Judges in Virginia are elected by the General Assembly, and the Old Dominion is now the only state using this system. South Carolina used to be with us, but they have adopted a two-step process using judicial evaluation panels.
Many states have direct election of judges, one of which is Louisiana, where I visited last weekend for the national convention of the Society of Professional Journalists.
On a ride up Canal Street on a New Orleans streetcar (it was really hot and steamy, prompting a colleague to call our vehicle “A Streetcar Named Perspire”), I saw proof that Louisiana is very different from Virginia.
Any number of law firms line Canal, which is a major thoroughfare. And in the lawns of their buildings, you’ll find … campaign signs from judicial candidates. The picture above shows the lawn of a law firm, decorated with signs from several judge wannabes.
So, if you’re a lawyer who puts a judicial candidate’s sign on your lawn, what happens if that guy wins? On the other hand, what happens if the other guy wins? Just asking.