A Good Judge

A good judge is someone whom upholds justice and abides the law, while taking in the interests and opinions of the people. He should be selected through state judicial elections, where citizens have the final say based purely on factors such as popularity, qualifications and character. After all, we are the ones who elected the president, just because he portrays best the way we view ideology, ethics and values. Furthermore, more than 95 percent of the nation’s legal cases are decided by state or local courts. (Patterson 497).

This involves most cases, from criminal law (from shoplifting to murder) to civil law, which are the primary causes of danger to society. (Patterson 497) Consequently, if the judge turns out bad, citizens have only themselves to blame. In California, only superior court judges are elected. Supreme Court and Court of Appeal justices are nominated by the Governor, confirmed by the California Commission on Judicial Appointments, and then must be retained by voters in the next general election, and once again every twelve years, if they are to remain on the bench.

(Debate: Election_of_judges) Superior Court judges serve six-year terms; Supreme Court and Court of Appeal justices serve 12-year terms. (Debate:_Election_of_judges) Unfortunately, people have very little say when it comes to the elections; this is because candidates have already been chosen even before the election has taken place. As corruption prevails, to abide people from higher authorities, these elections are not proper; instead the merit plan should be implemented.

(Patterson 500) The most common form of judicial elections involves competitive elections of either a partisan or a non partisan nature. (Patterson 499) Just like in the merit plan, under which the governor appoints a judge from a short list of acceptable candidates provided by a judicial selection commission. The selected judge must then be reviewed periodically by the voters, who, rather than choosing between the judge and an opponent, simply decide by a “yes” or “no” vote whether the judge should be allowed to stay in office.

(Patterson 497) Korey writes, “In Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton argued that, being more protected from political pressures, courts could play a key role in checking and balancing the popularly elected branches of government” (Korey 91) All these points play a part to create a judge catered for the people, this is the reason why judicial elections should be promoted, instead of being turned over by higher political powers which in turn might result in corruption.

The state judiciary elections play a huge role which directly affects the lives of its citizens. With power and authority given to the people, to decide and select whoever they see fitting. This would not only reduce arguments and conflicts, but too improve on individual accountability and responsibilities. Sources: http://debatepedia. idebate. org/en/index. php/Debate:_Election_of_judges Patterson, Thomas. We the People. 9/e McGraw Hill. New York, NY. Print. 2011. Korey, John L. California Government, Fifth Edition. Wadsworth, Cengage Learning. Boston, MA. , 2009.