Paying for Justice? How We Elect Judges

U.S. Supreme Court rules that elections aren't the best method of putting judges on the bench

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that judges must recuse themselves from ruling on cases that involve individuals who have spent money to help put the judge on the bench. It sounds like a fairly straightforward ruling. But the decision raises larger questions of just how we elect and appoint judges in this country. For a look at the tricky process of electing judges, The Takeaway talks to Adam Liptak, Supreme Court Correspondent for our partners The New York Times, and to Tom Phillips, a lawyer with Baker Botts in Austin, Texas, who served as the Chief Justice of the Texas Supreme Court from 1988 to 2004.

"Whenever you treat a judge the same way you treat other officials that have a different position in office, you tend to confuse within the public's mind, and perhaps even in the judge's mind, the very different roles that different officers in the government perform."
— Attorney Tom Phillips on reforms in appointing judges

Guests:

Adam Liptak and Tom Phillips

Hosted by:

Farai Chideya

Contributors:

Noel King

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