Merit selection of appellate judges | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Merit selection of appellate judges

Posted By on Wed, Mar 2, 2011 at 3:46 PM

It's hard to figure the chances for such revolutionary legislation without lining up the usual heavyweight special interests — here the Bar Association, Trial Lawyers and corporate interests that have most to win and lose in court, not to mention minority interests — but Sen. Michael Lamoureux is a serious and competent legislator. So who knows?

What am I talking about?

He's filed a bill to provide for merit selection of state Court of Appeals judges. Voters would have to approve the General Assembly setting up such a system. The General Assembly would define the specifics. The 12 judges are now elected from districts. One judge is black. A federal court ruling and the continuing interest of the NAACP in black representation on the bench are likely factors in a discussion of this proposed change.

UPDATE: I dropped a note to Lamoureux. He said he'd like to include the Supreme Court someday, too. He said he hadn't enlisted anyone in the effort, that this was just a starting place.

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