A Strong Defense of Judicial Elections
August 15, 2011
In an inteview with the Grand Rapids Press (MI) Former Michigan Chief Justice Clifford Taylor presents a principled defense for democratic judicial elections and (again) exposes the flaws of the so-called “merit” selection system.
What makes Taylor’s defense of judicial elections all the more compelling is that he himself lost a tough campaign for re-election following a series of attack ads. When asked about his support for judicial elections given his own recent experience with them Taylor says:
“Because you have one bad outcome doesn’t mean the whole system is awful. The fact that there can be misfires in a democratic system is no different than any other system. As I have characterized it, elections may have some warts but they are beauty queens compared to merit selection.”
Joining Taylor at the Press was Colleen Pero, author of Justice Hijacked (and, full disclosure, my wife). Pero and Taylor are keeping a close eye on Michigan’s Judicial Task Force which is evaluating judicial selection in Michigan. The Task Force touts former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor as an honorary co-chair.
Of course, O’Connor has been waging a national campaign against democratic state judicial elections since she stepped down from the Supreme Court. While the Judicial Task Force claims to have “no predetermined position” on how to change Michigan’s system for picking judges, let’s just say I won’t be surprised if the Task Force somehow concludes that the best way to serve Michigan voters is to cut them out of the process for picking judges and replace them with a “merit” panel.