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Adding to the confusion

Paula Michaud, from up in Aroostook County, called yesterday to ask us to write a story about a book she's working on, called Dirty Decisions. At the moment, she's blogging about her efforts as part of a provocatively named group, JAIL for Judges.  (It's an acronym for "Judicial Accountability Initiative Law," an idea that would make the judicial branch "answerable and accountable to an entity other than itself.")

It's an interesting idea, especially given the questions about how judges should be selected. (Here's a fascinating comparison of appointing versus electing judges. Neither's perfect. It's also unclear when elected judges have conflicts of interest that should force them to recuse themselves.)

Unfortunately, Michaud appears to be hurting the effort even in her zeal to support it. Not only did she claim credit for introducing what must be the single least-coherent bill considered by the Maine Legislature this year, but she suggested that the fix is easy: "changing the Constitution by simply enacting it into law."

Ironically, Michaud could probably stand to talk to a judge about how to change the US Constitution and how to amend the Maine Constitution. (Hint: In neither case can lawmakers act alone.)

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