Up for Debate: Selecting judges

Friday, February 22, 2013 at 12:45am

Where should the power to select judges in Tennessee lie, with the governor or with the public?

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Up for Debate

106 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 2/22/13 at 6:06

Our Constitution called for the popular election of Judges. The legislature changed
that on their own some 30+ years ago, which was unconstitutional, since it wasn't
changed by the voters as required. Former Governor Dunn now states he made a
mistake by signing the bill. Our beloved "Protected Class" now wants this
Constitutional Amendment voted on to keep in place what they did incorrectly oh so long ago. While we may not be the wisest voters in the nation, I suspect we can
do as good a job selecting all Judges as well as the Self-Serving System proposed.

By: gdiafante on 2/22/13 at 6:16

While we may not be the wisest voters in the nation, I suspect we can
do as good a job selecting all Judges as well as the Self-Serving System proposed.

The first part being the understatement of the century. Based on that premise, the latter part is laughable.

Reasoning, critical thinking skills, being able to separate ideology from anything else...these are not typically used to describe the citizenry (or politicians).

In other words, either way sucks.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/22/13 at 6:37

Both views from gov and gdia have my support.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/22/13 at 6:40

Now let’s hear from the mental equal two, yogi and Rasputin. The first will tell that it is Obama’s fault and the second will inform us that we are the underclass.

By: yogiman on 2/22/13 at 6:59

Judges should not be appointed by office holders. The citizens should vote for their judges.

The biggest problem would be too many ignorant voters like dumba$$ voting for someone and they don't even know their name; like Barry Soetoro. Or is that Barack Obama, who he and his fellow idiots, put in office to act as their judge and president to make decisions for them.

By: gdiafante on 2/22/13 at 7:06

The biggest problem would be too many ignorant voters like yogi.

Fixed that for you. Also, weren't you just whining about vulgarity yesterday? Yeah, can you say hypocrit? I knew you could. That's a good boy.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/22/13 at 7:40

I believe that judges should be appointed. Here's an interesting article:


"While individual judges may not sell their votes outright, political donors have an interest in electing judges who support their point of view. Businesses and their surrogates have deep pockets to contribute to campaigns, giving them tremendous sway in the elections."

However, there are valid arguments on both sides.

By: Rasputin72 on 2/22/13 at 8:12

Being a judge at almost any level in this country is tantamount to having your own personal fiefdom. A coveted position for the lawyer community.

There is a downside in allowing judgeships to be appointed but then again there is a downside in allowing people like the Simple Six to vote.

My guess is that however judges are selected that like many professions 80% will be decent and effective and 20% will be an embarrassment to civilized and productive society.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/22/13 at 8:12

Well at less yogi knows he is a dumb ass. LOL

By: BenDover on 2/22/13 at 8:14

BenDover for State Supreme Court!

By: Captain Nemo on 2/22/13 at 8:15

Just as predicted the mental deprived two have shown just how silly they are.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/22/13 at 8:17

Raspy old boy, how does it feel to be in the same class of low life as yogi.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/22/13 at 8:18


By: gdiafante on 2/22/13 at 8:20

I will only vote for Ben if he promises to declare yogi as unconstitutional.

By: slacker on 2/22/13 at 8:44

Stop coke can hair gags:

By: BenDover on 2/22/13 at 8:47

I'll promise that, a chicken in every pot, pot in every chicken... hell... what-da-ya-want boys? In the big rock, paper, scissors game that is our government the judiciary is the dynamite.

By: Captain Nemo on 2/22/13 at 8:56

Ben, I want to know what you will do when a Troll appears in your court?

By: slacker on 2/22/13 at 8:58

A dollar a day
Roast beef
And the Chinese must go

By: gdiafante on 2/22/13 at 8:59

One other requirement, you must wear a wig...


By: slacker on 2/22/13 at 9:02

Horsemeat In Burgers Must End... VOTE FOR MR. BEN

By: BenDover on 2/22/13 at 9:06

Nemo... In my best Barney Miller imitation I'll say, "Fish, Wojciehowicz... I think Mr. Yogi needs a ride to Bellevue" ... where I'll then arrange a welcoming committee lead by Nurse Ratchet and the Indian.

By: BenDover on 2/22/13 at 9:08

Wig point conceded. A must to maintain proper decorum, I would say.

By: gdiafante on 2/22/13 at 9:09

Then you, sir, have my full support. Huzzah!

By: BenDover on 2/22/13 at 9:10

My first question...

"was anyone hurt?"... "No?" ... "then gethafukouttahere"

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/22/13 at 9:11


By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/22/13 at 9:12

Ben, did you "italianize" that?

By: BenDover on 2/22/13 at 9:14

"Yes?" ... "6 months - no Vaseline"

"Raped?" ... "Bull, go and zip tie this SOB's wrists to my truck bumper... we're going for a little ride".

By: slacker on 2/22/13 at 9:16

No Coarse treatment.. only justice.. and blah blah blah..

By: Captain Nemo on 2/22/13 at 9:24

Then Ben you will get all 10,000 of my votes.

By: nalafoster on 2/22/13 at 9:27

Does anybody even realize we already elect most of the judges in TN? We directly elect all the General Sessions Judges, all the ciminal and civil trial judges and all the chancellors of equity. It would seem to me there would be greater impact locally in each county for chicanery in the voting process than in a ststewide election. But anyway, I am all for putting it to a consttutional vote so we can reject the stupid plan to disenfranchise voters. Then the legislature (maybe) will follow the constitution and finally allow election by popular vote of the appellate and supreme court.

By: slacker on 2/22/13 at 9:33

nalafoster for GOV..

By: gdiafante on 2/22/13 at 9:59

Slack, you mean no course treatment...you have to make this simple enough for yogi to understand...

By: Loner on 2/22/13 at 10:06

Good morning, Nashville.

Ideally, judges should be politically neutral, fair, honest, informed, educated, logical, reasonable, compassionate, yet firm. This rules out every politician....but elected judges are politicians by another name.

Appointing judges, rather than electing them in a general election, could eliminate the political bias aspect; but elected politicians do the selecting...their bias is reflected in their choice.

It comes down to democracy versus autocracy...who do you trust?

If the general welfare of the population is the standard for measuring success, then historically, autocracy has been shown to be a miserable failure. Democracy has a much better track record.

True, the masses can be asses, but I prefer rule by consensus, as opposed to rule by executive fiat.

By: Loner on 2/22/13 at 10:08

Ben Dover for Drug Court Judge!

By: Loner on 2/22/13 at 10:24

Appointments versus elections....

"If men were angels, no government would be necessary."
_James Madison

"If Governors were angels, then appointing judges would be a heavenly idea"

By: Loner on 2/22/13 at 10:38

Speaking of justice...OJ, er, I mean Oscar Pistorius, OP, was granted bail...the trial will now be delayed for as long as possible, of course....did somebody get to the judge in that notoriously corrupt country? OP got rich man's justice, so far anyway...he's gonna walk?

By: slacker on 2/22/13 at 11:01

This just in:
A man with prosthesis legs was seen swimming at at a fast pace.. in the Atlantic ocean off the coast of S. Africa...

By: slacker on 2/22/13 at 11:02

in before at

By: slacker on 2/22/13 at 11:05

Kill 'em all.. let God be the judge..
-The Devil

By: slacker on 2/22/13 at 11:06

Back off Devil..

By: budlight on 2/22/13 at 11:09

Judges: "of the people, for the people and by the people". I say we vote for them. Because we are the ones who are directly effected by them.

Oscar (OP) is innocent until proven guilty. From what the media is spewing out it sounds like he is guilty to me. But I wasn't there. Maybe he didn't plan to kill her, but he didn't plan NOT to k ill her. By that I mean, if you are a responsible gun owner and you know there are others in the house, you cry out that you have a gun. You determine that the person you are shooting at IS NOT a member of your household -- unless they have a gun on you.

He knew she was in the house; he said he didn't know she was in the water closet or laundry room (whereever she was). But of course he would lie to get out of it, now wouldn't he? Or would he? Up to a jury to decide.

I bet he will disappear. Maybe not run away, but I wouldn't be surprised if a member of her family tried to, or actually succeeds, to kill him.

By: Loner on 2/22/13 at 11:24

OK, Slack...the wind-up....the pitch:

"Exhausted, soaking-wet, South African, with hi-tech prosthetic "frog feet", hops into a gay piano bar...."

By: govskeptic on 2/22/13 at 11:27


I'm not sure what State you live in, but it's certainly not in Tn. Yes, we elect the
local General Session Judges, but not any of the others you mentioned in the
Criminal, Civil, or Appellate Judges, or Supreme Court. What they do give us
their blessings of doing is to vote yes or no to retain who they present to us on
the ballot that has been selected for us. 99% are reaffirmed as no one normally
knows anything about them. The last Supreme Court Justice was rejected because
she would never vote to uphold the death penalty. A second Supreme was about
to be rejected for the same reason until the Bar Assoc and both parties worked
feverishly across the state in a campaign to same him.

By: slacker on 2/22/13 at 11:32

Orders up a ''Corpse Reviver''.. and shoots stranger in men's room four times...

By: yogiman on 2/22/13 at 11:50

Sorry, gdiafante,

But anyone who would vote for someone to be their president who refuses to identify himself is the ignorant one, not the man who waned to know who was running for that office, and still wants to know who is in that office. But don't feel bad, you aren't alone on that. You have several fools on this site with you.

By: Loner on 2/22/13 at 12:01

LOL, Slack...you are firing on all eight.....

Corpse Reviver recipe:

Scale ingredients to servings.

1 1/2 oz brandy
1/2 oz Fernet Branca® bitters
1 oz white creme de menthe

In a mixing glass half-filled with ice cubes, combine all of the ingredients. Stir well. Strain into a cocktail glass.

Read more: Corpse Reviver recipe http://www.drinksmixer.com/drink2999.html#ixzz2LeUVMlTv

By: Loner on 2/22/13 at 12:14

The judge who granted OP bail said that OP did not appear to be a flight risk...if he had prosthetic wings, the judge argued, it would be a different matter....(BAH, DAH, BOOM)

In the real world, one might conclude that a rich white man in South Africa, with offshore resources and a loyal following of family, powerful friends and fans might consider making a run for it...if convicted of the crime, he could get 25 years in a hell-hole prison....or death in prison.

OP has got to be contemplating flight....the Judge is either inept or corrupt....IMHO.

By: bfra on 2/22/13 at 12:17

Loner - Got 1 for a "troll eradicater"?

By: gdiafante on 2/22/13 at 12:20

If they think he's a flight risk, they should take his springs. Problem solved.

By: Loner on 2/22/13 at 12:25

Not yet, Bfra, we may have to invent one...I did find this:

KK's Boise Trolleycar recipe

Scale ingredients to servings.

1 oz Hennessy® cognac
1 oz Cointreau® orange liqueur
1/2 oz lime juice
1/2 oz margarita mix
rim glass with sugar
garnish with maraschino cherries

Dip martini glass in juice from maraschino cherries then sugar to line the rim. Partially fill cocktail shaker with ice and then the brandy, Contreau, lime juice and margarita mix until chilled. Pour into martini glass and garnish with maraschino cherry.

Read more: KK's Boise Trolleycar recipe http://www.drinksmixer.com/drinks2r1563.html#ixzz2LeaLFFzD

I lived in Boise, Idaho for 4 years...one of my favorite hang outs was an old trolley car turned into a gin mill...it may have been the birthplace of this drink....sounds yummy!