Gavel at board meeting.

Gavel at board meeting. Credit: Jim Peppler

This past election, we lost several judges whose intelligence, integrity and diligence were truly credits to the legal system, and only because the Democratic Party took a major hit.

The relationship between party affiliation and judicial temperament has always been a mystery to me. Judges are supposed to move their calendars along with fairness and alacrity and decide cases by applying -- or instructing juries to apply -- the relevant law to the facts. As every litigator knows, some members of the bench are better at this than others.

But a judge's ability to properly exercise his or her discretion has less than nothing to do with politics. Party alignment is ingrained in the vote for judges because the public has no way to discern between candidates.

This begs my ultimate question: Why should non-lawyers vote on judges? The ultimate answer: They shouldn't.

Josh Kardisch, East Meadow

Editor's note: The writer is a lawyer who has appeared before many judges in state Supreme Court in Nassau County and Nassau County District Court, mostly in personal injury and commercial lawsuits.
 

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