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U.S. Supreme Court to review political ratio requirements for state court judges

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The U.S. Supreme Court accepted a new case for the new year, Carney v. Adams, to determine whether state constitutions can require courts to have a ratio of judges based on their political party affiliation.

The case involves Delaware’s state constitutional requirement that a bare majority of its high court judges be from one political party. James Adams, a retired lawyer and former Democrat, argues the requirement violates the First Amendment.

By law, Delaware’s Supreme Court must have three judges affiliated with one of the two major political parties, and two from the other.

"Such a system assumes, without foundation, that Republicans and Democrats are monolithic in their judicial views and that their political views will control their decision-making," Adams argued in his Supreme Court brief. "Worse, it reinforces the fears of the public that judges will decide cases based on political affiliation.":snip:

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