Thursday, November 20, 2014

Amendment 2 Passed by Justin Steele

               Tuesday, Nov. 4th was Election Day and specifically Amendment 2 passed by a huge majority.  If you are a regular reader of this blog you know that I wrote about Amendment 2 several months ago saying that it was going to be bad.  Despite the outcome of last Tuesday I feel the same way today.  In case you didn’t read my previous blog post about Amendment 2 I will summarize.  Amendment 2 is bad because it removes the current method of judicial selection which has the appellate and Supreme Court level judiciary appointed by a nomination committee.   The Judicial Nomination Committee was good because it left much of the power to appoint judges, to the higher levels of the court system, with individuals  within the court system.  Now, however, we have approved an amendment which leaves the appointment of the appellate and Supreme Court in the hands of the governor, approval by the legislation and a retainment election by the people every 8 years.
               Our constitution previously stated that the Supreme Court was supposed to be elected by the people.  Now, many of us can see how that could be a problem because it would not insulate the judiciary from the political arena.  The previous process allowed for the retainment election every 8 years, which everyone claimed was enough to meet the requirement that the people had decided on their judiciary.  Personally, I do not believe that a retainment election meets the language of “elected by the people”, but then again, I do not want the Supreme Court to be elected by the people.  The current process is going to do twice as much damage though.  The people, which the constitution states should make the decision, still don’t get the vote but the judiciary is no more insulated from the political arena.  Instead of being approved by a group of many different people, candidates will now be approved by a much smaller body of highly political individuals who will sway their appointment decisions in any which way suits them at the moment.  I do not have a solution to the problem but I do not think amendment 2 was a wise amendment.

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