In the general election two weeks from today the names of three state appellate judges will appear on the ballot in what is called a "retention election." They will not be opposed by other candidates; the question will be simply, should the judges be retained, or should they be turned out of office?
This procedure was designed as a good compromise between lifetime appointment (as in the case of federal judges) and periodic election (as in the case of many state judges). The system has worked well, and ordinarily we could expect any judge who had not committed some egregious act of personal or judicial misconduct to be retained.
But these are not ordinary times. As our adept political correspondents Germond & Witcover reported in The Evening Sun yesterday, there is a wave of "anti-incumbency" now sweeping the nation. For evidence of this phenomenon we need only peruse the full-page advertisement appearing on page D9 of yesterday's Evening Sun. In the ad (which appeared in many other newspapers across the country), ordinary citizen Joe Gargan of Tampa, Fla., urged voters everywhere to defeat their incumbent congressional representatives.