I serve as vice-chair of the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association's Judicial Selection Committee. That committee is part of a coalition of bar associations that rate judicial candidates for the website www.Judge4Yourself.com.
Today, we had huge news for the cause of improving the quality and integrity of justice in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
According to the Plain Dealer, the chairs of the Democratic and Republican parties agreed to vet their candidates through the local bar associations before nominating them:
I salute them both, and made several comments at the bottom of the above-linked article.
This is the letter I sent to Cuyahoga County Democratic Party Chairman Stuart Garson:
Dear Chairman Garson:
Surnames, ethnicity, and heritage should not control destiny. For far too long, in judicial elections in this County, that has been the case. It is so completely un-American, and antithetical, too, to Democrats' core dual values of equal opportunity and excellence.
Yesterday, with your announcement and pledge that the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party will vet judicial candidates through bar associations before endorsing them, you took the first step toward bringing reality into line with our ideals-and to immeasurably improving the quality of justice in Cuyahoga County. The prior chairman refused to do it. You did it. Finally.
I am under no illusions. I know it required enormous political courage and force of will on your part. I am humbly grateful and indeed in awe. I have your back. A check to the county Party--my first in years--will be in the mail to you today. You have my full-throated support, along with that, I am certain, of a silent majority of Democrats who have watched business as usual in dismay. The good news, regardless, is with the bipartisan agreement, the citizens of Cuyahoga County cannot lose.
Long after your challenging tenure as chairman, ordinary citizens will walk into Cuyahoga County courtrooms and have better justice dispensed. It is no exaggeration to say that you have made your mark for generations to come. As someone who seeks justice for clients every day and will for years to come, I thank you.