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The Indiana Law Library Blog

What Do You Look For in a Judge?

Every election brings up issues of what information is relevant for voters to know. How appropriate are attack ads? Is Sarah Palin’s daughter an important glimpse into her values, or should she just be left alone? Do the inflammatory statements of Barack Obama’s pastor reflect back on Obama, or are they a distraction from the issues? People have to make up their own minds, of course.

In a local example, the Bloomington Herald-Times printed an article today on the judicial candidates in Monroe County, Judge candidates have experience on other side of the bench ($). According to the article, three of the four candidates have in fact been defendants in a court room, mostly for small things like speeding tickets and the occasional tax problem. The article is interesting, and if you feel it is relevant it is most certainly worth a read. What is also interesting, though, is the reaction to it. If you look at the online version you’ll see there are several comments, some thanking the H-T for bringing this information to light, and some angrily accusing the paper of skipping substantive stories on the candidates for trivial ones. The commentators even get into questions of whether this story hurts or helps the candidates. Does a speeding ticket make a judge seem more irresponsible, or more human?

In any case the story is an interesting one, and you can either look at a paper copy, or look at the online H-T. (If you’ve never had cause to look at a newspaper through the library’s online subscription before, ask a librarian if you have any trouble getting on.)


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