I was just wondering if anyone thought that District Attorneys should not be elected. It seems to me that because these people decide how they are going to proceed on legal prosecution of crimes that electing them generally means that many of their decisions are based as much on politics as they are on law. Is he "tough on crime"? Is he an advocate of victims' rights?
There are strong lobbies for both of those positions. What about capital punishment? By example, there have been more people sentenced to death in Harris County this past year than in ANY OTHER STATE IN THE COUNTRY. Not county, STATE!!! These are important issues that fall to the DA and Assistant DA's.
The same thing goes for judges. Should these positions be based on politics or reviewed and hired based on experience and long reveiw processes. You look at Eric Andell, a democrat. This guy has been given all sorts of awards from the State of Texas for his work as an apellate judge. Even many Republicans consider him an outstanding judge but he loses out to a Republican because being a democratic judge in Harris County now is a death sentence.
Ever since guys like Stephen Hotze got many ultra-conservative judges elected to the bench in the late 80's and early 90's, democrats just don't run for those positions. In fact, the ballot in Harris County must have had 20 Republican judges running unopposed in the election this year because no democrat would dare challenge a conservative Republican for a job on the local bench. Is it a good idea for people with a specific ideology to have such iron-clad control over the judicial system in Harris County?
President Dwight Eisenhower appointed Thurogood Marshall to the Supreme Court. Not only did Justice Marshall have the distinction of being the first African American judge to serve in the nation's highest court, but he also became the most liberal ever to serve.
When asked why he would appoint a liberal African American to a mostly conservative, all-white Supreme Court, Eisenhower, a conservative Republican, responded, "If there is no balance of power in the Supreme Court, there is no balance of power in the United States."
Now, I'm not concerned with the nation's highest court at this point and I don't want this to dissolve into a debate over the president because of his power to appoint judges there. Stick to the local level on this one and tell me if you think that there should be a better way to go about this process.
Time for a new cause.