Spitzer Urges Constitutional Amendments for Judicial Reform

From Gov. Eliot Spitzer’s State of the State address, being delivered as I type: He urges two constitutional amendments regarding judicial reform:

First, we must reform our state’s sprawling judicial system. New York has the most complex and costly court system in the country, a system that too often fails to provide justice while imposing an undue burden on taxpayers. Chief Judge Kaye has forged consensus within the legal community for how we must fairly administer justice. Now is the time to act.

In the coming weeks, I will submit a Constitutional amendment that
incorporates Judge Kaye’s recommendations to consolidate and integrate our balkanized courts.

I will also submit a second constitutional amendment that will take
the politics out of the selection of judges and implement a merit appointment process.

Given Spitzer’s executive order that he signed on his first day in office, I can’t say I am surprised. His desire to de-politicize the judicial selection process is no doubt in part due to criticism of Gov. Pataki’s choices, covered on the front page of today’s New York Law Journal, among other factors.

Details to follow.


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