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Ask Slashdot: How To Become Informed In Judicial Elections? 153

First time accepted submitter yincrash writes "Today I've been looking up information on local elections and have found it virtually impossible to determine information on judicial elections, both with regards to information on the candidate, and what makes a good judge. Is there a good way to find information on these candidates? seems to agree that this is basically an impossible task. What do slashdotters do in an information vacuum? Just abstain from voting? Write-in something in protest?"
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Ask Slashdot: How To Become Informed In Judicial Elections?

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  • Complain to the Bar (Score:5, Informative)

    by roccomaglio ( 520780 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @10:16AM (#41892951)
    The Bar does not allow judge candidates to answer many of the questions you would like answered. This professional organization is choosing to require the judge candidates to withhold this information. If the candidates do not follow the rules set by the bar they could loose their law license and be ineligible to be a judge. Your only option is to complain to the Bar in hopes that they will be influenced by your complaint.
  • by Revotron ( 1115029 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @10:27AM (#41893079)
    For those wondering, the website in question is []
  • Smart Voter (Score:3, Informative)

    by Trevin ( 570491 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @10:32AM (#41893131) Homepage
    I go to [] for almost all of my candidate research. You can't see a judge's prior rulings from there, but at least some of them post their priorities. If a candidate doesn't submit a profile to their database, I usually ignore them come election day.
  • Ask a lawyer (Score:3, Informative)

    by soapee01 ( 698313 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @10:44AM (#41893291)
    I asked my friend who's a general practice lawyer. He does defense work, family law etc. They tend to know all of the people running personally and are most interested in a fair and impartial judge regardless of party. Other than that I couldn't find any information online or in newspapers. The media doesn't seem to care about district/municipal judges which is incorrigible since they influence the general public more directly than any other elected official.
  • by bjdevil66 ( 583941 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @10:44AM (#41893297)

    I came across this site while doing research as well.

    From the site []:

    The Arizona Commission on Judicial Performance Review sets performance standards for the judges appointed through the merit selection process, decides whether or not a judge meets those standards, and reports its findings to you, the voters when a judge is up for retention.

    The Commission collects information on how judges perform by distributing written surveys and holding public hearings for people who have first-hand knowledge of the job performance of judges appearing on the 2012 general election ballot. More than 57,000 surveys on Arizona judges were distributed in 2011. The Commission also accepts written comments at any time about the performance of judges.

    The survey responses are compiled by an independent data center and the results are given to the Commission. Its members review all the information on each judge and vote whether the judge MEETS or DOES NOT MEET judicial performance standards. When the Commission votes, the judges' names are encoded so that members do not know which judge they are voting on until all the votes are counted.

    It came in pretty handy. Perhaps other states have similar web sites?

  • State Supreme Court (Score:4, Informative)

    by zerosomething ( 1353609 ) on Tuesday November 06, 2012 @11:20AM (#41893761) Homepage
    At least for your states Supreme Court you can lookup their written decisions. Sometimes Wikipedia has a listing of individual judges and their decisions for your state. Pick an issue you know when to the state court and lookup the decision. Each state should have these decisions online in some form. Try searching for keywords like Abortion, Marijuana, Alcohol (Wine shipments to your state and microbrew issues). In Indiana we are trying to vote out "Steven H. David" for his decision stating "We hold that there is no right to reasonably resist unlawful entry by police officers." []

I use technology in order to hate it more properly. -- Nam June Paik