Opening Up the Bench
February 26th, 2007

The conviction Friday of former Brooklyn Democratic Party chief Clarence Norman for requiring judicial candidates to hire his political cronies proves “beyond a reasonable doubt that New York’s notoriously rigged, boss-driven system for electing judges must go,” the Daily News says in an editorial today. Norman’s conviction comes in the wake of federal court decisions that found the state’s method of selecting judges unconstitutional because, as the News explains it, the system “deprives the voters of any say over who gets on the New York bench by making it impossible for outsiders to run for election.”

But as that case goes on to the U.S. Supreme Court, the editorial warns, party bosses are still hoping they can win – or at least get in another round of judges before the courts put an end to such practices. “Governor Spitzer must not let this happen,” the News writes. “Ultimately, New York should move toward appointing state Supreme Court justices based on merit….In the meanwhile, lawmakers must give all comers the ability to get on the ballot for a spot on the bench by gathering a reasonable number of petition signatures, just the way candidates get to run for City Council, mayor or governor.”

By on February 26, 2007, 11:39 am
In category: Albany,Electoral Politics,Gotham City,Governing,Law | Comments Off on Opening Up the Bench

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