, 2010 | Judge Selection: Merit vs. Election

May 10, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Posted in Coming Up | 4 Comments

We’ll examine the long-running debate on whether North Carolina judges should continue to campaign for election or be appointed to the bench by merit selection. We’ll hear both sides of the debate as well as an historical overview of the process in the past and proposals for changing the way we select judges in the future. Join us for a look at the selection of judges.
James Ferguson
– Founding Partner, Ferguson, Stein, Chambers Law Firm
John Wester – President, North Carolina Bar Association
David Swindell- Assoc. Professor & Program Director, Public Policy at UNC Charlotte

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  1. […] WFAE: Wednesday May 12, 2010 | Judge Selection: Merit vs. Election 5/10/2010 […]

  2. My thinking is that many citizens without law degrees could make excellent judges. Maybe if we disqualified those with an income above 30K or property above 60K (net) we could get some common sense in the legal equation. It seems unfair for a well-invested and well-connected elite to decide the fates of the vast relatively deprived majority. A millionaire administrative law judge without any real experience of manual labor is not qualified to decide the job-injured high school graduate’s disability or comp. benefits. He/she lacks the pertinent experience. More and more I think law should be administered by juries and enterprises should be managed (and owned) by all employees. Capitalism’s moral and ethical bankruptcy colors the law too. That’s plain to see.

  3. The problem with the election of judges is that good judges are not necessarily good politicians. I have been a member of th North CArolina Bar for over 25 years. I am a strong advocate of public education and for years advocated the election of judges . However, public apathy has forced me to change my view. Judicial appointment has become necessary. However I worry that very good judges may be ignored during the vetting process.

  4. In the 2008 election several local judges were voted off the bench and this was not an accident. More people than you might think come in contact with the judicial system and form opinions about the quality of the judges they encounter. Many comments have been made about Bill Belk, The reason he was elected was not because of who he is, it was do to the quality of the judge he was running against.

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