Ed Murnane News
Why do we elect partisan judges in Illinois?
Much confusion will bombard Madison County voters over the next few weeks as claims are made about the judicial system. And voting on judges is as important as ever. Trial lawyers are again contributing big bucks into the local Democratic Party. Tea Party leaders are urging voters to Vote No on judges.
Murnane A recent New York Times editorial offered advice to neighboring Michigan on the best way to assure fair election of state court judges.
Murnane Judge Barbara Crowder and three of her colleagues on the Madison County bench will be judged by voters in the state's eighth largest county in November when they submit themselves to voter approval in the Illinois General Election.
Murnane As many as 175 judicial election contests -- including two Supreme Court races -- could be on the Illinois General Election ballot in November 2012.
Murnane Sometimes you don't need to see a movie to know it is bogus.
While the Madison County asbestos meter continues to spin like some kind of hyper-active Las Vegas slot machine, there is a chance another one of the trial lawyer "get richer quicker" schemes from the "A" file may be handed a "get out of our court" card, which is similar to a "get out of jail free" card from Monopoly but much more significant.
It is not unusual for justices on the U.S. Supreme Court to serve into their 80s. Appointment to the Court by the President of the United States is a life-time appointment and it is assumed -- and hoped -- that a justice will decide when it's time to step down.
Murnane The U.S. Supreme Court's ruling Monday in Caperton v. Massey Coal Co. is certain to re-kindle talk of the 2004 Illinois Supreme Court election in which Justice Lloyd Karmeier defeated former Appellate Justice Gordon Maag in the Fifth Illinois District in Southern Illinois.
Here's the surest and fastest way for the State of Illinois to enact a sweeping reform that will attract positive national attention, eliminate some of the millions of dollars that are spent on campaigns by "special interests," and will do what more than 65% of the voters in all corners of Illinois would like to see happen.
At long last, one of the spotlights in Springfield has been shining on the issue of judicial selection – specifically how we select judges in Illinois and finance their campaigns.
Murnane A lot of the news out of Illinois recently – as recently as this week, in fact – stinks.
The Illinois State Bar Association and its close ally, the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association, must have secret job forecasts for Illinois that are much rosier than the gloomy predictions almost universally accepted by economists and state and local governments.
I was born in Chicago and I have been a legal resident of Illinois for 94% of my life -- only a stint in Washington interrupted. I love the city and the state.
We all live here so we've become somewhat immune to our circumstances. The fact that practically every evening's network newscast begins with an Illinois story is routine. Our local newscasts -- from WSIL in Southern Illinois to WLS in Chicago -- can get five or six minutes into the news before something other than political scandal becomes a topic.