Federal judge strikes down N.Y. state system for selecting trial judge nominees | VailDaily.com
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Federal judge strikes down N.Y. state system for selecting trial judge nominees

NEW YORK – A federal judge ruled Friday the state’s system for selecting Supreme Court judges gives too much power to political bosses, and ordered that it be replaced.Ruling in a case brought by a watchdog group, Judge John Gleeson said picking judiciary candidates at major party political conventions deprives voters of a say in who’s on the final ballot.Gleeson issued a preliminary injunction enjoining the state’s board of election from enforcing the existing system, and instructed New York to hold traditional primary elections to pick Supreme Court candidates until the Legislature enacts a replacement scheme.The ruling only applies to elections regarding the Supreme Court, which in New York is a lower court that conducts trials. Other elected judges in the state are nominated in direct primaries, rather than in conventions.Gleeson wrote that the watchdog group, the Brennan Center for Justice, had demonstrated convincingly that the current system for Supreme Court openings is an “undemocratic selection procedure.”A spokeswoman for New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer, whose office defended the constitutionality of the state’s system in court, said she could not comment on ruling, issued late in the day.”We are studying the opinion,” Juanita Scarlett said.Vail, Colorado


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