And Justice For All
primary focus on divorce, custody and guardian ad litems
Re: Judging judges: hearings on judicial appointments or reappointment.
At MeGAL we are writing you-in our role as grassroots advocates for Guardian ad litem and family court reform-about your committee’s work on judicial appointments and reappointment. You will soon be reviewing the appointment status of a number of judges. From our perspective, it is “a moment of truth” – the question being: are these judicial candidates good for the public who use Maine’s family courts?
Historically, judicial confirmation activity has been largely a series of privileged decisions by a special interest oligarchy composed of the Maine Bar and members of the Judicial Branch, with a near automatic, stamp of approval from your committee.
We would strongly argue that public users of family courts also have a vital interest in this topic. Bad or inadequate judges are a public hazard. They can cause untold cruelty and harm to families and children with bad judicial decisions. Yet, they are virtually impossible to correct or remove using judicial review procedures – just check the numbers of corrective actions yourself. We know of none.
We look to the legislature to act to remove judges with a troubled public record. As a start, we would suggest a series of questions for judicial candidates, the answers to which ought to be tied to decision making by your committee.