Supreme Court of Washington Blog
Judicial elections in Washington
Retired Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor recently spoke at Seattle University Law School, and she had some advice for Washingtonians. As the AP reports: "The first woman to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court says there's a serious problem with the government in Washington and many other states: They elect their judges." Justice O'Connor says judicial independence is threatened with the amount of money that is poured into judicial races. She questioned whether cases such as Brown v. Board of Education would have had the same ruling if those justices had to face an upcoming election.
Interestingly, Washington State Supreme Court Chief Justice Gerry Alexander, who won a hotly-contested reelection in 2006, disagreed. He said that while the process is not perfect, it has worked well in the past. Alexander said it is beneficial ("humbling") for judges to go through an election.
UPDATE: And speaking of judicial elections...the topic will be discussed today on The Conversation (KUOW 94.9 FM) at noon.