The Tennessee Plan has been tested in the state's courts and survived constitutional scrutiny there. But those who oppose it insist that no panel of judges would rule against a plan that would subject them, and other judges, to public approval.
Can we count on judges to be truly independent, to make decisions only based only on the law, and not based on politics and/or what is popular, if they must stand before the public every few years in order to keep their jobs?
For the first time since Congress passed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a Republican-appointed judge has voted to uphold Congress's power to enact the health care reform law, including the minimum coverage provision.
This "I'm going to take my toys and go home" attitude is injurious to our needs as a country -- we need to fill these vacancies so trial can be held, opinions written, and decisions made both on the bench and before it.
The court decision on the health care law was not just a major setback for Obama's signature piece of legislation. It was also a reminder that the courts are an even greater threat to his agenda than the new Republican majority in the House.
In an unprecedented move, and after a nearly three month long campaign by conservative activists, Iowa voters chose not to retain three state Supreme Court justices based on a unanimous ruling in April 2009 to overturn the state's ban on same-sex marriage.
Justice of a state supreme court is not a police officer or sheriff. He or she is there to follow statutes and case law precedent and to mete out justice. Sometimes that might mean making a decision that requires siding with someone unsavory or unpopular.
Holding rank-and-file judicial nominees hostage to advance a larger political agenda is the current political "nuclear option" and, if this continues, it is the judiciary and Americans seeking justice who will bear the fallout.
Whether or not some judges actually are influenced by campaign contributors, the perception that they are is lethal. How can we be expected to play by the rules if we don't think the rules will apply equally?