Judicial elections, democratic appointment (e.g., senate confirmation), and the Missouri Plan (a/k/a "merit selection")

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Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Oklahoma "Reign of Judicial Terror"

A former Oklahoma state senator, Kenneth Corn, a Democrat published an op-ed defending the state's version of the Missouri Plan from proposals to switch the state to contestable judicial elections or a democratic appointment system.  Under these proposals, he writes, "misguided politicians would give us a system that would unleash activist judges to launch a reign of judicial terror on citizens." 

As the Tulsa World summarizes, "Currently, judicial vacancies are filled by the governor from a list of nominees from the Judicial Nominating Commission. Six of the commission's 15 members are lawyers elected by the bar association. Of the remaining nine members, six are appointed by the governor, one by the speaker of the House, one by the president pro tem of the Senate and one by the other members of the commission."  My objection to this system is the power it gives the bar.

An attorney member of the commission, John Tucker, defends it here.

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