Change elections for judges
In our state, we select judges in partisan elections. Texas is only one of seven states that use this system. About 40 percent of states choose their judges through merit systems. Another approximately 40 percent select them through nonpartisan elections. Two states appoint their judges, similar to the way the federal judiciary is selected. Isn’t the judiciary is supposed to be isolated from politics?
In Texas, we elect our judges every four years. In the other states that have partisan elections, judges are elected for a minimum of six years up to 10 years. Here, judges no sooner get on the bench and settle in when they have to start raising money to run again. In the recent elections, we voted for 86 offices, of which 68 are judgeships. How is the average voter expected to make an informed decision about the qualifications and demeanor of a judge if they have never seen or heard about their decisions? The answer is they cannot.
We deserve a better method and so do the people seeking justice. We depend on these judges for honest, nonpolitical decisions. We Texans seem to have the worst of all worlds.
David Sparrow, East Dallas