The more-qualified judge who was unseated by the less-qualified bagel-lady judge will be appointed by Arnold Schwarzenegger. So she gets to remain as a judge.
I reported on this election the other day, in a post that people didn’t seem to understand for some reason. My point was, I thought, pretty simple — but I said it poorly. (Hey, it happens.)
Let me try again.
When the L.A. Times editors have a reaction to a story, they like to highlight that segment of the public that agrees with their reaction. Case in point: their story on the Guantanamo suicides, which leads with the fact that the suicides are “prompting new calls for an immediate shutdown.” Any bets on whether the reporter and editors involved in the piece agree with those “new calls”?
This also happened in the story about the unseating of the judge, in which the editors said:
The rare defeat of a highly regarded sitting judge ousted from the bench Tuesday by a bagel store owner who’d barely practiced law in the last decade sent a jolt through Los Angeles County legal circles, leading some to question whether the system to select judges needs overhauling.
Why? Why does a bad result in an election mean we need to change the whole system? Why are we shocked when uneducated and ill-informed voters choose a poorly qualified candidate for anything, be it a judgeship, a Senate spot, or the presidency?
And when we change the system, who will be in charge? The newspaper? The American Bar Association? Both?
I just find it a bit bizarre that the reaction to a bad result in a local election is, essentially: well, we need to stop having elections, then.
That’s a nice position to take if you’re a part of the elite. But I’m not sure voters should go for it.
I’m not saying that it’s a good thing that the bagel lady unseated a solid judge. I’m saying that, when such a thing happens, the solution is to find ways to educate the voting public, rather than to whine about the result and call for elections to be scrapped entirely.
That’s what I was trying to say.
Plus, the system apparently doesn’t need overhauling anyway, as evidenced by the fact that it contains an appointments process that is going to get the more-qualified judge her seat back.
And no, I don’t like the fact that less-qualified people are able to buy their way into office — and yes, I have appeared in front of such judges, as I said in my original post. That’s the nature of the beast in democratic societies with free speech. As we have seen with McCain’s Incumbent Protection and Free Speech Suppression Act (aka the BCRA), any “cure” is bound to be worse than the disease.