POV | Cut back on judicial elections
A plan being floated by a Kentucky State Representative proposes to do away with many of Kentucky's judicial elections by amending the state constitution to allow the governor to choose appellate judges from a list of three nominees provided by the state Judicial Nominating Commission.
In this week's Sunday Edition column, reporter Jason Riley explores a plan being floated by Kentucky State Rep. Jason Nemes to do away with many of Kentucky's judicial elections by amending the state constitution to allow the governor to CHOOSE appellate judges from a list of three nominees provided by the state Judicial Nominating Commission.
I like this idea, for several reasons.
First, it wouldn't be implemented until the next gubernatorial election. Governor Bevin should not be given this power now. But whether Kentucky voters re-elect him in 2020 - or choose a challenger instead - they'd be doing so with the full knowledge of this new power.
Secondly, these appointments wouldn't necessarily be for life. Voters WOULD have the opportunity to oust any of these judges in a referendum at the end of an eight-year term if any malfeasance or other disqualifying factor became evident.
Finally, under our current system, millions of dollars are spent on judicial campaigns - most of it coming from lawyers who will practice before the very people they help finance.
That's a situation that at the very least has a bad look about it. And the time and trouble that goes into campaigning keeps many of the very best potential judges from even seeking the post.
Representative Nemes seems to have some good ideas on this subject, and I'd like to see them receive full consideration.
I'm Bill Lamb and that's my Point of View.