The Phoenix Network:
About  |  Advertise
Moonsigns  |  BandGuide  |  Blogs

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.)

Leave a Comment

Login | Not a member yet? Click here to Join

A roundup of the on-the-street action in Portland, Maine, plus updates on all manner of interesting topics from the staff of the Portland Phoenix.
The Phoenix's books blog
winner, The Best Blog, Portland Phoenix, 2008
A Portland-based legal-activist group
You tell us what they think
Portland-based local-foods blog
A media-watch column by journalism professor and Phoenix contributor Dan Kennedy
Comments from Maine peace-and-justice activist Bruce Gagnon
Updates from Portland's Green Party
See what the crowdsourcing crowd is saying
A just-about-daily critique of the local daily newspaper
winner, The Best Blog, Portland Phoenix, 2007
The SPACE Gallery blog

Sunday, May 31, 2009  |  Sign In  |  Register
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
Copyright © 2009 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group