ALBANY, GA (WALB) - By Attorney Ken Hodges
On the ballot in November as proposed Constitutional Amendment number three will be the question of whether or not the Judicial Qualifications Commission or the JQC should be abolished and reformed in order to provide oversight to Judges.
As always, the devil is in the details and what is left out of this seemingly innocuous question is that the current Commission already does that with an active and independent Constitutionally mandated Commission constituted by the Supreme Court of Georgia, the Governor, and the State Bar of Georgia.
In the last eight years more than 60 Judges were removed for breaches of ethics, abuse of power, or other misconduct.
Who does the General Assembly want to make the appointments instead? Itself.
This is a classic case of the fox guarding the hen house.
Most Judges are good and never run afoul of the JQC but if it happens the citizens are not served by a Judge who can pick up the phone and call his local Representative or Senator and squelch a legitimate investigation and subsequent discipline.
The current JQC is an effective watchdog agency that protects the public. Vote no on Amendment 3.