Thursday, May 10, 2007

Candidates for Pennsylvania Supreme Court and Superior Court

I know next to nothing about the people who are running for statewide judicial posts but I found a resource that might help, PAVoteSmart. The Pennsylvania Bar Association Judicial Evaluation Commission's ratings of appellate candidates are highlighted on PAVoteSmart as well as links to other critical information about the candidates and the important functions of Pennsylvania's courts.

In the Supreme Court race the only candidate that I've heard of is Seamus McCaffery and that's because he was in charge of the "Eagles Court" that was set up a few years ago at the Vet to deal with rowdy football fans. In the Superior Court contest I've received a few direct mail pieces but this one stood out.

Jane got the same thing in the mail.

I somewhat torn about electing statewide judges. On the one hand I think that the people should have a say in deciding who occupies positions in all branches of government. On the other if a political junkie like me can't get a handle on who to vote for maybe merit selection would be a better way to go. I think the biggest thing that turns me off to electing these offices is that the candidates can't tell you their positions on the issues. So we're subjected to bio adds that tell you how tough on crime and drugs they've been. All financed by the lawyers that will appear before them.


PA progressive said...

I got that cheap postcard too. I wasn't impressed. Of course I'm a supervoter. I wouldn't get all these primary election mailings otherwise. No pol worth their salt is going to send expensive mail pieces to the 85% of voters who don't participate in primary elections.

This was an attempt at a very inexpensive direct mail piece which is simply pathetic. It tells me the guy hasn't raised any money.

rfahel said...

Do Not Mail Opt-Out Law would be fair to everyone.

The proposed recent "Do not mail" is an Opt-Out law. Only those not desiring advertising mail need opt-out. Anyone desiring advertising mail can do nothing - and continue to receive it. Why deny those wishing to avoid advertising mail the power to do so?

I do not consider handling unwanted advertising placed against my will on my personal property to be a civic obligation!

The US Supreme Court said in the Rowan case in 1970, ““In today's [1970] complex society we are inescapably captive audiences for many purposes, but a sufficient measure of individual autonomy must survive to permit every householder to exercise control over unwanted mail. To make the householder the exclusive and final judge of what will cross his threshold undoubtedly has the effect of impeding the flow of ideas, information, and arguments that, ideally, he should receive and consider. Today's merchandising methods, the plethora of mass mailings subsidized by low postal rates, and the growth of the sale of large mailing lists as an industry in itself have changed the mailman from a carrier of primarily private communications, as he was in a more leisurely day, and have made him an adjunct of the mass mailer who sends unsolicited and often unwanted mail into every home. It places no strain on the doctrine of judicial notice to observe that whether measured by pieces or pounds, Everyman's mail today is made up overwhelmingly of material he did not seek from persons he does not know. And all too often it is matter he finds offensive.”

Furthermore, the Supreme Court said, “the mailer's right to communicate is circumscribed only by an affirmative act of the addressee giving notice that he wishes no further mailings from that mailer.

To hold less would tend to license a form of trespass and would make hardly more sense than to say that a radio or television viewer may not twist the dial to cut off an offensive or boring communication and thus bar its entering his home. Nothing in the Constitution compels us to listen to or view any unwanted communication, whatever its merit; we see no basis for according the printed word or pictures a different or more preferred status because they are sent by mail.”

We need a nationwide “Do Not Mail” law to create a one-stop, convenient place for homeowners to give senders the aforementioned affirmative notice that we do not want certain kinds of mail sent to our homes.

Ramsey A Fahel