How Judges Are Selected

On Election Day, Judge Cynthia Brim of the Cook County Circuit Court was retained by the voters with over 63% of the vote.  She needed 60% to be retained, or kept in office.  What makes this so unbelievable is that Judge Brim was once declared “legally insane” and in fact has been been rejected by most bar associations and newspaper editorial boards.  In Cook County, the voters are given the choice of voting either “yes” or “no” on judges for the Circuit Court.  Anyone receiving less than 60% of approval would then have to step down.  Despite the calls for Judge Brim’s demise, she was retained.  Is this how the election (and re-election) process for judges should be handled?  Should judges have to compete in an election against another individual?  Is the process of retainment, a fair one where judges must run against their records?

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2 responses to “How Judges Are Selected

  1. Although the retainment of Judge Brim was a clear example of a flaw in the process of electing judges, it does not mean the process needs to be revamped. I think this way of electing judges is sufficient because there is no hiding from your record. I do not think judges should have to compete in an election against another individual because that would invite corruption, and over politicization of our justice system.

  2. I agree with Phil. Although the majority of congress gets re-elected this way, it is extremely flawed. However, if we start elections between judges, it will be more commercialized and corrupt. No focus will be on the judge themselves and their qualifications. Instead, I think the majority of individuals that vote need to remain competent and informed when doing so.

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