On California judicial elections and the Judge Aaron Persky recall, it looks as if Berkeley law Dean Erwin Chemerinsky and I come down on the same side [Maria Dinzeo, Courthouse News]:
“I want judges deciding cases based on the law and the facts, not public opinion,” he said in an interview Thursday.
Chemerinsky, who has denounced the recall effort against Persky as misguided, again came to the judge’s defense and called the move to unseat him [over a sexual assault sentence perceived as lenient] “troubling.”…
Walter Olson, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute’s Robert Levy Center for Constitutional Studies, said situations like Persky’s can be an easy launchpad for agitators looking to whip up voters.
“It’s very common and easy for rulings that other judges of many different stripes and philosophies agree was the correct decision to get turned into something people can rail against, like saying they’re soft on crime or soft on sexual assault,” Olson said. “It’s easy to make judges look bad for doing what may be a good job.
…“We don’t want a judiciary that keeps an eye on popularity polls when deciding guilt or innocence.”
Four incumbent judges on San Francisco Superior Court are also being targeted at the polls for defeat because, although Democrats themselves, they were appointed by former Republican Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger.