In my last post, I wrote about the back room political process being used to pick Madison County’s next District Judge. As the title of that post implies, I strongly believe that Judges should be independent of party politics. As an attorney who handles cases in many counties throughout Alabama, I want to appear before Judges who treat all the parties with respect and do their best to apply the law as written.
Yet, the next District Court Judge in Madison County will now be hand-picked in a closed door meeting by a political party executive committee in Montgomery. In my previous post, I raised several issues about this process. I also provided my general opinions concerning the selection of Judges for our Courts.
Yesterday, The Editorial Board of the Huntsville Times also addressed the selection process for Madison County’s next District Judge. The editorial in the paper made some excellent observations about this process. Apparently, the political executive committee in Montgomery has sent a questionnaire to the potential candidates for the position. Asking questions about the person’s experience as an attorney and knowledge of the law is perfectly acceptable. However, that is not all the information requested. The committee also wants each candidate to provide a history of the money they donated to candidates and political parties. When we start selecting Judges based on past financial contributions, we have crossed the line between right and wrong. Ask yourself – If I had to appear before the Court, would I want a Judge that tried his or her best to be fair? Or, would I want to appear before the Judge that had given the right amount of money to the right people? That’s the difference between a justice system built around fairness and one built upon financial corruption.