Judges shouldn’t be selected by popularity

To the editor:

Those opposed to merit selection of judges are largely missing the point. Selection by experience and qualifications, as opposed to who can put up the most colorful roadside signs, serves the interests of every resident of this state by improving the quality of judges sitting on the bench.

Under the proposal on the November ballot, after a year, the public would vote on whether a new judge was sufficiently good at the job to deserve to keep it for another six years — and would vote again every six years thereafter. The way it is now, many judges run unopposed — giving the people no vote. That is why the Review-Journal reports both that few sitting judges face challengers, and that lawyers believe about 10 percent of the sitting judges are so deficient that they should not remain in office.

This must change.

Merit selection would ensure that every judge gets an up-or-down vote every six years. But the whole point is that the vetting and examination process of selecting judges should mean that unqualified twits do not make it to the bench in the first place — as compared to the current system in which elections are too often based on familiar-sounding names, gross appeals to ideological, ethnic or religious constituencies or personal bankrolls.

Those thinking clearly on this would realize that they should not even want judges selected on any of those bases. Unlike one’s legislators or governor, what every rational person should want in judges is ability, not similarity in origin and orientation. Judging is a job that should be obtained by meritocracy, not popularity.

And the new Judicial Performance Commission that would be created will ensure that an independent body is watching the judges — and informing voters of who is doing a decent job, and who is not.

Most people tend to be concerned with judicial ability only when their fortune, their freedom or their family rests in the discretion of a judge, at which time it is much too late. It is high time to make the process of selecting judges smarter, and that is best achieved by passing merit selection when it comes up for a vote this November.

Marshal S. Willick

Las Vegas

The writer is a Las Vegas attorney.

Rubber stamp

To the editor:

My opinion is that a very large majority of Las Vegas police officers are fine upstanding people. Meanwhile, a small number are people you would not want as next-door neighbors.

Regardless, I am sure all police officers in Las Vegas take some comfort in knowing that they can kill anyone, at anytime, for any reason and the odds that they will be punished for their actions are very small.

The people of Las Vegas should be ashamed about this slap in the face known as the coroner’s inquest. Everyone but a true imbecile knows that this entire process is nothing more than a rubber stamp for police officers to do anything they want. The good people of Las Vegas deserve better.



Work on

To the editor:

In response to Walter Williams’ Aug. 25 column on entitlements:

I am 80 years old and have been collecting Social Security for a long time now. I was an electrician and made a good wage, usually paying the maximum taxes. There were many young men who were glad to see me retire so they could get my job and pay the taxes. I’d hate to see all of the unemployment figures if all of the retirees would have kept on working.



Don’t blame Harry

To the editor:

Whenever Sharron Angle’s political ads come on the air, I drop everything to watch. They are so laughable, and laughing is good medicine for these troubled times.

I especially love the one where Ms. Angle says, "If your home was worth $300,000, thanks to Harry Reid’s disastrous economic policies you have lost $150,000, wiping out people’s retirement savings overnight." Harry did it!

It brings to mind a funny visual of our Sen. Reid with a tiny needle piercing the great economic bubble in a moment of childish petulance. The all-powerful Harry Reid, who became Senate majority leader in 2007 — in two years time he alone brought us to near economic collapse and destroyed the housing market, and the Republicans who were in the driver’s seat all those years stand absolutely blameless.

Put them back in power sand see what they can do.

Oh, that’s right, we already saw what they can do.

Mary Latham

Las Vegas

A dime here …

To the editor:

Many, many thanks to the Review-Journal for the Aug. 28 editorial, "You knew they’d get around to it," on lead and ammunition.

The editorial was well-articulated concerning lead in bullets, and I agree that the EPA’s threats portend more gun control — aside from higher ammo costs and taxes.

Lest we be too harsh, those "greenies" in the EPA who are long on salaries but short on common sense, are just trying to fulfill the president’s campaign promise. Remember? "Not one dime in new taxes." True. Not one dime — but millions and billions of dimes.



Airport gouging

To the editor:

I am retired from an airline, so I had never paid for parking at McCarran International Airport when employed. And since I have flown in and out of many airports, I was aware that parking was pricey. But imagine my shock when I found out what McCarran charges for parking. It is outrageous. No wonder the parking garage was empty.

When I fly next, I will take a cab, as it is 75 percent cheaper than this outrageous fee. McCarran chief Randy Walker always brags about this airport, but he is misguided. The newer gates may be nice, but the aging A and B gates are a dirty disgrace, and now he feels it is a good idea to gouge the public.

If you are flying in and out of McCarran, be aware that any way you get to the airport is cheaper than parking in the garage. I was outraged, and I am sure other passengers feel the same.

Patricia Keasling

Las Vegas

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