Letter: End the state system of judicial elections, recalls

End the state system of
judicial elections, recalls

Your editorial, “Give state judges the right to speak out on recall issues” (Opinion section, Mercurynews.com, Jan. 5), correctly advocates for the proposition that judges under attack either by the threat of judicial recall or election, must have the opportunity to explain their decision that is the subject of the recall or election if they wish to do so. This same privilege is extended to other judges making comments in support of the judge under recall.

However, the judge commenting must do so in a way that does not bring into question the ability to be perceived as fair, neutral and impartial.

The better approach is to eliminate judicial elections and recalls. Adopting the federal constitutional approach gives judicial officers a lifetime appointment subject to removal using the impeachment process. The present state system potentially subjects judicial decision-making to political pressure where a decision might be made to avoid removal. The federal approach has worked well for over 225 years.

To continue the current state system lessens confidence by the public that our judges are independent decision-makers.

Eugene M. Hyman
Santa Clara County
Superior Court Judge, retired
Los Altos


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Source: Mercury news
Letter: End the state system of judicial elections, recalls