The Real Source of Low Public Regard for Courts

March 30, 2012

Campaigners for “merit” selection like to claim that judicial elections and the fundraising they can entail are responsible for the low public opinion about the state of the judiciary.  But Ohio Supreme Court Chief Justice Robert Cupp and Justice Terrence O’Donnell have a different explanation.  At a meeting this week with Wooster, OH business and community leaders, Cupp and O’Donnell suggested that judicial activism, not democratic elections, are the true source of public discontent with judges:

“There is a separation of power in the state and country, ‘and in my view we need to honor and respect [that] separation and interpret law according to plain meaning.’ Cupp said. 

“The image [of the courts] was hurt because decisions made were not in conformity with what the legislation and the law was, but they were made by the whim of the court, O’Donnell said.  Some justices on the court figured they knew better what justice meant than the will expressed in the legislature through the policy-making branch of government …” 

Posted by in the categories: Judicial Elections, Merit Selection, Ohio