Sunday, April 27, 2014

Judicial Selection: Accepting the Inherent Nature of Transactional Politics

By Patrick Kennedy
Patrick Kennedy, a third year law student at Albany Law School, graduated from the College of Saint Rose in 2011 with a Bachelor's Degree in History and Political Science and a minor in Philosophy. Patrick is interested in New York State politics and government, having interned with the New York State Executive Chamber while in law school. Previously, Patrick interned with the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services, in the Offices of Assemblyman Phil Boyle and Congressman Paul Tonko, and with the New York City Office of State Legislative Affairs.
Mr. Kennedy has been published by the Center previously. (See Breyer on Religious Freedoms, Feb. 2, 2014.)
This paper and presentation were prepared for Prof. Bonventre's Judicial Process seminar, Fall 2013.

If you were to stop and ask someone on the street whether judges should be qualified, independent, and impartial, virtually everyone would answer in the affirmative.  It seems like common sense; such factors are touted as the cornerstones of a functioning judiciary.

However, if you were to dig a little deeper and ask what actually makes courts independent and impartial or what “qualified” actually means, you would get a plethora of different answers. If you narrowed the inquiry even further by asking specifically whether appointing judges or electing judges is more beneficial to judicial independence and impartiality, you would find advocates on both sides.

Should the judiciary be the “least democratic” of the three branches of government in not only the decisions judges issue from the bench, but when the judge assumes office from the get-go?
(click to enlarge)

To read the paper, open HERE.
To view the complete slide presentation, open HERE.
(Then, for the best view, click File + Download, and Open the download.)