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.
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.
H. Philip West Jr. served as the executive director of Common Cause of Rhode Island for almost 20 years before stepping down in 2006. His tenure coincided with corruption in Governor Edward DiPrete’s administration, the state banking crisis, and high-profile battles over the Ethics Commission. West has turned his two decades observing Ocean State politics into a 684-page book called “Secrets and Scandals.” Rhode Island Public Radio Reporter Ian Donnis sat down with West to discuss the book and how much Rhode Island has changed.
Political consultant Cara Cromwell, who has worked for politicians as varied as Bruce Sundlun and John Loughlin, joins us on Political Roundtable this week to discuss Richard Licht's pursuit of a Superior Court judgeship; Frank Caprio's proposal to restore pension COLAs; Lisa Baldelli-Hunt big primary win in Woonsocket; and the new Brown University poll.