Last month, I told you that Steven Baratta, a Northampton County judge, has ignored these questions. In fact, someone huffed this morning that judicial candidates just waste their time by responding to "irrelevant fringe organizations like Democracy Rising." I could readily understand someone viewing me as some goofy nitwit, but Democracy Rising is "one of the cornerstones of the statewide reform movement in Pennsylvania."
It might interest you to know that Lehigh County's sole judge seeking retention, Bob Steinberg, has also snubbed this questionnaire. So have all eight candidates seeking judicial vacancies.
Here's the tough questions they're ducking.
Is it right for judges to hire their relatives and friends for important positions in the court system?
Is it right for judges to have secret meetings with lawmakers and governors about matters such as the pay raise?
Is it right for courts to issue orders without opinions that explain their legal authority and reasoning?
Is it right for courts to conceal administrative documents that deal with how judges spend tax dollars?
Is the court properly interpreting the Constitution to protect citizens from abuses by the other branches of government?
Does our court system operate in a way that builds citizen confidence or destroys it?