Friday, March 24, 2023

Nix SB 200: Keep partisanship out of schools, courtrooms

| February 16, 2023 12:00 AM

Canadians approach the appointment of judges differently than Americans do. Consider their Supreme Court.

Justices are selected by the Governor General from a short list of qualified candidates assembled with input from provincial law societies. Political affiliation isn’t a consideration. And, justices’ decisions are rooted in law, not politics. Canadians don’t know the political affiliations of their judges, and the decisions by justices can rarely be predicted by their politics.

Not so in American courts, in which the interpretation of law can often be predicted by a judge’s politics.

Enter into this dichotomy Senate Bill 200, sponsored by Greg Hertz, that would allow candidates in non-partisan races – judgeships and school boards – to declare a party affiliation. Really? School board candidates?

Since when is political affiliation a reliable indicator of how school board members should vote on school issues like goals, priorities, policies, etc. And judges – how is someone supposed to believe that going before a judge with an attached R or D will allow a fair judgment?

Many voters rely on a candidate’s D or R affiliation when voting, typically in races where politics define an ideology; Congress and state legislatures create laws reflecting the predominant political thinking. But it’s a lazy way to run a railroad, relieving voters from truly understanding a candidate’s position.

Let’s not add to the selection of candidates based solely on politics. Nix SB 200.

Caryl Cox


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