Thursday, October 13, 2005

Retention of Judges

State Supreme Court Justices Russell Nigro and Sandra Schultz Newman (pictured at left) , both of Philadelphia, are up for a 10 year retention vote on November 8. They were both elected in pointless statewide elections were the candidates can't answer any questions about the issues of the day so we usually get bio ads that tell us how tough on criminals they have been and end by saying they will lock up all the drug dealers. That has been a succesful policy as we all know since all the drug dealers have been taken off the street since they were elected. So now we must decide if they deserve to continue on the bench.

A new twist has been added this year as they have become the lightening rods for everyone who is mad about the pay raise recently enacted by the legislature in Harrisburg. From the Pittsburgh Post Gazette:

Citizen groups angry about state legislators' big pay raise want to vote incumbent lawmakers out of office on Nov. 8. There's only one problem -- there aren't any legislators up for re-election next month. So the pay-raise protesters are doing what they consider to be the next best thing. They're urging Pennsylvanians to take out their frustrations on two state Supreme Court justices who are up for a 10-year retention election on Nov. 8 -- Russell Nigro and Sandra Schultz Newman. Ousting them, the protesters say, would send a strong statewide message that political incumbents aren't safe, no matter who they are, and it might even lead legislators to rethink the raise.

Thanks to Republicans and Conservatives for pointing out this article. DJB makes a very good case on why we should vote no on these people. As the article points out these people are get along/go along with everything that is wrong with Harrisburg.

More reasons to vote against these two was detailed by John Baer in the Daily News. Mr. Nigro has a taste for expensive restaurants:

He charges for lunches of more than $100 at Capital Grille and the Four Seasons; dinners of more than $200 at Bliss and Pompeii; dinners of more than $300 at Mio Sogno and Prime Rib: dinners of more than $400 at Prime Rib and Morton's.

Newman has more modest tastes:

She charges for her AOL and Comcast hookups, for her On Star service and for $10 tips to hotel bellhops and doormen (nothing against bellhops and doormen; just wish her generosity came out of her own pocket). She charged $165 for a private driver to take her to a conference. And she charged $5.05 for a soft drink and a quart of Half & Half from the Acme "for a meeting."

All this on their expense accounts! You and me pay for this.

I have always voted no on these retention questions, now I have a good reason.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As far as His Holiness is concerned, ten years is far too long for anyone to be placed in an elected position of power--most of all judicial. Either judges should be appointed via an in depth research process or be elected to a four year term. NO one man/woman should have that much power nor have to have it. Totally unrelated, but His Holiness predicts that Ms. Meirs, our esteemed leaders choice for the US high court will withdraw her nomination before it even gets to the Senate.