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pbi said:I've never been comfortable with the idea of the politicization of the judiciary, (Left or Right), which is what we seem to get from having political parties and their funders get involved in the process. To me it seems to go totally against the idea of a truly independent judiciary, since their appointments are so clearly done to further the agenda of the party with the power to appoint.
I have a hard time seeing what it is in politicians that makes them capable of divining if a judge is any good or not, as opposed to just being "reliable and useful"
I can't say that electing them is any better: IMHO that's just another form of politicization. I once heard a judge in the US comment that to pass a particular judgement would be "suicide for my political career". What is the functional difference between that and judges being swayed by popular opinion, rather than by the rule and spirit of the law?
Do I know how to replace political appointment of judges? No, not just at the moment, I don't. But it seems to me that there must be a better, less partisan way to do it.
I agree that electing judges is just another way of having mob rule.
Our processes are better in that judges, once appointed, have tenure of office for life and are no longer beholding to anyone for their job (barring misconduct complaints and hearings)
There is no question that the various existing processes bend appointment in favour of an individual whose broad political leanings are in line with that of the appointing party. Initial vetting and shortlisting is much more nonpartisan, however, and therefore candidates brought before the politicians for selection are at least qualified and considered capable of doing the job.
We do have one major advantage. Our constitution and human rights legislation are more expansive and malleable which allows legal principles to grow and expand to match society's growth both in the way that legislatures deal with it as well as the judges. What's more, if legislatures are adamant that judges are being too proactive, they can also use the "Notwithstanding" clause. In the US the trait of the "originalism" hamstrings the Constitution to interpretations that do not take changes in society into account.