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The Merits of Merit Selection

October 31, 2007

The only time “merit selection” panels were used to select Judges in the history of Pennsylvania was in 1987 when Gov. Casey responded to the revelation of corrupt Judges in the “Roofers Scandal”. He appointed citizen panels to recommended independent Judges for election and appointment. After an extensive application procedure, review of qualifications and personal interviews, Governor Casey sent the names of five Judges to the Senate for confirmation. The political establishment took issue with the manner in which these Judges had been selected and only two were confirmed by the Senate. The successful campaign for the election of all five became known as the “Casey Five”. Four of these merit Judges are on the ballot for retention this year. (The fifth Casey five Judge, Legrome Davis serves with distinction as a Federal Judge).

“Merit Selection” jurisdictions, which appoint Judges through independent panels, continue a retention election system. Retention elections allow the electorate to remove unqualified Judges. Retention elections allow Judges to stay out of politics. As delegates to the 1968 Constitutional convention have said:
“This reelection method was designed to keep judges out of the political fray while at the same time holding them accountable to the voters based on their overall performance in office. Under the retention system, the public is able to evaluate its judges while the judges are able to maintain their independence which is essential to their role in our Democratic system of government.”

Vote for the retention of qualified Judges on Tuesday, November 6, 2007.

Submitted by Mark I. Bernstein, Judge of the Court of Common Pleas, Philadelphia County

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One Comment leave one →
  1. ya know permalink
    January 29, 2010 12:12 am

    laughs…on of the Common Judges of that scandal was my ex-boss…from a law firm I worked @ when I was a young legal secretary…another was from IRS … I met in the very first law office I worked @… and the third .. I met @ law office #1 & #2… & actually #3 crossed up in my personal life a decade later…I am just out here doing research for the book I am writing ….

    & ya know…….there is no such thing as TRUTH … or JUSTICE… within that SYSTEM of PILGRIM LAWS…. esp. from the CITY of BROTHERLY LOVE……..

    Waves hiya to all my ex-esquire bosses who now sit on the HIGH & MIGHTY PILGRIM LAW THRONES…..

    2012 Prophecy is Coming….

    from a STENO PAD of the PITMAN stuck in the Painted Cave of Maya Mind!

    Blessings Blessings Blessings
    & I prayed for those sinners back then & at the hour of their death..

    Our Father Whose ART is in HEAVEN…and so is all the TRUTH of who did WHAT!

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