Friday, February 1, 2008

Judicial Contests - 2008

O.K. -- I admit -- I'm totally at sea regarding this part of the ballot -- and never have done the justices justice (usually just leaving it blank -- or voting against all incumbents)

But a person can do a good job - or a poor one -- while sitting in judgment of their fellow citizens -- and those who do a good job should be re-elected -- if only I knew who that was !

What I'd really like to see -- is at least one essay for and against each candidate -- rather than just a sum total of endorsements.

Lacking that -- I'm going to go with what the candidate has to say -- figuring that if a judge can't express himself/herself in succinct, expository prose -- they have no business being a judge.

So.. for example.... in the Disko vacancy -- Dennis J. Burke has got the most endorsements -- but has some difficulty expressing himself. His website is minimal (at best) -- and the text that he put onto the website of the Cook County Clerk is .. well .. let's just say it's not very impressive -- and leaves me completely unconvinced when it reaches its awkward conclusion:

"As you can see, Judge Burke is a very well-rounded individual who is well-qualified for this position"

On the other hand, his opponent , Lauretta Higgins Wolfson, came up with a bit more tuneful speech --with something of a rhetorical flair:

"I bring to the Circuit Court the sum of my experience, in law and in life. I know there are no unimportant cases and no unimportant people. Everything that comes before me matters. Everyone matters. Everyone who comes to court – individuals, government agencies, corporations – deserves to be treated fairly and decently. I believe the way we treat people and the way we decide disputes has everything to do with trust and confidence in our courts. Without that trust and confidence our legal system would crumble"

So Wolfson gets my vote -- and so do these other judicial candidates -- judging from the text they posted to the Cook County Clerk's site:

Michael B. Hyman
Frank James Ryan
Debra B. Walker
Richard F. Walsh
Alan J. Greiman

Many candidates did not take the time to write anything at all -- which makes it very easy for me to prefer the opponent.

And incredibly enough -- nothing was written by any of the candidates for some of the vacancies. They must assume that some kind of party machine politics is going to carry them onward to victory.

I just hope they're wrong.