News: Fair and Impartial State Courts

News: Fair and Impartial State Courts

May 14, 2009, The State Journal, "O’Connor’s Concern Continues for State Judicial Election System.”  Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is one of the most outspoken national voices to say West Virginia should change how judges are elected.  O’Connor, honorary chairwoman of the American Bar Association Commission on Fair and Impartial State Courts, said in recent weeks that the 2004 state Supreme Court election tarnished the state’s reputation. The ABA considers itself the national voice of the legal profession.  She spoke in early May at the ABA’s summit in Charlotte, N.C., on fair and impartial court structures. O’Connor has said West Virginia should leave behind partisan judicial elections to avoid the appearance of bias, an argument at the forefront of U.S. Supreme Court case heard March 3….

May 14, 2009.  CBS 59 WVNS, “O’Connor’s Concern Continues for State Judicial Election System: The former justice said a 2004 state Supreme Court election has tarnished West Virginia’s reputation.”  Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor is one of the most outspoken national voices to say West Virginia should change how judges are elected.  She spoke in early May at the ABA’s summit in Charlotte, N.C., on fair and impartial court structures. O’Connor has said West Virginia should leave behind partisan judicial elections to avoid the appearance of bias, an argument at the forefront of U.S. Supreme Court case heard March 3.  Hugh Caperton, et al, v. A.T. Massey, et al, had its beginnings in the 2004 election and also a decade ago in the coalfields…

May 12, 2009, The West Virginia Record, “O'Connor cites Caperton case in blasting judicial elections.”  Retired U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor told an audience of American Bar Association members in Charlotte, N.C. last week that the public is growing distrustful of elected judges, and she used the Harman Mining case against state Chief Justice Brent Benjamin as an example of the problem of judicial elections….

May 9, 2009, The ABA Journal, “O’Connor on Judicial Elections: ‘They’re Awful. I Hate Them.’”  Warnings that judicial elections increasingly threaten to undermine the independence of courts were bookends for Friday's ABA summit on how to preserve fair and impartial state courts.  "I'm still resolute that how we select our judges is crucial to a fair and impartial judiciary," retired Associate Justice Sandra Day O'Connor told some 300 attendees during a keynote speech Friday morning at the summit in Charlotte, N.C…

May 8, 2009, The ABA Journal, “Survey: Many Americans Today Would Get ‘F’ in Civics (Take a Pop Civics Quiz).”  Ask Americans what they know about the role of courts in state government, and the answer is likely to be: not much.  In a survey conducted earlier this year for the National Center for State Courts, only 31 percent of the respondents earned a “high” ranking for their answers to a series of questions about the overall operations of state courts and their relationship to the other government branches. Another 31 percent of the respondents achieved a low knowledge index score, while 39 percent of the respondents achieved a medium score…

March 2009, The ABA Journal, “ABA President's Message: Promoting Fair and Impartial Courts,” One core value of the legal profession is to promote an independent judiciary. The recession has made the issue more critical than ever. Hardly a week passes without news of jurisdictions severely cutting criminal, civil or juvenile justice programs due to revenue shortfalls. Our ability to maintain courts as an independent branch of government is undermined if they simply do not have the resources they need….

Advertisement