“‘Legally Insane’ Judge Wins Re-Election in Chicago”

by Walter Olson on November 12, 2012

“Behold the power of incumbency,” including Judge Cynthia Brim’s successful campaign to retain her $182,000/year job; her “18-year tenure,” as the Chicago Tribune puts it with wry understatement, “has been marked by controversy.” [Above the Law]

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1 Ron Miller 11.12.12 at 2:16 pm

Reason # 1315431 of why electing/approving judges at the ballot box is a bad idea.

2 Bill Poser 11.12.12 at 8:00 pm

I wonder if judges in Illinois must be members of the bar in good standing. If so, presumably the problem could be dealt with by disbarring her or suspending her license.

3 Mike 11.13.12 at 11:03 am

The problem here is not the fact that this judge attained office because of an election, it is that Chicago, like most cities, is essentially a one-party town. Brim could not have been placed on the ballot without the support of the Democratic party leaders.
Appointed judges would be chosen by the same political leaders, acting through their cat’s-paws on the appointment committee.

4 gitarcarver 11.13.12 at 12:35 pm

“Reason # 1315431 of why electing/approving judges at the ballot box is a bad idea.” – Ron Miller 11-12-12 2:15 PM.

“I’ve said it before on here: someone explain why we let the common man vote if he is so dumb. The vote in the election on Tuesday is a lot more important than a single jury verdict. Why do we give these people so much power. I have unconfirmed reports of people without even a college degree voting? Can you imagine?” – Ron Miller 11.08.12 at 2:44 pm

5 Ron Miller 11.13.12 at 1:42 pm

People can absolutely vote on issues and can vote on juries and make meaningful choices. What they can’t do is figure out who should be a judge. Why is that? Because you would literally have to sit in a judge’s courtroom day in and day out to do that. Approving or not approving of a judge is just not something that voters can do or even a appointed group of lawyers because no one is going to take the time to do that.

Other positions I don’t believe we should elect:

* Police corporals
* Guy who works the line #23 at MVA
* Assistant to the deputy mayor
* Third grade aide

There may be more.

6 Leland D. Davis 11.13.12 at 4:59 pm

OK, here in Idaho, I trust the police and prosecutors more than in certain parts of the country. In Bingham County (I live in Blackfoot,ID), we had a woman, whose elderly mother, known to be terminally ill, lived with her. The dying elderly woman had a prescription for opiate drugs. When she was found dead (suprise suprise – never mind that her physician wasn’t suprised), the body was screened for drugs. On the basis that we had an elderly dead woman with traces of opiates, foul play was presumed. The daughter, who is an instructor at Idaho State University, was arrested mid-lecture in front of the class, in a showboating manner. Later, of course, the entire criminal case fell apart. Guess what? The prosecutor and the sheriff just both got voted out of office, this year. Now, tell me, what would the likely outcome have been if it had been left up to the “professionals” to decide what the outcome should be? There are strong guild tendencies to want to protect ones own, and I do not think that judges, prosecutors, cops, or anybody else is immune from these tendencies.

7 Ron Miller 11.14.12 at 10:23 pm

I’m with ya, Leland.

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