Saturday, August 30, 2008

Why Supreme Court Appointments - and Elections - Matter

From Monica Goodling engaged in criminal activity in appointing the country's lawyers based on why they "want to service George Bush," to Republicans insulting minorities everywhere by suggesting the intellect of Clarence Thomas is the best intellectual heft they have to offer the country, legal appointments in the US have reached historic low. While the crimes continue, the effect this has on the country's judicial system, and unfairly charged defendants, is far-reaching. Of course, real criminals enjoy the diversions that allow them to continue.

A new study by the NYTimes shows that:

[Legal] Practitioners are keenly award of this. The first question asked by many lawyers taking on a new case is “What judge has it been assigned to?” In recognition of how important judge selection can be, some states even allow litigants to strike the first judge assigned to a case and take a chance on doing better with a second pick.

The federal system does not provide for such challenges. Rather, in federal court, you must take the judge you get – and the judge you get (or, at least, what type of judge you are most likely to get over the long run) depends, in this age of vetting, almost exclusively on one thing – presidential elections. Another is upon us now.

No comments: