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Thread: Should the judicial branch be democratically elected?

  1. #1
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    Should the judicial branch be democratically elected?

    No, the judicial system should not be subjected to the sway of public opinion anymore than it already is. I find it odd how many people are only adopting a position in favor of electing judges in response to the SCOTUS ruling. Support for political reform should not be motivated by enabling your side to win.
    Social democrat is no longer an accurate description of my views.

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    Re: Should the judicial branch be democratically elected?

    Voted No, there is little reason to expect different results just because we moved the politicalization of the process away from Congress and onto a similar process for the voter.
    "Every time something really bad happens, people cry out for safety, and the government answers by taking rights away from good people." - Penn Jillette.

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    Re: Should the judicial branch be democratically elected?

    Elected by whom? In what manner? How often? Isn't it better to have our three branches of government all determined in different ways? We have one with a national election, one with local and state elections, and one by appointment. And while the focus of this discussion is obviously the supreme court, what about federal judges? Would they be elected? By whom? In state courts, it can very between appointments and elections. Would this supersede those state decisions?

    This is a very complicated question.
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    Re: Should the judicial branch be democratically elected?

    Quote Originally Posted by SocialDemocrat View Post
    No, the judicial system should not be subjected to the sway of public opinion anymore than it already is. I find it odd how many people are only adopting a position in favor of electing judges in response to the SCOTUS ruling. Support for political reform should not be motivated by enabling your side to win.
    I say no. That would make things worse.

    Judges should be impeached when they do wrong.They can be impeached.
    "A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murder is less to fear"

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    Re: Should the judicial branch be democratically elected?

    Absolutely not! Electoral pressues puts upon judges the requirement to raise money and seek endorsements.

    This creates a huge and undesirable conflict of interest for judges. Especially for local elections. That's because the public very rarely engages in local judicial races. Instead the very first-in-line donors/endorsers are deep pocket lawyers, who try to use their funds, which the judges need to get re-elected, to buy favor and influence court decisions.

    At the same time lifetime appointments have also shown corruptability. Especially within the big city political machines that operated during the early 20th Century.

    I think one of the better models is executive appointed judges that are held to either retainer elections, or state house(s) confirmations.
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    Re: Should the judicial branch be democratically elected?

    Not just no, but "HELL NO!" Most state court judges are elected, right up to the State Supreme Courts. Most run unopposed and belong to whichever political party controls their district. They clearly represent the political ideology of that party and their decisions not only reflect that, but are easily swayed by public opinion if they expect to get re-elected.

    Supremes should remain free in the hope that they make unbiased decisions based on law, not public opinion. The only way to do that is to continue lifetime appointments. While this sometimes results in political hacks (like Clarence Thomas) who can be depended to vote the party line, it also allows for Judges like Kennedy, who are also able to base decisions on fair Constitutional grounds.
    If I stop responding it doesn't mean I've conceded the point or agree with you. It only means I've made my point and I don't mind you having the last word. Please wait a few minutes before "quoting" me. I often correct errors for a minute or two after I post before the final product is ready.

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    Re: Should the judicial branch be democratically elected?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Adverse View Post
    Not just no, but "HELL NO!" Most state court judges are elected, right up to the State Supreme Courts. Most run unopposed and belong to whichever political party controls their district. They clearly represent the political ideology of that party and their decisions not only reflect that, but are easily swayed by public opinion if they expect to get re-elected.

    Supremes should remain free in the hope that they make unbiased decisions based on law, not public opinion. The only way to do that is to continue lifetime appointments. While this sometimes results in political hacks (like Clarence Thomas) who can be depended to vote the party line, it also allows for Judges like Kennedy, who are also able to base decisions on fair Constitutional grounds.
    What makes lifetime appointments superior to term-limited appointments?
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    Re: Should the judicial branch be democratically elected?

    Quote Originally Posted by SocialDemocrat View Post
    No, the judicial system should not be subjected to the sway of public opinion anymore than it already is. I find it odd how many people are only adopting a position in favor of electing judges in response to the SCOTUS ruling. Support for political reform should not be motivated by enabling your side to win.
    I do not see that popular election of the USSC would improve anything.

  9. #9
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    Re: Should the judicial branch be democratically elected?

    Quote Originally Posted by SocialDemocrat View Post
    What makes lifetime appointments superior to term-limited appointments?
    Well, term limited appointments would have the same problem of sucking up to retain the post, only directed at the appointing authority instead of the electorate.

    But it also adds the additional problem of allowing each President the opportunity to stack the entire Court with loyal political hacks. Just look at Franklin Roosevelt and his attempts to increase the number of members on the Court so he could appoint a loyal majority in support of his social program.
    If I stop responding it doesn't mean I've conceded the point or agree with you. It only means I've made my point and I don't mind you having the last word. Please wait a few minutes before "quoting" me. I often correct errors for a minute or two after I post before the final product is ready.

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    Re: Should the judicial branch be democratically elected?

    Quote Originally Posted by Captain Adverse View Post
    Well, term limited appointments would have the same problem of sucking up to retain the post, only directed at the appointing authority instead of the electorate.

    But it also adds the additional problem of allowing each President the opportunity to stack the entire Court with loyal political hacks. Just look at Franklin Roosevelt and his attempts to increase the number of members on the Court so he could appoint a loyal majority in support of his social program.
    Not if Justices only served one term. I support staggered terms, with a new Justice appointed every 4 years or so in order to prevent a single presidency's appointees from singularly controlling the judiciary through court packing.
    Social democrat is no longer an accurate description of my views.

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