Advertisement
HomeCollectionsJudicial Elections
IN THE NEWS

Judicial Elections

FEATURED ARTICLES
NEWS
By Donald C. Fry | September 7, 2010
How's this for a system to select circuit court judges who will preside and rule on virtually every significant legal matter that will arise in your community, including civil disputes involving businesses, nonprofits, private individuals and government operations? First, when a circuit court vacancy occurs, Maryland's highest elected official — the governor — reviews lists of recommended candidates vetted by judicial nominating committees, made up of lawyers and non-lawyers, in the county where the vacancy exists.
ARTICLES BY DATE
NEWS
September 16, 2010
When I voted in the Democratic primary yesterday, I discovered to my dismay that there was a contested election for judge of the Baltimore City Orphans Court — five candidates (listed alphabetically) for three positions. Three of the candidates were incumbents, but which three? I try to keep abreast of judicial "elections," the peculiar system in Maryland which requires sitting judges, who have been appointed after a thorough screening process, to then stand for election against any licensed attorney who cares to file for the position.
Advertisement
NEWS
By Caitlin Francke and Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF | September 15, 1996
When a state commission voted last week to recommend eliminating contested elections for Maryland's Circuit Court benches, a member of the panel pointed to Howard County's bitter judicial race as a perfect example of the reason."
NEWS
By Donald C. Fry | September 7, 2010
How's this for a system to select circuit court judges who will preside and rule on virtually every significant legal matter that will arise in your community, including civil disputes involving businesses, nonprofits, private individuals and government operations? First, when a circuit court vacancy occurs, Maryland's highest elected official — the governor — reviews lists of recommended candidates vetted by judicial nominating committees, made up of lawyers and non-lawyers, in the county where the vacancy exists.
NEWS
By Caitlin Francke and Caitlin Francke,SUN STAFF | September 15, 1996
When a state commission voted last week to recommend eliminating contested elections for Maryland's Circuit Court benches, a member of the panel pointed to Howard County's bitter judicial race as a perfect example of the reason."
NEWS
By Johnathon E. Briggs and Johnathon E. Briggs,SUN STAFF | March 9, 2004
A three-judge panel is considering a request to nullify last week's primary election results for Anne Arundel County Circuit Court after an independent voter alleged that it was unconstitutional to exclude him from casting a ballot. If the challenge is successful, the case could transform procedures statewide for electing judges. The lawsuit, filed by Gregory Care of Linthicum with assistance from the American Civil Liberties Union, argues that because candidates for circuit judge are listed on both Democratic and Republican ballots, the contests are nonpartisan.
NEWS
September 16, 2010
When I voted in the Democratic primary yesterday, I discovered to my dismay that there was a contested election for judge of the Baltimore City Orphans Court — five candidates (listed alphabetically) for three positions. Three of the candidates were incumbents, but which three? I try to keep abreast of judicial "elections," the peculiar system in Maryland which requires sitting judges, who have been appointed after a thorough screening process, to then stand for election against any licensed attorney who cares to file for the position.
NEWS
October 31, 1996
HOWARD COUNTY'S judicial race has become obscene. Anyone requiring proof of this need only review recently filed campaign finance reports for the four candidates, who together raised more than $360,000 for the primary and general elections. That may be a Maryland record for a judge's race. The purpose of this money was to win two seats on the Howard Circuit Court bench, but it may be the final piece of evidence needed to seal the case against contested judicial elections.A commission studying the future of Maryland's courts has used this bitter race as an example of why contested judicial elections should be abolished.
NEWS
By ANDREW A. GREEN and ANDREW A. GREEN,SUN REPORTER | May 2, 2006
Prominent members of Maryland's legal community, worried that hotly contested elections for judges could erode public confidence in the judiciary, announced a set of voluntary conduct standards yesterday that they hope will preserve the dignity of the office. At the behest of Chief Judge Robert M. Bell of the Maryland Court of Appeals, former U.S. Attorney George Beall and Stephen H. Sachs, a former U.S. attorney and state attorney general, led a committee of attorneys, academics and former politicians to create the standards and ascertain when they have been violated.
TOPIC
By Harry S. Johnson | April 2, 2000
I FAVOR judicial elections even though quality judges sometimes lose. In 1996, Donna Hill Staton, the first African-American judge in Howard County, lost in the general election to a District Court judge. Recently, the first African-American judge appointed to the Circuit Court for Baltimore County, Alexander Wright Jr., was defeated by a District Court judge. The issue is not solely one of race. Recently, a Democratic lawyer in Carroll County decided not to accept appointment to that county's Circuit Court.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz | julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com | March 30, 2010
A group of black lawmakers appears to have blocked Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler's effort to end voters' ability to choose Circuit Court judges. Gansler's proposal, which aimed to replace contested elections with retention elections every 10 years, is languishing in key committees in the House of Delegates and the Senate. The chairmen of both said Monday that the Legislative Black Caucus' strong opposition has doomed Gansler's bill. "That spelled its demise," said Sen. Brian E. Frosh, a Montgomery County Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, who does not plan to forward the legislation to the full Senate.
NEWS
By Julie Bykowicz | julie.bykowicz@baltsun.com | March 29, 2010
A group of black lawmakers appears to have blocked Maryland Attorney General Douglas F. Gansler's effort to end voters' ability to choose Circuit Court judges. Gansler's proposal, which aimed to replace contested elections with retention elections every 10 years, is languishing in key committees in the House of Delegates and the Senate. The chairmen of both said Monday that the Legislative Black Caucus' strong opposition has doomed Gansler's bill. "That spelled its demise," said Sen. Brian E. Frosh, a Montgomery County Democrat and chairman of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, who does not plan to forward the legislation to the full Senate.
NEWS
By Dan Pero | January 29, 2010
Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler recently proposed ending democratic elections for circuit court judges across the state. But the system he proposes - known by advocates as "merit" selection - will make judges less accountable and more prone to the type of judicial activism that continues to erode confidence in our legal system nationwide. Under "merit" selection, judges are chosen by a small panel controlled by legal elites, rather than voters. Favored candidates are then sent to the governor, who must choose from the approved slate.
NEWS
By Douglas F. Gansler | January 10, 2010
When it comes to our judiciary, impartiality has always been Marylanders' chief concern. Unfortunately, that value is threatened by the current practice of contested elections for circuit court judges, which exposes judges to influence peddling, bias and political whim. Money is often a favored tool of partisan influence, and Maryland's candidates for circuit court judgeships received an estimated $3.9 million in contributions between Jan. 1, 2003 and Dec. 31, 2006, a figure that will only grow in future contested elections.
NEWS
October 6, 1996
THE FOUNDERS of this country were wise enough to know that by establishing three co-equal branches of government they were also creating an inherent tension. That is evident in current discussions on ways to hold Maryland judges accountable for their performance.A commission charged with studying Maryland's courts and suggesting ways to improve them is poised to make some important recommendations for achieving that fine balance between respect for an independent judiciary and assurances to the public that judges are held accountable for their performance.
NEWS
July 6, 2006
Whether Arthur M. Frank becomes a Circuit Court judge is up to Baltimore County voters, but he has already established a precedent. He's the first political candidate to be chastised for unethical conduct by the Maryland Judicial Campaign Conduct Committee, a nonprofit, bipartisan group that is trying to enforce a voluntary code for would-be and incumbent judges running for office. The incident should reinforce public skepticism over how Maryland selects Circuit Court judges. Mr. Frank, 50, is one of six candidates running for four seats on the Baltimore County bench.
Baltimore Sun Articles
|
|
|
Please note the green-lined linked article text has been applied commercially without any involvement from our newsroom editors, reporters or any other editorial staff.