Tommy Wells, who is currently serving as president of the American Bar Association, believes that electing judges is not the best way to select judges. Tommy points to the costly Alabama Supreme Court race last year to make his point. The ABA president, a Birmingham, Alabama, lawyer, told a group in his hometown recently that “highly partisan and expensive races impair the public’s faith in judges to rule fairly once they are elected.” The remarks were made in a debate sponsored by the Birmingham lawyers chapter of The Federalist Society.
While I believe our current system is badly in need of repair, I still favor electing judges. But there must be changes in how judicial campaigns are financed and the large sums of money injected into the races and the funding of races by third-party groups must be curtailed. Campaign finance reform – rather than appointing judges – would solve the problems in judicial races and that should be a priority in all state legislative bodies this year – including Alabama.
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