The Politics of Judges

08/16/07:

As I head towards the end of the month where I have trials set in both Harris and Dallas County, Texas I thought I would begin the blogging with my thoughts on the politics of electing Judges.  As we all know, under our current system, Judges (to have a chance of being elected) must run as a democrat or republican.  The odd thing about this process is that politics should not have a role in the election of Judges.  A Judge is supposed to be a neutral party who takes on the following roles:  1.  Applying the law (as it exists) to the facts of a case; 2.  On the same basis deciding whether or not evidence is allowed to be introduced at trial to either prove or disprove a particular fact based on the objections of the parties; 3.  Set schedules for the orderly administration of justice in each case; 4. And—in the case of a trial without a jury—to weigh the admissible evidence against the type of lawsuit filed (causes of action pled) and decide the merits of the case.

In each of these roles, whether the individual is a liberal or conservative, plaintiff-oriented or defendant-oriented, democrat or republican “shouldn’t” matter.  I’ve heard this argument a million times, but I must say that it does actually matter.  The reality is that the character of the individual wearing the robe plays a huge role in that person’s ability to properly administer justice.  I am not here to say that a particular party has better character than the other (although as I’ve stated quite plainly  I am a conservative)–however, one should look hard at the world-view of the judge before casting their vote.  Whether democrate, republican, libertarian or whig (ha), what really matters in a good Judge are the following characteristics:  1.  Does he/she believe that family comes first; 2.  Does he/she love and honor his/her spouse; 3.  Does he/she respect the sanctity and gift of life; 4.  Is he/she an idealist–having become a Judge to be a true servant of society; 5.  Does he/she believe that they are under the care, supervision and will of God; 6.  Is he/she willing to allow government to work in the roles it has been given–in other words, allow the public and legislature to change the law since that is their role, not the judiciary; and 7.  Has he/she actually practiced law so that he/she has a perspective of what it takes to manage clients and cases.

 There are other characteristics, but these are the ones I would strongly suggest you look at when casting your ballot.  And please—look into the Judicial candidates—too often the public misses this part of the election and it is as critical as electing your representatives.

Have a great day!

 -Murphy

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