Becoming a judge in New York; Presidential politics

Behind The News
January 16, 2008 1:31:54 PM PST
It will not get much play, but the U.S. Supreme Court issued an important ruling today - upholding the way New York State chooses its trial judges. Critics - who had won victories in federal court in Brooklyn and in a federal Court of Appeals -- had gone to court and argued that the system is outdated, corrupt and embraces the kind of patronage that supposedly went out of style decades ago.

The Supreme Court justices today disagreed, and said that the state's nomination of judges -- through political party conventions - is constitutional and reasonable.

There are many who will balk at today's decision. Some judges have resigned in disgust with a system they don't like and that doesn't pay them anywhere near the kind of money they could make in the private sector.

Most people probably won't get too worked up about judges' pay - they do, in fact, make much more money than the average person. But it's an important issue, and an important story.

The elections remain a top-of-mind story as well for us, tonight at 11. And will there be yet another candidate for President from our area? No, not Michael Bloomberg - I mean who in the world would be surprised if he in fact does run? No one I know. And not after they hear what we've just learned: That he's going to Texas this Friday and California on Saturday. Everyone else will be in South Carolina for the primary - Bloomberg will try, like he did in Oklahoma during the New Hampshire primary, to steal a little of the limelight.

But, again, I'm not talking about the Mayor. I'm talking about Lou Dobbs - the conservative CNN business anchor who has caused a stir this year with his anti-immigration rants. Now there's a Draft Lou Dobbs for President campaign - launched by a political action committee that lobbies for tougher immigration regulations. Dobbs works in New York and lives in New Jersey, and, while he has insisted in the past that he's not running for President, this makes four people from our area who could be named in any variation of 6 Degrees of Separation from the Presidency game.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Jeff Smith (in for Lee Goldberg) with the AccuWeather forecast, and Scott Clark with the night's sports. I hope you can join Liz Cho and me, tonight at 11.

BILL RITTER


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