Tag: judges

Del. Cardin: Bill would end competitive elections for Circuit Court judges

“People don’t know what they’re doing when they vote for judges. Judges are not permitted to really campaign, not permitted to talk about how they would rule on things and they can’t talk partisan politics,” said Del. Jon Cardin, D-Baltimore County. “They’re not allowed to by their rules and so essentially it is a name contest — whosever name you like the best is who you vote for. And that is not the way that we should be picking our judiciary.”

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13 new Maryland judges proposed at cost of $4.1M

Court of Appeals Chief Judge Mary Ellen Barbera told the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee Thursday that there are not enough Circuit and District judges in Maryland, which has resulted in courts being overloaded with cases. Barbera testified in favor of SB 117, a bill the judiciary asked for that would add a total of 13 judges around the state at a total estimated cost of $4.1 million including support staff in its first year. The judiciary has included $3.8 million in the fiscal 2017 budget to pay for the new judges.

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Governors’ judicial appointments have lasting impact

With terms ranging from 10 to 15 years – and then the potential of staying on the bench for several terms after that – the judges a governor selects could make a lasting impression on the state and its laws.

For all of the state’s courts, a nominating commission vets people who apply to be judges. The top picks are presented to the governor, who does his own investigation and makes his selection. For circuit court judges, the governor’s selection is checked by putting those judges — plus other attorneys interested in the position — on the ballot after at least a year of service for the people to vote on.

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