LawReader and Bellarmine host symposium on the courts and politics.

   LawReader and the Bellarmine University sponsored a Symposium last night in Louisville on the issue:  Where is Politics taking Kentuckys Judiciary? Panelists were Al Cross, John David Dyche and Mark Nickolas.
    One of the best comments was made by John David Dyche.  When it was noted that Justice Roach had been Gov. Fletchers legal counsel, Republican lawyer and Courier Journal columnist John David Dyche opined:
 “You can’t blame Roach for any legal missteps by Fletcher, everyone knows that Gov. Fletcher has never sought or listened to sound legal advice.?
 Dyche also expressed criticism for the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore. He expressed admiration for Justice Scalia but felt that this decision in which the Supreme Court stopped the counting of votes in Florida in the 2000 election was a mistake since the constitution spells out a process for election contests.
   Mark Nickolas raised a question about the Governor’s appointment of judges who would hear his then pending criminal case.  He felt that Justice McAnulty or any judge should have refused to accept a gubernatorial appointment under the circumstances of  that moment.  
 Even if  a judge appointed by Gov. Fletcher recused himself from hearing the then pending case if appealed, this politicized the judicial process since Ky. law allows the Governor to appoint special judges to the Supreme Court when two judges have recused themselves.  In the past the Governor has appointed special judges who many felt were too closely indebted to the Governor.  Nickolas felt that this abused the judicial process.
 He said, “I have come to expect that the legislative and executive branches are highly political, but I have always felt that the courts should be above politics.?  “We should be able to go into court and expect to get a ruling based only on the law.?
Nickolas also spoke about the Supreme Court’s decision in Bush v. Gore.  At the time he was working with the Gore campaign, and was assigned to monitor the counting of votes in Ft. Myers.  He said they were getting ready to start the vote recount when the Supreme Court ordered that the counting of votes must stop. 
  Al Cross, the symposium moderator, discussed the idea of removing appellate judges from the election process.

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