Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Judge Griffen: Judges should speak out

The way the "Code of Judicial Ethics" is now written, judges are barred from expressing their opinions in public on just about anything. As a voter trying to make an informed choice, I find this frustrating. I have always said that we need to know where judges stand on issues- especially with them voting themselves more power every day and the legislature too scared of the establishment media to tell judges to get lost. At this rate, the elections for judges will be the only ones that really matter, so we might as well know what we are getting.

Judge Wendell Griffen is running against Judge Paul Danielson for an Arkansas Supreme Court slot. Griffen has intrigued me with his statements that the code needs to be changed. Unfortunately, the changes he proposes in this Doug Thompson article turn out not to be of the sort I had in mind. I was hoping that Judge Griffen was pushing to change the code so that judicial candidates could answer questions about past cases so that people could use that information to discern how they might tend to vote on future ones. It turns out, Griffen still wants to stiff people there- he refuses to comment on Lakeview for example- but insists he has the right to speak out on anything not likely to come before his court.

Ugghhh! Griffen is not pushing for more rights for the people to know what kind of judges we are electing, he is pushing for more rights for himself and other judges! That is exactly backwards from what we need. Judges have interposed themselves in far too much in our society already. Should we really have to endure their lectures on whatever small corner of life is left untrampled by their edicts?

I was really giving Griffen a chance, but given two men who won't tell me if they agreed with the Lakeview ruling, I'll take the one who at least won't lecture me on the rest of life. So far, that is Judge Paul Danielson.


Anonymous 21st majority said...

Griffen is no good. He lost the last race and he needs to loose the next race. Danielson can't under current laws say where he stands on the Lakeview case, because he will most likely rule on it should he win. Danielson understands the balance between the legislative and judical branches. It is time we get the courts out of the legislation. Danielson is the best man to do it and he needs our help to win in May.

6:39 PM, May 03, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think the point of the article is that Danielson SHOULD be able to say outright what he thinks of the judges decision to take up (and back up) the Lakeview case and order to the ledge to spend more money.

PS- to that fist post, the only thing blatant is your pyschosis. Quit trying to hijack threads. Stay on-topic.

5:57 AM, May 04, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

Griffen is sending out an e-mail on this..


Recently, a newspaper editor asked whether stating my views on public issues-issues that do not involve cases presently or likely to come before the court-works to reduce public confidence in the courts. I answered with an emphatic, "No."

Public confidence in the courts is based on what courts and judges do on the bench; not personal comments on public issues that judges make off the bench.

Regardless of whether judges talk about their beliefs, the public will lose confidence in what judges do if judges take too long to decide cases, make decisions that seem unfair; and require Arkansans to put up with waste, unnecessary delays, costs, and poor service.

On the other hand, Arkansans will respect the courts and have confidence in justice if judges move cases along, render fair decisions, reduce waste, unnecessary delays and costs, and improve service.

Americans demand to know the beliefs of nominees for the U.S. Supreme Court. I am a nominee for Position 5 on the Arkansas Supreme Court. Arkansans deserve to know my values and beliefs on public issues. Why deny Arkansans the same information about their judicial candidates that Americans demand to know about their judicial candidates?

That is why I accepted the invitation extended to both candidates for Position 5 to appear in a televised forum to discuss the issues. My opponent refused the invitation.

That is why I invited my opponent to take part in public discussions around the state so voters can hear us discuss the issues together. My opponent declined that invitation.

Supreme Court justices in Arkansas are not term limited. Arkansas Supreme Court justices can sit on the bench for years to come-all the while, making decisions that affect the lives of Arkansans for generations.

Therefore, your decision for Supreme Court justice in the May 23 election is an important one. Before you make that decision, you deserve to know my views on democracy, our freedoms, and the role of judges in a free society. You deserve information that only I can give you. I owe you that information before you trust me with your vote.

I am the judge who respects our democracy, who tells you what I believe, and who respects your right to be an informed voter.

I want your vote. On May 23, elect me, Judge Wendell Griffen, to Position 5 on the Arkansas Supreme Court.

Judge Wendell Griffen
Our Courts - Our Justice

The Judge Griffen for Justice Campaign obtained your email address from a direct marketing provider. The provider gives us email addresses of people who have indicated that marketers may use their email address to inform them about products, information, or services. Our Campaign does not use your email address for any purpose other than to communicate with you about the campaign.

11:18 AM, May 04, 2006  
Blogger Mark Moore (Moderator) said...

"Recently, a newspaper editor asked whether stating my views on public issues-issues that do not involve cases presently or likely to come before the court-works to reduce public confidence in the courts. I answered with an emphatic, "No."

It COULD if they spot liberal tripe like they all too often on their opinions on the bench. What is reducing publc confidence in the courts is their insane rulings.

11:19 AM, May 04, 2006  

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