Here are my suggestions to start cleaning up our county courts and following those suggestions are suggestions in a new article in Chicago Mag by Whet Moser-If you read the Clean up the courts.WordPress.com Blog, and Mosers following article you should share my outrage:
> Let’s get an outside assessment of the efficiencies of our courts-let’s get rid of the ‘waste’ and hire more teachers and /or police officers or take the wasted money and lower our taxes. Let’s no longer leave it to the ‘fox in the hen-house’ with a $300 million dollar annual budget!-Think about that every time you buy anything in Cook County or look at your tax bills (Judges get 90% pay for retirement)!
>Let’s form a citizens’ board that is empowered to really look into judicial abuse, with the power to do something about it-not make legal judgments, rather, to make moral ones to give ‘we the people’ somewhere to turn to and be protected; that wasn’t concocted by the very people we need the protection from-and one that doesn’t take money to get justice.( The last ‘Bad’ Judge taken off the bench was 14 years and 6,500 complaints ago)!!!! YOU just reelected them ALL in the very last election INCLUDING a Judge that has been deemed LEGALLY INSANE!
> Be informed, research these Judges in the newspapers and the Illinois Bar Association website BEFORE you vote (You can’t name 3 Cook County judges right now) It’s shameful
Under our system, one bad and unjust Judge is worse than probably 50 good ones, for we are a nation of laws and fairness and justice and the last people who should ever not uphold those rights and expectations are the very Judges we have entrusted to do so people died for those rights!
So simply start by dusting off your apathy, let your State Representatives know, start cleaning up these courts, or at the very least, start holding them all accountable.
Let’s, ‘we the people’, impose our own and badly needed ‘term limits. THERE HAS NEVER BEEN A COOK COUNTY JUDGE NOT RETAINED!
If we do not get ‘our retain none button’-let’s simply take the extra 5 minutes, while voting, to clean up the Cook County Courts ourselves and replace them all DO NOT RETAIN any Judge, one by one-(remember, they are counting on your laziness and apathy not to vote them out) until the good Judges stop looking the other way and do something about the bad ones-we cannot afford the bad ones in our judicial system-not even one!
Remember, they do not all come up for retention at the same time, so in reality, we may just be NOT retaining maybe 50 Judges out of 400-but what it will do is force them to be 100% more efficient immediately, send a very clear message to the next ‘batch’ of Judges coming up for retention and shift the power back to where it belongs; ‘we the people’
I also believe we will immediately find we probably didn’t need the majority of them after all. (Detroit rid themselves of 43 Judges and saved MILLIONS)
If you just can’t bring yourself to vote all of these nameless Judges off the bench, again, will you, at the very least, read what the newspapers and the Illinois Bar Association has to say about these Judges and go to the polls, informed.
Ironically, either way, it may not matter, for here’s another little power they gave their ‘dark cloaked club’ that you know nothing about-you can vote them off the bench and the Illinois Supreme court can immediately reinstate them-AND THEY ARE! (see Tribune12.23.12-Front page)
Did you read that last line?
If that doesn’t demonstrate how they have hijacked our courts, our money, our trust, for their personal gains-then you are hopeless.
So in a sense, your vote may not really count after all-so let’s force it to count; a mass vote removal from the bench would probably draw too much attention to their putting them all back-and they don’t like attention focused on their ‘feathered nests’.
They are making and costing us millions upon millions!
We also will finally send a clear message; these are our courts, we elect you, you work for us and if you destroy that trust and honor we bestowed upon you, you need to go and the ‘Free’ ride is over-‘we the people ‘are taking back our courts.
They should stand and thank us, when we walk into a court room, not the other way around.
How to Fix Cook County’s Judge Problem
OBJECTION!: In Illinois, it’s easy for bad judges to stick around for life. Time for a change
By Whet Moser
You’ve heard of Cynthia Brim, right? The 54-year-old Chicagoan made headlines last March when she was charged with misdemeanor battery for pushing one sheriff’s deputy and throwing her keys at another (a court-appointed psychiatrist declared her “legally insane” at the time). She has also racked up 18 years of near-universal negative ratings for performance at her job: judge for the Circuit Court of Cook County. Yet last November, nearly 64 percent of voters chose to retain her.
In fact, county residents voted to retain every single one of the 57 candidates on November’s circuit court ballot—including four judges deemed “not qualified” by most bar associations. This happens in nearly every judicial election around here: Since 1990, the retention rate has been 100 percent.
You already know part of the reason. Voting in judicial retention elections is like cramming for a test in a class you always skip: cribbing notes from someone who was there (in this case, the voting recommendations of the bar associations—all 11 of them) and trying to remember the answers when it comes time to pencil in all those arrows. “Staying informed is like a full-time job,” says Matthew Streb, a political science professor at Northern Illinois University.
But the bigger problem is that in Illinois, unlike in the majority of other states where judges get reelected, you don’t get to choose between the current judges—who have mostly been picked by the powerful ward and township committeemen in Cook County—and new candidates for the job. When jurists’ six-year terms are up, you simply get asked whether you want to retain them or fire them. Because most people don’t bother to vote in retention elections—or they just mark “yes” on a straight party line—even bad judges get electoral mulligans.
The irony of all this is that judicial retention elections—instituted by Illinois in 1964—were meant to combat the power of the political machine. Originally, they were the idea of Albert Kales, a law professor at Northwestern University, who observed how dominant parties controlled judicial appointments through partisan elections. Kales proposed that the governor select judges based on merit, using recommendations from a board of lawyers and nonlawyers, after which voters would decide whether to retain them. The process was meant to be a compromise, even though it was a sop to politics in its own way.
Isn’t there a better approach?
Yes—and it’s been happening in Colorado, says Elizabeth Monkus, a project director at the nonprofit Judicial Performance Commission of Cook County. In that state, an appointed committee (a mix of lawyers and nonlawyers) interviews judges, analyzes court data, and surveys everyone from litigants to social service workers. The result: detailed evaluations—published in a guide mailed to all Colorado voters—that compare judges not only to a universal standard but to other judges in the system. In the 11 election cycles since the program was created in 1988, ten judges have been voted out. “That system works really well,” says Monkus.
In Arizona, which adopted a similar procedure in 1992, the system has improved the judiciary by scaring bad judges away. “Rather than face the public humiliation of such a rating on the ballot and in the voter publicity pamphlet, these affected judges chose to retire,” a study of Arizona’s system found.
Could that happen here too? Chicagoans don’t scare easily. But it’s worth a try