You choose, we deliver
If you are interested in this story, you might be interested in others from The Journal Gazette. Go to www.journalgazette.net/newsletter and pick the subjects you care most about. We'll deliver your customized daily news report at 3 a.m. Fort Wayne time, right to your email.

Editorials

  • Furthermore
  • Clearing the air: State ethics board has chance for strong action
    How can appallingly unethical situations repeatedly be overlooked in Indiana state government?The State Ethics Commission’s agenda today includes a proposed settlement with former schools chief Tony Bennett.
  • Insurrection in education
    When voters elected Glenda Ritz nearly two years ago, they made it clear they didn’t like the direction of Indiana schools under Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Bennett.
Advertisement

Furthermore …

Vaughn

Letting the voters judge

Indiana’s circuit court judges are elected on partisan ballots across the state, but the selection of superior court judges varies widely. Allen County’s are elected on a nonpartisan basis, but other methods include partisan ballots and an appointment-and-retention-vote model. While all appear to have advantages and disadvantages, Marion County’s has few redeeming qualities.

In Indianapolis, the two major parties have worked out a deal – 10 judges are Republicans, 10 are Democrats. So each party places half the number of the seats up for election on its primary ballot, and when voters go to the general election, there are no contests – the decisions have been made in the primary.

It gets worse. Because the Marion County parties use a slating system, party insiders choose which candidates they want on the primary ballots. So even though the voters theoretically choose the judges, when they step into the ballot box, there is no choice.

Common Cause of Indiana has filed a suit now moving through the courts that challenges the process. “For too long the party bosses have controlled the judicial selection process in Marion County and denied voters any meaningful role in it,” Common Cause Policy Director Julia Vaughn said.

Advertisement