Keith Wright is Wrong
Editorial: Monday, February 20th, 2012
Manhattan Democratic boss Keith Wright must reveal who are his judicial screeners -- The party’s reform legacy is being eroded
State Assemblyman Keith Wright is picking judges with minimal transparency.Manhattan Democrats have long expressed pride that they picked their judges in a transparent, merit-based process a world apart from the backroom dealings of the other boroughs.
Their chairman, Assemblyman Keith Wright, is trashing the tradition. Since the 1970s, Manhattan Dems subjected all judicial candidates to screening by committees composed of representatives of law school deans, bar associations and lawyers’ groups. Party members got the nod for judgeships only after passing muster as qualified.
To ensure that the bosses could not rig the screening panels by stocking them with insiders, the party published the names of all committee members and the groups that appointed them at the outset. Wright ended that openness. He’s in the process of picking judges for Civil, Surrogate and Supreme Courts without identifying the screeners. What — or who — does he have to hide?