“Butler found a loophole,” the advertisement said. “Mitchell went on to molest another child. Can Wisconsin families feel safe with Louis Butler on the Supreme Court?”
Liptak also cites a study that shows that all judges, even those who are already among the most punitive, raise sentences as they approach an election.
The article raises the question of whether judges are superior in most other countries where they are chosen by a system of rigorous exams, relatively insulated from politics.
But while American justice might improve with a more rigorous selection process, the real defects highlighted by the article are more of a product of governing through crime, and the enormous salience crime policy now has for all government officials. We have had elected judges for decades, but until the war on crime these were low key and mostly routine affairs.