Are Voters in Judicial Elections Really Racist?
August 29, 2012
The Pennsylvania branch of the George Soros-financed “merit” selection campaign are pushing the notion that presumably racist voters are keeping women and minorities off the bench. “Judicial elections,” we’re informed, “may be one cause of the disparity.” Elections put “a premium on fundraising and political connections,” while “qualifications and diversity are not emphasized” when voters pull the lever.
There are a couple problems here. First, as I’ve written before, “merit” selection has been under fire in several states for failing to produce a racially diverse slate of judicial nominees. The Florida NAACP went so far as to charge that “the specter of discrimination has been raised” by the state’s judicial nominating commission and that its closed-door deliberations make it impossible “to investigate misconduct or discrimination within the nominating process.” In Maryland, the Legislative Black Caucus blocked a proposal by the Attorney General to end judicial elections and install “merit” selection.
Second, “merit” selection proponents constantly claim that the only considerations involved when judicial nominating commissions meet behind closed doors involve qualifications for the bench. I’ve not seen any research to suggest that the color of a judge’s skin plays any role in his/her ability to understand and apply the law.
Of course, this propensity for casually sliming voters as racist may be one of the reasons why “merit” selection hasn’t made it out of the starting gate in Pennsylvania – despite over 20 years of effort and millions of Soros $$$.