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If partisanship in the selection of judges is as widespread as ever, at least the Missouri Plan has eliminated the attack ads and mudslinging so detrimental to the image of lawyers, right? Not quite. During the last election one conservative-libertarian group began airing TV and radio spots urging voters to vote against retaining an ultraliberal Missouri Supreme Court justice. These ads were immediately answered by state and local bar associations and a pro-merit selection group. The judge, Richard Teitelman, was easily retained. But with those ads, the state bar’s main argument for keeping the Missouri Plan all but evaporated.
Despite the muzzling of lawyers, the eradication of election campaigns, and years of expensive PR, the image of lawyers remains exceedingly negative. Americans, polled by the Gallop organization, consistently rank lawyers “low” or “very low” in ethical standards, alongside car salesmen and labor union leaders.
Now, 58 years later after the adoption of the Missouri Plan, some voters, and more important, legislators, are having second thoughts. After all, if our governors, U.S. senators, congressmen, and president can be elected by the people, why not our judges? Last week an effort to do away with the Missouri Plan was defeated 83-69 in the Missouri house. But several other states are considering similar motions. Such bills are opposed by state, local, and plaintiff’s bars and other special interests and all are likely doomed. Whatever the outcome, the momentum is clearly with pro-election camp. At least the organized bar can no longer take its monopoly of judgeships for granted.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online