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Public Statements

Issue Position: Judicial Reforms in Brooklyn

Issue Position

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"I supported Judge Margarita Lopez Torres for Surrogate Court because of her courage of standing up for an independent judiciary in Brooklyn. Her victory in that race and Federal Judge Gleeson decision on Judge Lopez Torres lawsuit against Judicial Conventions who Gleeson ruled only select Supreme Court Judicial candidates chosen by the democratic party bosses, will change who runs for judge and how they elected for years to come in Brooklyn. But more reforms are needed to ensure our courts and judges remain independent." - Yvette Clarke

Judge Gleeson ruling opened the way for well-qualified attorneys to seek positions on the bench, even if they do not have close ties to party leaders. "I will do everything I can to push for the necessary changes in how judges are elected, said Yvette Clarke. "We must make sure that the reforms of the Brooklyn Courts that Judge Margarita Lopez Torres started to end judicial corrupt, become permanent."

Voters are the real winners. With primary elections for Supreme Court candidates, rather than nominating conventions, voters will finally play a meaningful role in the nomination process, as they have with candidates for every other state elective office.

Primaries will be a big step forward, but the state Legislature should improve Supreme Court elections even further with two additional reforms:

Redraw the judicial districts: Elect Supreme Court Judges by Assembly District and Civil Court Judges by Assembly District. Smaller districts would make it easier for candidates to communicate with voters about their qualifications and to learn about the communities whose votes they seek. It would significantly increase the opportunities for candidates of color to compete.

Develop public campaign financing: Full public funding would further improve the process by getting judicial candidates out of the business of raising campaign contributions from lawyers and parties who appear before them, while improving the quality of the judiciary by expanding the pool of candidates who can run.


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