COURT REFORM

The Judiciary Article of our Constitution, which runs to over 16,000 words, has four major flaws.  First is the staggering and outdated complexity of our judicial system.  Second, while we pretend to elect Supreme Court judges under the Constitution, in reality, they are most often picked by party leaders.  Third, all intermediate appellate court judges must be chosen only from among the elected Supreme Court judges.   Excluding other judges and non-judges from the pool that can be considered prevents consideration of many well-qualified candidates.  Finally, the Constitution organizes the State into four Judicial Departments, each of which has an intermediate appellate court.   Four such courts do not provide sufficient coverage, and delays result.  California, for example, has six intermediate Courts of Appeal.

Needed changes: 

  • Consolidate our outlandishly complex court structure;
  • Abolish judicial selection by political party leaders;
  • Expand the pool of candidates eligible for appellate court appointment;
  • Increase the number of intermediate appellate courts.