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There’s something wrong with a system that allows campaign contributors to buy gratitude and access to judges. But that’s the world we live in now, and it’s getting rapidly worse.

Oregon’s judges are most often appointed, not elected, insulating them from campaign cash. But unfortunately, there’s no formal appointment process in place to guarantee transparency and merit-based selection. It’s simply a makeshift workaround to avoid politicized elections. Many judges, wary of money in politics, step down before their terms end, enabling the governor to point a successor.

It’s time Oregon fixes this problem. A majority of states use a merit-based appointment system to select at least some of their judges, insulating their courts from campaign cash. It’s considered a best practice for protecting judicial impartiality. Let’s defend Oregon’s proud tradition of judicial integrity. Let our state legislature know it’s time to act, by signing on to the petition below. 

Sign on to the petition below:

To the Oregon Legislature,

As Oregonians, voters and constituents, we call on you to act to preserve Oregon’s longstanding tradition of a fair and impartial judiciary.

In this post Citizens United world, when those with the most money are allowed to buy the most political influence, and when political donors are increasingly targeting judicial elections, it’s time to insulate our courts from money in politics. Oregon judges should not be raising campaign funds from the very people who appear before them in court.

It’s time that we adopt a transparent, merit-based appointment process to select judges.

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