Career Development » Electing Judges Bad For LGBTQ Community, Democracy

Electing Judges Bad For LGBTQ Community, Democracy

Judge's gavel

October 10, 2016

A new study shows that elected judges are less likely to rule in favor of gay rights than their appointed counterparts, according to a new study commissioned by LGBTQ advocacy group Lambda Legal. Studies have also shown that elected judges are more likely to impose harsh sentences, including the death penalty; less likely to rule against the moneyed interests that funded their campaigns; and more likely to disregard the civil rights of politically unpopular groups. This proves that the U.S. system of electing judges is “a travesty of justice,” writes Mark Joseph Stern, writer with Slate. “Judicial elections are putting LGBT equality – and our country’s very democratic principles – in increasing danger,” said Lambda attorney Eric Lesh. “It is time to stop putting our rights at risk by continuing the practice of electing state judges. It might not sound sexy, but progressive legal organizations and social justice groups really need to champion judicial selection reform efforts to ensure judicial independence and equal access to justice for everyone.”

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