judges

TGIF is back in the swing of RI politics after a relaxing summer break. So thanks for stopping by, and feel free to share your tips and thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Let's dive in.

Jeremiah S. Jeremiah Jr., the former chief judge of RI's Family Court, died Sunday at age 80, a court spokesman said.

Courts spokesman Craig Berke said details were not immediately available on the cause of Judge Jeremiah's death.

According to Berke, Jeremiah was appointed associate justice of the Family Court in March 1986. A year later, in March 1987, he was sworn in as Chief Judge. He retired June 30, 2010. Jeremiah previously served in the Cranston City Solicitor’s office from 1963 to 1984, and as executive counsel for then-Governor Edward DiPrete from 1984 to 1986.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A good government group is supporting a bill that would bring more transparency to the process of selecting magistrates. Magistrates perform many of the same functions of judges, but they’re selected behind closed doors.

US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse joins Bonus Q+A to discuss partisan politics in Washington; how Rhode Island is being impacted by international trade; the outlook for criminal justice reform; and much more.

Hear more of our conversation with Senator Whitehouse on Political Roundtable.

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A former government watchdog says governors and state legislators have weakened efforts meant to depoliticize the selection of judges.

The Judicial Nominating Commission was created 20 years ago to try to lessen the General Assembly’s influence on picking judges. The JNC is supposed to choose 3 to 5 highly qualified candidates, and the legislature is expected to act quickly once a governor picks a judge. But former Common Cause head Phil West said governors and lawmakers have fouled up the process.

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