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Malia Reddick
16 September 2012
The U.S. Senate voted to approve, by an 89-1 vote, Stephanie Rose as a U.S. district court judge. To date, President Obama has appointed 72 women to the federal bench, which is the most ever appointed by a president in a single term. Rose is the first woman to serve on the Southern District of Iowa.
Malia Reddick
16 September 2012
The establishment of a PAC for a supreme court race may undermine the public financing program and reintroduce partisanship in judicial races, according to the court of appeals judge who is challenging an incumbent justice. The legislature adopted public financing and nonpartisan ballots for appellate court elections in 2004.
Malia Reddick
16 September 2012
According to a statewide poll, 47 percent of voters favor retaining the four justices standing for retention in November, while 24 percent oppose their retention and 25 percent are undecided. Poll results also show little residual anger over the supreme court’s 2009 decision recognizing a right to same-sex marriage, which resulted in the retention defeat of three justices in 2010.
Malia Reddick
16 September 2012
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit affirmed a lower court decision that rejected a constitutional challenge to the state’s merit selection system. Opponents of the process argued that having five lawyers on the nine-member supreme court nominating commission, who are not popularly elected or appointed by an elected official, violates the Equal Protection Clause’s “one person, one vote” requirement.
Malia Reddick
16 September 2012
The founders of Justice Not Politics, a 501(c)(4) organization formed to defend three justices against retention challenges in 2010, have established a 527 organization called Justice Not Politics Action to support Justice David Wiggins’ retention.
Malia Reddick
16 September 2012
From three finalists named by the judicial nominating commission, Governor Daniels appointed county court judge Loretta Rush to the supreme court. This appointment leaves only two states (Idaho and Iowa) without a woman on the highest court.
Cindy Pham
16 September 2012
In a recent press release, The Justice at Stake Campaign (JAS) suggests changing spending patterns may indicate a new phase of judicial election spending. JAS reports campaign spending is expected to fall in states dominated by a single political party, while spending is expected to spike in closely contested states.
Cindy Pham
16 September 2012
Chief Judge David Sentelle of the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia warns that the federal judiciary will be at risk if Congress cannot reach a budget deal to prevent the implementation of $600 billion in automatic spending cuts. While civil trials before judges without juries would likely be unaffected, Chief Judge Sentelle states federal civil jury trials would possibly be suspended due to lack of funding to pay jurors and that budget cuts would affect the probation system and payment for public defenders.
Cindy Pham
16 September 2012
In a recent editorial, The New York Times argues the current judicial selection method of electing high state court judges makes the judiciary more susceptible to influence by campaign donors. The New York Times suggests judges should be appointed through merit selection.
Cindy Pham
16 September 2012
This year, Albany Law Review's annual State Constitutional Commentary Symposium features articles from IAALS Advisory Committee Members, including Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, Chief Justice Ruth McGregor, Chief Justice Wallace Jefferson, and Meryl Chertoff.
Cindy Pham
16 September 2012
A third of the Middle District of Pennsylvania's active court lies vacant due to the slow-moving process of judicial nominations. These vacancies significantly overburden the district, forcing citizens into long, drawn-out litigation. Rebecca Love Kourlis, Executive Director of IAALS, was interviewed about the situation.
Cindy Pham
16 September 2012
The Diane Rehm Show discusses how judicial elections and appointment processes impact fairness in state courts. Some critics argue elections create political biases which weaken judicial impartiality. Others argue elections provide a way for the people to hold judges accountable and that the key to keeping courts fair and impartial is by educating the public.