Tuesday, July 19, 2005

The Court

I've been trying to stay pretty much non-political lately since the election. Those of you who were with me back in November remember my almost daily rants and commentary on the election... But anyway, a relative wrote an op-ed piece and shared it with me and since I agree with it fully, I post it here for you all to read as well.. enjoy:

The issue of the confirmation of federal judges highlights the partisan approach that we accept in our government. Why is the naming of particular judges so important if their purpose is to be unbiased in matters before them? Surely all of the candidates for federal judgeships are well qualified so why should we accept a situation where a candidate’s political activities and allegiance are so important? .

Perhaps it’s time to consider a different approach. Under the current system the President nominates all federal judges. But the constitution permits Congress to control the manner of selecting judges to courts other than the Supreme Court. Congress could, by law, require the Supreme Court to establish standards and qualifications for other federal judgeships….perhaps years of practice and prior experience; academic and education requirements; personal and professional recommendations by active judges; bar association standards and whatever other guidelines make sense to select the best and brightest of the legal profession that aspire to judgeships.

Lists of qualified individuals for each of the courts could be maintained and when an opening arises a name would be picked at random. The confirmation process would start from that point. This one change would remove the major political motivation under the current system and would provide a certain balance that is missing in the current system. The ideological center of the court system would usually be near the actual center of where society is without the entire system of party politics controlling it.

Congress has the power to make this change but it is doubtful that they would touch such a cornerstone of power politics and any President would not look kindly upon losing so much influence. In other words the process of selecting federal judges will change sometime after lobbying is found to be a corrupting influence.

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