Friday, October 10, 2008

Judicial Retention

While almost everyone in the State of Missouri knows how they will vote in the "big" elections, many of us get thrown off our game when we get "down ballot". It's easy to know who you're voting for at the President and Governor level, but when you get down to some of the propositions and the judicial retention ballots, it's easy to find yourself resorting to guesswork.

This year, Jackson Countians will face a list of judges and a decision on whether or not to retain each of them. The judges are as follows:

SUPREME COURT OF MISSOURI
Patricia Breckenridge

16TH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT (JACKSON COUNTY)
CIRCUIT JUDGES
Michael W. Manners
John R. O'Malley
Ann Mesle
Peggy Stevens McGraw
Kelly Moorhouse (Judge Moorhouse died earlier this week, but her name will be on the ballot. I'll be casting my vote for retention as a tiny tribute to a fine woman and a great public servant.)
John M. Torrence
Robert M. Schieber
Brian C. Wimes

ASSOCIATE CIRCUIT JUDGES
Robert Beaird
Vernon E. Scoville, III
Robert L. Trout

Unless you're a lawyer or a courthouse regular, you've probably never heard of most of these individuals. How should you vote?

Despite a wide variety in their backgrounds and experience levels, I encourage you strongly to vote in favor of each of these judges. The links on their names will direct you to the Missouri Bar's Judicial Evaluation of each of them, and they are an impressive lot. If you live in Missouri outside of Jackson County, you will have a different list of judges to vote for, and you can get those judicial evaluations, as well, at the Missouri Bar judicial evaluation website.

Even if you're going to simply take my advice and vote to retain each of the judges, I'd encourage you to take a few minutes and look at the evaluations. They will demonstrate to you just how well the Missouri Plan works.

The process is above traditional politics. By all rights under traditional politics, for example, I ought to be vigorously opposing Judge Breckenridge. She's a Republican - and she got her initial appointment from John Ashcroft, and her Supreme Court appointment from Matt Blunt. Those are the sort of credentials that ought to have a "yellow dog democrat" like me demanding to have her driven from office.

But she's a fine judge brought to us by a good process. People who know the law and the judges nominated her to be considered as one of three candidates for her position, based on her judicial temperament, legal ability and other factors aimed at picking great judges instead of great partisans. As a Missouri citizen, I sincerely do not care how Patricia Breckenridge the citizen votes when she casts her presidential ballot, but I care deeply that when she votes on cases in her job as Missouri Supreme Court judge, she does so on the facts and the law. As demonstrated by her outstanding scores in the evaluation process, a vast majority of Missouri lawyers, of all political persuasions, agree with me.

The same thing goes for all the other judges on this year's Jackson County ballot.

If you don't trust lawyers to evaluate the judges, though, I strongly encourage you to look at the juror evaluations. These are submitted by jurors (your peers) who have personally witnessed the judge in action. The scores are virtually unanimous that the judges listed have treated people equally and with dignity and were well prepared, etc.

I fully expect that each of the judges listed above will be retained by wide margins. Ironically, the opponents of the Missouri Plan will argue that those margins demonstrate that the voters aren't smart enough to be trusted to retain only the good ones. They are all good ones. The system is working. Go look at the thorough information available to you, and you can vote with complete confidence.

The Missouri Plan has given you an excellent set of judges. Retain them, and support politicians from either party who promise to retain the Missouri Plan.

15 comments:

Phil Cardarella said...

Well put!

The secret of the Missouri System -- and the key to its adoption in other states -- is that it produces FAIR judges. It is difficult for an extreme partisan and nearly impossible for a well-connected fool to make it to the bench.

Every two years I find myself voting to retain one or more judges who have ruled against my clients. I sometimes felt they were wrong, but never that they were intentionally unfair.

Those of us who are politically active enough to know the pre-bench politics of the judges are, perhaps, best qualified to recognize how well this system has worked to keep partisan politics out of our justice system.

The loss of Judge Moorhouse is a tragedy in many ways -- but she is a great example of the high quality judges the Missouri System gives us.

craig said...

Same statement as I made on Gone Mild.
Have to disagree with your support of Robert M. Schieber. He is the judge that took part in the gross miscarraige of justice that allowed a former Deputy Sheriff to walk with probation for molesting a 15 year old girl.
For that, and that alone, he should no be retained.

Phil Cardarella said...

Do we have any reason to think that Schieber did what he did for any reason other than that he believed it to the the right thing to do -- under oall of the circumstances of the case? Was there any personal gain or political gain involved?

Criminal cases are the toughest calls for a judge. Often the public is woefully ignorant of the facts of a case, and seek vengence, not justice.

A judge can usually avoid criticism by giving the maximum sentence to every defendant -- but that is not justice. Do we really want judges to be reluctant to "call 'em like the see 'em" -- just to avoid criticism as too "soft" on crime?

CCP about reform? said...

Speaking of Sheriffs, we are about to get stuck with one of the most corrupt sheriffs in the country in a pornographer named Mike Sharp.

Now it appears that he has filed false campaign finance reports. The story broke over on the Action Jackson blog(www.actionjacksonmo.blogspot.com. Check out the comments under the most recent post that refers to "the stench."

https://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=3904210196494121485&postID=3196607529933814011

I have looked at Sharp's reports on the Missouri ethics commission web site and Sharp really did do what he is accused of on Action Jackson. There is more than a $50,000 difference between the cash on hand number for 8 day before the election report and the beginning balance figure for the 30 day after report.

Where did the 50 Grand come from Mike? Why not withdrawal now before you embarrass your family and friends more?

Anonymous said...

I thought Mike Sharp was supposed to have business experience and be good with numbers? Well maybe he is and he should really be in investment banking because their numbers do not add up either.

Sharp's July to August reporting is way off. That cannot be a mistake.

Sharp is a Porn King said...

Isn't it a felony to knowingly file a false campaign finance report and aren't felons barred from being law enforcement officers?

qweaq said...

Welcome to wow gold our wow Gold and wow power leveling store. We wow gold are specilized, wow power leveling professional and reliable wow power leveling website for wow power leveling selling and wow gold service. By the World of Warcraft gold same token,we offer wow power leveling the best WoW service wow power leveling for our long-term and wow powerleveling loyal customers. wow powerleveling You will find wow powerleveling the benefits and value powerleveling we created powerleveling different from other sites. As to most people, power leveling they are unwilling to power leveling spend most of wow power leveling the time wow gold grinding money Rolex for mounts or rolex replica repair when replica rolex they can purchase Watches Rolex what they Rolex Watches are badly need. The Watch Rolex only way is to look Rolex Watch for the best place rs gold to buy cheap WOW gold. Yes! You find it here! Our WoW Gold supplying service has already accumulated a high reputation and credibility. We have plenty of Gold suppliers, which will guarantee our delivery instant. Actually, we have been getting Runescape Gold tons of postive feedbacks from our loyal RuneScape Money customers who really appreciate our service.

Anonymous said...

I alwasys want to have a lot of goonzu gold and then i will give my friends some goonzu money to make them strong. I like to buy goonzu gold and i often go to earn the goonzu online gold to exchange some cheap goonzu gold to make me strong.

Anonymous said...

cheap eve isk
Here is the eve isk,
eve online isk is the regular site.
buy isk we supply the regular service.
I like to buy eve online isk here.

Anonymous said...

This game is very interesting and as long as you know the gw gold you will love it and you will go to play this game every day. Instead in this game you will not complain it and you will only want to earn the GuildWars Gold to make yourself become strong. sometimes you can also go to earn the Guild Wars Gold with your friends, because if you play the game with your friends you can be strong more easily.I know every player wants to get more and more GuildWars money to become strong. So you can get the cheap gw gold and then you can equipment yourself with the weapons.

Anonymous said...

Even it got me crazy enough to buy Guild Wars Prophecies with some my own GuildWars Gold and Nightfall and Eye of the North. I wonder to know why are not you guys and gals who like the PVP concept buying this awesome game. okey, it is expensive to buy gw gold all parts. If you lack the GuildWars money, but it is worth it and no monthly costs and the game gets updated weekly at least. Once again, if anyone wants to play Guild Wars sometime add me to friends here Guild Wars Gold. And realize how much cheap gw gold I bought in the last couple of weeks, months, years. So I found this Guild Wars Factions and installed it.

Anonymous said...

When you sign up, you get 2 free pieces of Habbo Furnature, which you must get habbo gold to choose the color of. You can make almost infinite rooms, which has wallpaper are normally 2 habbo credits. You can buy habbo gold on your mobile phone. But for the equivalent of 20 habbo coins, it works out at £1.50 a month. Back to the point, they make cheap habbo credits an absolute living hell.

Anonymous said...

The devaluation of the fiesta Gold grows faster than we think of it. I hope it is reflects to the management department about the question of the fiesta money. It is caused by the continuous influx of fiesta online gold market currencies. On the other hand, buy fiesta Gold is one of these questions. The fiesta online money is one of the causes.

Anonymous said...

茨城出会いカフェ栃木出会いカフェ群馬出会いカフェ千葉出会いカフェ東京出会いカフェ

Anonymous said...

o‰ï‚¢‹i’ƒo‰ï‚¢ƒJƒtƒFƒeƒŒƒNƒ‰•s—σZƒbƒNƒXƒtƒŒƒ“ƒhƒZƒtƒŒo‰ï‚¢o‰ï‚¢o‰ï‚¢ŒfŽ¦”o‰ï‚¢o‰ï‚¢o‰ï‚¢lÈ•—‘­ƒfƒŠƒwƒ‹ƒfƒŠƒoƒŠ[ƒwƒ‹ƒXo‰ï‚¢o‰ï‚¢–³—¿ƒtƒBƒŠƒsƒ“ƒ‰ƒCƒuƒ`ƒƒƒbƒgƒAƒ_ƒ‹ƒgƒ‰ƒCƒuƒ`ƒƒƒbƒgƒfƒŠƒwƒ‹