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Unfair Park Guest Column: Dallas Attorney On Why, and How, You Should Judge the Judges

The Friends of Unfair Park are no doubt familiar with the fine work of Bill Holston, noted human-rights attorney, KERA-FM commentator, occasional Morning News op-ed'er and Unfair Park commenter. (He's also joining Angela Hunt, Rawlins Gilliland and Shibboleth at the Dallas Rally for Sanity at Lee Harvey's Saturday, following Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert event in D.C.) Anyway. Brother Bill just submitted this item about the perils of straight-ticket voting on Tuesday, at least when it comes to casting a ballot for those wishing to sit (or stay) on the bench. Let him explain:

First, let me caution everyone about straight ticket voting. It's a curse of the judiciary. I've been a lawyer for years and have seen excellent judges of both parties lose because of that. I do not believe that party is any indicia of competence or even judicial philosophy as a State Judge. I sat at Merrill Hartman's funeral on Tuesday with very good judges from both parties. They were all there to honor a very good judge.

I realize it's difficult to determine who to vote for. Please do not vote in an uninformed fashion. We are better off if you do not vote at all. Second, most lawyers I know are happy to provide input about judicial races. The Dallas Morning News endorsements are pretty good. There are some I disagree with, but that's okay. This, from the Committee for a Qualified Judiciary, is another good resource. They do not endorse candidates but do opine about whether the candidates are qualified. Finally, the League of Women Voters voters quide has lists of qualifications.

In this election season, like every other election season, it's easy to be cynical and despair and bury your head and pretend it's just another Tuesday in November. Or: You could always vote.

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