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Old 05-27-2009, 09:51 AM
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A question about judges


For the lawyers or anyone with first hand knowledge: Are judges generally above average attorneys? Are judges in higher Courts necessarily any more skilled than judges for traffic court (as a random example).

And by extension, are the SC judges truly the best and brightest or are they simply better connected?
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Old 05-27-2009, 10:14 AM
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Originally Posted by link View Post
For the lawyers or anyone with first hand knowledge: Are judges generally above average attorneys? Are judges in higher Courts necessarily any more skilled than judges for traffic court (as a random example).

And by extension, are the SC judges truly the best and brightest or are they simply better connected?
There's an element of politics in all judgeships, no question.

Since many (but not all) judges are elected, they have to typically have some kind of record as a prosecutor or as a famous case lawyer who is known for his specialty.

Example: Thurgood Marshall argued the 1954 segregation school case Brown vs Board of Ed in 1954 and won. Later he became a Federal Judge and a SC justice.

Other judges are appointed by governors or the President, subject to approval by their respective Senate.

Some guys get on the local benches because they are lawyers who run the slate and have an ethnic name/. Who do you think will win in the barrio: Mr. White or Juan Jimenez? The people don't know them, they go by the name. And White won't win until he changes his name to Blanco. It's politics.

Local judgeships are all crap shoots as are local justices of the peace.

It sounds pretty politicized and it is. Interest groups/PACs go for people who represent their way of thinking.

That's why we live in a representative democracy, where elected representatives get to decide and voters sometimes decide, and not a meritocracy, where some commission sets up the standards/requirements, people apply, plead their case and the best applicant wins.

BTW, the meritocracy + commission used to be the way Mercedes appointed their execs, for a three-year term, which could be renewed, or not.
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