Ballot question on judicial qualifications commission

Discussion in 'Off-topic Political' started by DonT, Oct 14, 2016.

  1. DonT

    DonT Deplorable bitter clinger.

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    This is the question that will be on our ballots this November:

    Yes or no, is the vote. (see next link for reference)

    http://news.wabe.org/post/proposed-constitutional-amendments-2016-ga-ballot

    Now, read this article and you'll get some other pro arguments and con arguments.

    http://www.ajc.com/news/local/voters-hands-future-agency-that-judges-judges/VURo9aACxQRD1yX6ntzLiL/

    I'm voting "no" on this, because it looks to be a power grab by the state legislature, to fix something that ain't broke, to help out buddies who are judges. Also, I'm voting "no" on the general principle that any amendment this poorly written, should simply be voted down.
     
  2. Phil1979

    Phil1979 Member Georgia Carry

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    I agree. All such amendments are usually power grabs. I'm voting no on all of them.
     

  3. EJR914

    EJR914 Cheezburger Operator

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    Imho more Georgia judges need firing, not less
     
  4. UtiPossidetis

    UtiPossidetis American

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    Have we forgotten that the former head of that organization recently apparently engaged in misconduct in during and having jailed an editor and the papers lawyer?
     
  5. DonT

    DonT Deplorable bitter clinger.

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    Good point. It might require impeachment, in this case. Not every issue is going to be adequately addressed by the commission. Are you suggesting voting "no" to the amendment, as well?
     
  6. Dawgdoc

    Dawgdoc Well-Known Member

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    The problem I see is that they want permission to dismantle 5his commission but gives no clue as to what will replace it. Even if the current head is corrupt, we have no way of knowing if the replacement will be better. They want us to just trust that the GA will improve things, and the amendment's sponsor suggests a vendetta.
     
  7. CoffeeMate

    CoffeeMate Junior Butt Warmer

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    Yeah, I smell weasels trying to open a door here.

    Anybody have an executive summary?
     
  8. CoffeeMate

    CoffeeMate Junior Butt Warmer

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    Okay. Sounds right so far.

    What are the existing provisions in such a case? I'm going to find it difficult to believe there are no existing mechanisms available for such a situation.

    I am failing to understand why a State Constitutional amendment is needed. Why aren't existing officials doing their jobs?
     
  9. gungeek

    gungeek Member

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    As am I. I don't believe any of these form a path to the right solutions to the problems they're trying to solve.
     
  10. Iceman

    Iceman Active Member

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    I would like to point out that this commission was created in 1972 and has worked with integrity until recently. Even then the commission came up with a solution from within that caused the offending member of the commission to resign.

    I'm voting NO.
     
  11. moe mensale

    moe mensale Well-Known Member

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    It appears that one of the amendment's sponsors may have an axe to grind.

    https://ballotpedia.org/Georgia_Rep..._Qualifications_Commission,_Amendment_3_(2016)

    The Commission investigates Caldwell, he resigns, gets elected to the House and co-sponsors an amendment to replace the Commission that forced his resignation. No agenda there.
     
  12. Rugerer

    Rugerer GeePeeDoHolic

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    This gets automatic "no" from me. Promising to fix a secrecy problem in a future legislature? Really?

    http://www.myajc.com/news/news/loca...dog-needed-or-p/nsqxT/?ecmp=newspaper_email##
     
  13. UtiPossidetis

    UtiPossidetis American

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    My State Rep put out this statement. I've met with him in the past and have been happy with open access to him and his answers on a variety of issues. Let me be clear, I think my State Senator is a scumbag - not available unless you have deep pockets, votes in favor of anything and everything that corporations in GA ask for, and just generally one of those insider types that has never held a private sector job. I am not a pushover for elected officials.

    Overview:
    This amendment and its accompanying legislation were introduced in response to concerns over JQC's ability to administer justice to judges facing discipline in a fair and impartial manner.

    The purpose of the JQC is to discipline, remove, or cause the involuntary retirement of any judges in Georgia (other than Federal judges). Unfortunately, JQC currently lacks an executive director, an interim director, or an investigator; as a result, it is not performing its constitutional function.

    With multiple examples reported of JQC using threats and intimidation against judges under investigation, this amendment seeks to provide a measure of accountability to a necessary watchdog organization.

    Main changes:
    Currently, appointments to the JQC are made by the Supreme Court, State Bar, and Governor. In addition, the JQC's commission meetings are not subject to open meeting requirements.

    Going forward, the selection process for the JQC and its membership are changed under HB 808, the accompanying legislation to this amendment. Of the seven members, two judges of any court of record are selected by the Supreme Court and the five additional members must be members of the State Bar of Georgia with at least ten years active status. The Governor will make three appointments, one of which shall be an attorney and the other two non-attorneys; the Speaker of the House and President of the Senate will each have one appointment.

    In addition, the bill removes the exemption from open meeting requirements for the commission's meetings, providing further transparency and accountability.

    My opinion:
    These reforms are about one thing: accountability. While some have characterized these changes as politically motivated, in reality, they aim to provide a degree of public accountability for those vested with the power to discipline judges. Just as the public elects District Attorneys to prosecute criminals, members of the JQC should be accountable to the public's elected representatives.

    Further, these reforms seek to guarantee judges an impartial review process. Currently, this process is anything but independent with an unelected, unaccountable group controlling many JQC appointments.
     
  14. DonT

    DonT Deplorable bitter clinger.

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    I'm not convinced. All of the good and needed reforms can be done now by the legislature. Why does an amendment to the state constitution have to be done to get the JQC working?
     
  15. UtiPossidetis

    UtiPossidetis American

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    The open meeting exemption and the multiple sources of appointments are both factors that, as I understand it, make it a State Constitution issue. Remember that GA's constitution is not like the US constitution - it's amended constantly (for good or ill).
     
  16. GM404

    GM404 Well-Known Member

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    I agree with this. The commission is there...if there are issues with it, then FIX IT..don't scrap it and start from scratch.
     
  17. Rugerer

    Rugerer GeePeeDoHolic

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    Commission makeup recalls the Code Revision Committee. Isn't it also made up of appointees divvied between Speaker, Lt Gov, and Gov? How well did that work?

    I'm not on board with a proposal to disband the commission by someone who was censured by that commission.