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Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Ind. Courts - "Something’s fishy about how we pick Marion County judges"

This letter appears in the IndyStar "Letters to the Editor" today:

Thank you to the ACLU of Indiana and Common Cause for challenging our current system for selecting judges. The system allows the Republican and Democratic parties to hand-pick our judges. As troubling as this behavior should be, The Star article failed to expose the practice by the parties of requiring candidates to pay as much as $13,000 to be slated, essentially allowing the parties to sell judicial seats as a fundraiser. Those unwilling to pay this fee have little chance of election in the primary.

If this system truly selected the best candidates, it might be defensible on pragmatic grounds even if it is patently undemocratic. Unfortunately, this system also allows Ed Treacy, the Marion County Democratic Party chair, to “appoint” his wife, Becky Pierson Treacy, as judge despite her low approval rating of 30.7 percent by the Indianapolis Bar Association.

Perhaps this is why the ACLU is finally challenging this broken system. Marion County has some very good judges — Republican Robert Altice and Democrat Mark Stoner to name the highest rated by the Bar — but this happens despite this system rather than because of it.

Jim Mulholland
Indianapolis

Posted by Marcia Oddi on November 6, 2012 09:13 AM
Posted to Indiana Courts