Judging Judges Controversy Linked to Electing Judges?

Excerpt from Jeff Woods pontification on the Court of the Judiciary hearings last week:
The ostensible purpose of the two-day hearing was to consider whether the Republican-run legislature should seize control of the Court of the Judiciary, the 16-member commission responsible for investigating ethics complaints against judges.
But in the grand tradition of special hearings, this one seemed more about embarrassing a political nemesis than about contemplating good-government reforms.
Senate Judiciary Committee chair Mae Beavers, R-Mt. Juliet, introduced legislation in this year’s session that would have handed the power to appoint the Court of the Judiciary to the House and Senate speakers. In the face of heavy lobbying by judges, that bill stalled. Currently, the Supreme Court names most of the commission’s members. That’s a blatant conflict of interest, according to detractors who contend the Court of the Judiciary is letting judges do as they please.
Although no votes were taken, it seemed a foregone conclusion that the ad hoc committee fully supported Beavers’ bill. In a brief discussion about the legislation, no one suggested any opposition or raised any questions about separation of powers or other important issues at stake in the debate.
Social conservatives, who dominate the panel, have made a mantra out of railing against liberal activist judges. For years, as a way to rein in the appellate courts, they have tried to change state law to end judges’ hard-to-lose yes/no elections and make them run in competitive campaigns.
The more judges are seen as imperious and out of control, the better the odds of forcing them to answer to voters in contested elections.

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