Thursday, May 8, 2008

American public has lost faith in the impartiality and fairness of the nation’s judiciary

WASHINGTON, DC–A scathing indictment of toothless judicial ethics standards and the closed-door systems charged with disciplining judges, HALT’s 2008 Judicial Accountability Report Card issued grades to all 50 states, D.C. and the federal circuits on May 1, Law Day.

“While most judges serve capably from the bench, our systems for judicial accountability unfortunately allow others to regularly abuse their positions of power,” stated HALT senior counsel Suzanne M. Blonder. “Weak conduct codes permit state and federal judges to rule even when they have a critical conflict of interest in a case. Judicial discipline commissions regularly turn a blind eye to misconduct by making it difficult for citizens to file complaints against judges, concealing data and ultimately refusing to remove or meaningfully sanction even the most incompetent and abusive judges.”

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