Thursday, November 1, 2007

Judging The Judges

Not just anyone can be a judge. You have to be screened by a nominating commission. Here's a link to a state site explaining the process, and a list of the contenders for a circuit court post being vacated by His Honor Dennis Sweeney, who is retiring after 16 years on the bench.

The judicial branch is one of the least covered branches of government -- the focus is usually on the accused or the prosecutors or the victims. A story in the Examiner is a good example. It focuses on the process but says precious little about the four applicants who are still in the running for what will be a 15-year appointment by the governor. They include two prosecutors (HoCo State's Attorney Timothy McCrone and senior assistant state's attorney Mary Murphy), a chancery judge in juvenile court (Marlys Elaine Patrick), and an attorney with a firm specializing in criminal defense work (Ricardo Zwaig).

An October story in the Flier spent more time on the background of the retiring judge than on the people who could soon be making life-changing rulings, but at least the paper is trying to stir some interest.

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