Lady Justice's Scales Tip Out of Balance

Re "Judging the Judges" (April 9): Without judges and the courts they operate, the world as we know it would be chaos. People go to court when they are unable to settle a problem between themselves, and require an objective individual or group of individuals to assist them.

It is a mark of the quality of our society that we have a court system that works so well.

The article points out the issues that were not popular, in their resolution, with the public. Perhaps 98% of the cases solved by judges and juries never see the light outside the courthouse, and people are better off for the help rendered them.

The article mentioned the O.J. Simpson "fiasco." Simpson was fairly judged by the system, irrespective of what people think. To have it any other way is not what our Constitution has guaranteed him, or anyone else in his position.

Judges are closely scrutinized within the judicial system. Like everyone else, they are human and make mistakes. Judges need a little "slack" in order to do the right thing, too.

MARSHALL KLINE

Los Angeles

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Recalling bad judges is not the complete answer. One should attack the cause and not the symptoms.

Our judicial problem lies in the absence of a mandatory minimum professional qualifying "appointment standard requirement" for candidate judges.

It makes sense to appoint to the bench seasoned, long-practicing attorneys highly rated in the profession instead of giving political favors to novices and incompetents.

CHARLES F. DAY

Laguna Niguel

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The potential fallibility of the electoral process in selecting and retaining good judges is the root cause of most of the problems cited.

For example, one individual quoted expressed concern regarding the increase in contested elections for judgeships. Normally this would be seen as a sign of a healthy democratic process designed to produce the best candidates. However, a legitimate concern is that unqualified candidates will step forward to ride a crest of public sentiment against a particular ruling. This possibility has always lurked in the shadows, but now seems to be a growing reality.

Of similar concern is how the electorate is to make meaningful and informed choices between people whose views and backgrounds are relatively unexposed.

Your article asserts that judges have lost the respect of the public. Indeed some judges are facing scrutiny for rulings that take too long or make no sense. In some cases, this is the fault of the judges; in others it is the fault of the laws the judges must follow. In still others, the problem is the lack of public investment in the judiciary at a time when the number of laws and the level of lawlessness are rising.

MARK A. PING

South Pasadena

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