The merit selection is definitely NOT the answer to ending judicial corruption and ensuring impartial tribunals. Merit selection will not stop backroom deals and other favors to get on the bench. The only thing that will rescue the justice system in Pennsylvania, from the clutches of the organized crime family that controls it today- is intense oversight in every county.
Ombudsman or civilian advocates, paralegals or other trained individuals who have NO AFFILIATION with the local bar associations, must be given the power to carry out the control over the rogue judges that are wreaking havoc on innocent victims- especially in the realm of the family court system. Racketeering by judges and attorneys, in places like the Montgomery County, Delaware County and Allegheny Courts of Common Pleas, supported by their brethren in the Appellate level- has run rampant and unchecked for years. Having their buddies in the General Assembly put them in office will only make political favors even more lucrative.
Mechanisms that will alleviate the massive fraud and theft now being perpetrated at the county level- would be limiting all cases to 12 to 18 months. Family court is where the most abuse takes place. Any case that gets protracted longer than that would trigger an automatic review by the oversight committee- who should be given the power to impose monetary fines both on the judges and the lawyers for extorting funds from vulnerable litigants. These fines should go to the litigants who have had assets extorted from them by these common methods now being used by lawfirms, and facilitated by the judges that they put on the bench. Here are some more no brainers:
Five Simple Solutions
1. Regulate Attorney Fees– The current free-for-all of the hourly charging, which allows them to also set unlimited fees for overhead, must be eliminated. It is just motivation to expand cases for years.
2. Limit All Family Law Cases To One Year– at which time there will be an automatic review of the judicial conduct, at the COUNTY level, by a board of impartial, non-attorney, legal academic experts – not practicing attorneys.– and provided free of charge- by the Courts
3. Mandatory Law Field-Specific Pre-certification To Qualify Judicial Candidates– it is absurd that families are being sacrificed as learning platforms for attorneys motivated by a $15,000 a month judicial salary-who then proceed to pay restitution to the bar association members that fund their campaigns- precluding any semblance of impartial tribunals.
4. End the Archaic, Absolute Judicial Immunity –this outdated and dangerous concept from the middle age monarchies, has no place in a constitutional democratic republic. Judges and the County must be liable to provide restitution for torts and negligence committed by employees of the court system. Immunity only promotes criminal behavior-judges must be subject to the law the same as every other citizen in this country.
5. Video cameras and audio recorders in every courtroom!