By Paul Fisk
I believe that there are many people who take pride in their public service.
John F. Kennedy’s admonition to “Ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country” was still fresh in our national consciousness when I chose a college major in political science and a field of graduate study in public administration. Public service was considered an honorable endeavor and hopes were high for a more just and equitable society.
Campaigns this year that have not drawn much news coverage are the races for judicial offices. Despite their interest in contested judicial elections the Buffalo News has avoided making endorsements. Ethical restraints necessarily and wisely placed on judicial candidates prevent them from fully and appropriately engaging.
That makes peer review very important in judicial races. The WNY area has four bar associations that appoint committees whose members thoroughly review judicial candidates’ qualifications, rate the candidates, and attempt to publicize their ratings.