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Thursday, November 9, 2006

Voters Help Preserve Judicial Independence

On Tuesday, voters in two states rejected initiatives that threatened judicial independence. By a 9-1 margin, South Dakotans, voted down a constitutional amendment -- dubbed the Judicial Accountability Initiative Law (J.A.I.L. -- isn't that a fun acronym? ) -- which would have exposed judges to civil liability for their judicial decisions and created a special grand jury to investigate judicial misconduct. Meanwhile, Colorado voters rejected an initiative which would have limited many of Colorado's judges to 10 years on the bench. A Montana amendment which would have made it easier for voters to recall judges was voided because the courts in that state found the amendment's proponent used fraud to procure the signatures necessary to put the amendment on the ballot. See our earlier posts here and here for further discussion of the initiatives.

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