By upholding New York state's machine-dominated system for selecting judges, the U.S. Supreme Court has dealt another setback to voters, says the New York Times in an editorial. The ruling allows political bosses to rig elections in ways that deny voters a meaningful role. The newspaper says that even if the state’s method of selecting judges is constitutional, it remains unfair and undemocratic and needs to be replaced.
According to the Times, political bosses often steer judicial nominations to candidates who deliver patronage back to the party machine. It's a disgraceful way to choose judges. They are supposed to be above politics. Justices John Paul Stevens and David Souter quoted Thurgood Marshall: “The Constitution does not prohibit legislatures from enacting stupid laws.” The Times hopes that the state legislature will fix the system, but says “the odds of that happening are long, since the powers that be in the legislature are the same ones that profit from the current corrupt system.”