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Argument: Judicial elections are more competitive, open, and fair

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"In defense of elections". The Record. August 14th, 2005: "2004’s state supreme court race was the most intense and competitive judicial election Southern Illinois has ever seen. And that’s a good thing-for we the people, anyway. [...] Competitive debate isn’t the most comfortable exercise for everyone-- namely that ruling class accustomed to dominating the courthouse. This explains why the plaintiff’s bar is so dead set on ensuring an election like Karmeier vs. Maag never happens again. [...] Groups like the Washington, D.C.-based Justice at Stake Campaign (JASC)-the trial lawyer-backed group that released that new report-would have one think rigorous campaigns are a bad thing. [...] Only in the eyes of the losers and dictators are free elections, free speech and open discussion a public threat. [...] Just as our system didn’t create judicial elections to be ignored, it didn’t intend for our judiciary to exist in the shadows, nameless and unknown, immune from criticism. [...] In the case of Southern Illinois’ now notorious race, the underdog won, carrying the day with his reasoned arguments to the public in what would have typically been enemy territory. [...] Today Justice Lloyd Karmeier is undoubtedly more recognized by his electorate than any other judge in Illinois. That’s a goal and example to which our state should aspire, not reject."

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