Washington Libertarian Review

Political commentary from the State of Washington with a libertarian perspective.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

State judicial races to become more political

The News Tribune reports: State judicial races might get bigger shot of party politics, apparently with some sense of alarm. A federal court of appeals recently lifted a prohibition against judges identifying their political affiliations and opinions. After all, say critics, "that could open courtroom doors to biased judges, unfair trials and increased special interest influence."

This is nothing but a matter of perspective. The very reason why judges are asked to decide cases is because there is a strong difference of opinion between the litigants about what is right or wrong in the circumstance.

Although it is possible for a judge to come down somewhere in the middle, more often than not one side wins and the other side loses. Then the winning side says the judge was fair, unbiased and without undue influence, and the other side suspects foul play. Its in the nature of the beast.

Nobody really thinks judges don't have opinions before they come to the bench. It's only human nature to have them. And before they come to the bench they have typically honed the skill of advancing those opinions as attorneys representing clients.

So, how could it possibly be that allowing judicial candidates to express their opinions before they get elected is a bad thing? The alternative is to promulgate a sham on an unsuspecting public.


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