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Sunday, January 22, 2006

The judiciary

Lori Sturdevant has an interview with Minnesota Supreme Court Justice Kathleen Blatz about the state of the judiciary. It's a good read, and I generally agree with her ideas.

The judiciary is not the same as the legislative or executive branches. If you want to elect people to put your particular ideology into law, elect somebody to the legislature, not to the judiciary. Judges should not be elected, they should be chosen by a bipartisan expert panel (Governor Ventura is widely applauded for following this model when choosing judges, selecting them based on expertise rather than ideology). Recall of judges should be allowed, but not electing them to their posts. And we definitely need more of them.

Activist judges are not the threat that people think them to be. There is no evidence that this is an issue in this state. I have no problem with Blatz, even though she was a Republican legislator before she was a judge; there is no evidence that she, or any other judges, have made their ideologies, paramount in their rulings. As long as we have moderate liberal and conservative judges selected by their expertise, we will have the independent, thoughtful judiciary this country needs to survive.


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