We made it through Election Day, and I have the following observations I’d like to make.
After covering the first state Supreme Court election under the nonpartisan category, it’s my humble opinion that the experiment failed completely.
I was for making judicial elections nonpartisan. I think the crafters of this legislation had good intentions for taking party labels out of judicial elections. After all, judges shouldn’t be ruling based on their political party affiliation or based one someone else’s. Judges, magistrates and justices need to be impartial and unbiased.
But speaking as a reporter, judicial races — particularly Supreme Court races — are hard enough to cover. Candidates for judicial races have to be very careful what they say. If they end up ruling on a case down the road, comments on the campaign trail can be used to force justices to recuse themselves. Members of the bar also have to abide by various rules above and beyond what us mere mortals have to.