Monday, February 14, 2011

A different tack

NY is taking a different tack on judicial reform. In Tennessee, one of the major attacks against following the constitution is that if it is done judges could sit in front of lawyers they raised money for office from. Sort of like they are currently doing now to fight against judicial selection, but somehow it is different.

Any way, NY is running legislation that would remove a judge from a case if they had received a significant campaign amount from one of the competing attorney's. Pretty crafty in that the move does not violate the constitutional rights of the attorney's to donate money to a campaign or stop an election. It just moves the judge in some instances.

From the times article...

Campaign fund-raising of the more than 700 trial-level judges around the state who are elected has been a persistent source of complaints and allegations of corruption, with some judges doling out lucrative assignments to lawyers who were political contributors.

The decision takes the form of a new rule of the state court system and will be announced on Tuesday by Jonathan Lippman, the state’s chief judge. It is believed to be the most restrictive in the country, bluntly tackling an issue — money in judicial politics — that has drawn widespread attention.

The rule is more restrictive than similar measures adopted recently in Washington, Oklahoma, Michigan and other states, and would take the question of disqualification entirely out of judges’ hands. It flatly states that “no case shall be assigned” by court administrators to a judge when the lawyers or any of the participants involved donated $2,500 or more in the preceding two years, court officials said.

1 comment:

  1. Beware of the unintended consequences. Let's see, how do I get the judge I DON'T want to be automatically removed from my case? Simple - just make a $2500 contribution to his campaign. For many law firms and/or companies, it might make strategic sense to make contributions to 7 out of 10 judges in order to insure that you never have to go before them to argue a case...

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