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Don't Throw Justice Under The BusPosted Thursday, September 27, 2012, at 12:07 AM
Most everyone would agree that the best justice system is one in which justice cannot be bought.
For years Iowa has had a system of appointing judges by a process of merit selection. In some states, judges have to run for election and solicit contributions to fund their campaigns. Who would want his case decided by a judge he did not help elect---especially if his adversary had contributed to that judge's campaign? Merit selection is by far the better approach.
Judges must make tough, unpopular decisions when the law requires it. Judges are not supposed to publicly comment about a case being decided.
There is a present campaign/bus tour to unseat Justice David Wiggins because Wiggins joined a unanimous court in a decision three years ago concerning gay marriage.
If a voter wants to vote not to retain a judge because the judge is not a good judge (ie repeatedly exhibits poor temperament, is biased, or never gets the decisions out in timely fashion) so be it. But to vote not to retain a judge only because one does not agree with one controversial opinion that judge joined three years ago does nothing but throw our justice system under the bus.
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Description: JP's take on legal (and other) issues which interest him. Biography: Born in Spencer Iowa, February 6, 1957; Graduated Spencer High School 1975; University of Iowa (B.B.A. 1979); Creighton University School of Law (J.D. 1984); American Jurisprudence Award: Debtor/Creditor Relations; Assistant State Attorney, Florida, 12th Judicial Circuit, 1986-89; Assistant Clay County Iowa Attorney, 1989-93; Iowa State Bar Association: Volunteer Lawyers, 1993- ; American Citizenship Committee, 1994-98; Bridge the Gap Committee 1991-94; Criminal Justice Act Panel Member, 2002- ; National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, 2004- ; Iowa Association for Justice, 2004- ; American Bar Association, 1984- ; Florida Bar Association, 1986- .
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