Today’s Philadelphia Daily News features a letter from PMC Executive Director Lynn Marks criticizing the practice of threatening to remove judges from the bench based on controversial decisions. Last week’s voter ID decision set off threats against the retention of Supreme Court justices based on their involvement in the case.
Judicial independence is an important aspect of the role of the courts. Court decisions should be “based on the facts and the law rather than political considerations and popular will.” Judges must be accountable, but retention should not be used as a means of coercion.
“Threatening to oust incumbent judges because you don't like a result demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the role of the judiciary, undermines the court's ability to do its job, and does a great deal of harm while accomplishing nothing good.”