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Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Chief Justice At Register Building

The Chief Justice of the Ohio Supreme Court was interviewed at the Register building yesterday. What's interesting is that it appears to have been a surprise visit. A surprise visit in the midst of all the political pot stirring...

Confirmed: The Chief Justice called at 11:00 am and showed up at the building at 5:00.

The major points of the SR article are these:

1. Moyer is campaigning to change the selection process for members of the supreme court. (Which is a debate in itself) He thinks that a panel of members made of mostly of "nonlawyers" should decide who's on the court. Moyer says that the court is compromised by big money donations and that the donators then expect the court to rule in favor of their interests. I imagine he's talking about insurance companies. Moyer would have to openly debate this idea because frankly, having a panel choose the justices doesn't make much sense for a variety of reasons. Who chooses the members of this panel? Why can't the justices just refuse the money from special interests? Nobody forces them to take campaign donations. We had a problem in Erie County with unelected visiting judges wreaking havoc on our legal system - so what would happen if that problem of unelected accountability raises itself to the level of the highest court in Ohio? (Incidentally, we haven't had much visiting judge action around here lately, have we? Campaign promise kept: Ty Tone, Roger Binette.)

2. Moyer gave the Register a legal pointer on the appropriate next step to obtain the results of a BCI investigation into our local prosecutor - which is a writ of mandamus:

3. Moyer called the AG's decision not to release the document "curious."

Insight, anybody? (Especially you attorneys who are reading this...)


rsws04 said...

Panel idea is something i have never thought of, but the questions you have raised 411 does not seem to make it any better of an option. I understand the focus of the debate on the Ohio Supreme Ct. is whether the election process is the most practial and as it turns out, most ethical or if it should be changed to an appointment by the executive much like the U.S. Supreme Court. The states that have the appointment by the executive require retention elections of the justices every couple years. Personally, i like the appointment process because they must be accountable to both the governor as well as the citizens every couple years through the retention elections. However, I do not like the idea of the life terms that justices get.

Citizen Kane said...

I agree. No government official should ever be allowed to serve life terms, unless it is in jail. They should always be accountable to the voting public and not to someone who appoints them. There should also be a law that prohibits donations to a campaign fund by any organization or over a set limit. It is time we clean up this judicial system that has gotten completely out of hand and is open to corruption.

underthebridge said...

How about they set a monetary limit for the entire campaign? Not an individual donor limit, but a campaign limit? When limitations are placed on individual donors then a group can just encourage their individual members to donate. If they set a campaign limit then it equalizes the playing field.