From loyal reader Gina, on the politicking that’s happening right now, as local attorneys jockey for position to get a District Court judge appointment. Judge Rebecca Knight recently announced she’s retiring.
The process to choose Knight’s replacement is that the local bar will pick the names of three people to pass along to Gov. Beverly Perdue, who will make the appointment. From Gina:
In the past I’ve lobbied hard to get the media to help the public understand the importance of judicial elections and how judges impact the lives in our community. This vote is important. We have in Asheville the Unified Family Court, one of the only therapeutic courts in the state, and they are only available in 13 of our judicial districts (people in Franklin, for instance, don’t have the benefit of Unified Family Court). Our family judges are specially trained. Chief District Court Judge Calvin Hill is responsible for placing the governor’s appointment in a way that is most beneficial to our system and the candidates range in skillsets, trial experience, family law experience, etc.
The bar vote will take place on the 16th of August, giving these candidates not quite 5 weeks to make their campaign for the appointment. The campaign and the appointment are highly political and there is a story in whether everyone involved does the right thing.
Our judges are very important political figures. The public in general has very little understanding of what judges really do and the peripheral effect their rulings have on families and communities. Judges with a proclivity towards therapeutic jurisprudence are interested in reducing recidivism by addressing the underlying causes (alcoholism, addiction, anger management, mental illness). Judges with histories as prosecutors might not have the same ideals. The differences in these two approaches directly impact our culture.