Should We Throw Senior Judges Off The Court?
July 10, 2012
Our friends over at Gavel Grab are making a big stink about a new study the California Commission on Judicial Performance which purports to show that elected judges are disciplined more often than appointed judges. The implication being, of course, that elected judges are scandal-prone while appointed judges are virtuous. I’ve pointed out the flaws in this argument before – but just for fun I read through the Commission’s report and found a few other conclusions that the Gavel Grabbers ignored for some reason.
· Between 1990 and 2009, male judges were more than twice as likely to be disciplined as female judges (1.42 cases per 100 judges vs. 2.9 cases per 100). Should men no longer be allowed to serve on the bench?
· Between 2000 and 2009, judges who had served 17 or more years on the bench were far more likely to be disciplined than judges who had served less than two years (2.45 cases per 100 judges vs. 1.46 per 100). Should we start kicking judges off the bench after a long career?
· Between 2000 and 2009, judges serving on small courts were nearly three times more likely to be disciplined than judges on large courts (4.25 cases per 100 judges vs. 1.62 cases per hundred). Should we shut down small courts?
· Between 2000 and 2009, judges age 30-39 had only 1.5 disciplinary actions per 100 judges compared to 2.07 for judges age 50-59. Should judges in their 50s be removed from office?
All of which may be why the study’s authors modestly concluded that the “data reported here do not permit conclusions to be drawn regarding causational factors.” Sounds like the only scandal here is the waste of taxpayer dollars that went into producing this report.