Wednesday, February 16, 2011

NYS moves to minimize judicial campaign corruption

Whenever they don't like a judicial decision, many conservatives rant against 'unelected judges'... except of course, for US Supreme Court justices Scalia and Thomas. Calling a judge unelected is suppose to delegitimize his or her authority, even though our sainted Founding Fathers structured the judiciary this way intentionally to give it a degree of independence.

However, electing judges, as most states do to varying degrees, has its own problems. In a system where money is fraudulently equated to speech, elected judges are subject to the same corrupting influence of legalized campaign bribes as elected politicians.

New York's top judge has recognized this and made the state the first in the nation to implement a policy on the financing of judicial campaigns. Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman announced new rules that would bar judges in the state from hearing any case in which the lawyers or participants donated $2,500 or more to the judge's electoral campaign.

This is a very welcome move by the chief judge to help ensure the integrity of the courts. The move also recognizes the corrupting influence of money on electoral campaigns in a way that should give lie to the 'money equals speech' fraud.

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