Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

Listen to Smart Talk live online from 9-10 a.m. weekdays and at 7 p.m. (Repeat of 9 a.m. program)

Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: Merit selection of judges; Report from Republican Convention

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | Jul 18, 2016 9:00 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Monday, July 18, 2016:

Three police officers were shot and killed and three others wounded - one  critically - in Baton Rouge, Louisiana yesterday.  The shootings occurred less than two weeks after police shot and killed an African-American man -- Alton Stirling during a struggle.  Five police officers were murdered in Dallas and another black man was killed by police in Minnesota - all in the last two weeks.  Police identified the Baton Rouge shooter as 29 year old Gavin Eugene Long of Kansas City Missouri.  Joining us to discuss the latest is Sue Lincoln, Capitol Access reporter at WRKF Public Radio in Baton Rouge. 

Merit selection of statewide appellate court judges is an issue that has been debated for years in Pennsylvania but yet never seems to change.

Currently, Pennsylvania voters elect judges to the state Supreme, Superior and Commonwealth Courts.  There are several criticisms to electing judges.  Critics say voters don't know the candidates so they'll choose a candidate based on their ballot position or area of the state they're from.  They also contend too much money goes into judicial races -- much of it from law firms or organizations that may one day appear in the courtroom of a judge who they supported with contributions. 

No changes have been made until this point because legislators are hesitant to take the responsibility away from voters and many say that a panel appointed to choose judges could also be too political.

Legislation is being considered in Harrisburg now that would change how judges are chosen.  Widener University Commonwealth Law School Professor Emeritus John Gedid appears on Monday's Smart Talk to discuss it.

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Professor Emeritus John Gedid

Also, the Republican National Convention opens Monday.  We'll get a report from Cleveland with Franklin and Marshall College political analyst and pollster, Dr. G. Terry Madonna.

Published in News, Smart Talk

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