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City Bar Leader Calls For Change (Newsday)

The leader of a major lawyers group yesterday called for a system of merit selection in picking State Supreme Court judges in the wake of a federal court ruling last week which scrapped the way the jurists are elected.

Bettina Plevan, president of the New York City Bar Association, said in a prepared statement that Friday’s ruling by Brooklyn federal Judge John Gleeson was an “excellent” chance to reform judicial selection.

But she said that Gleeson’s ruling requiring judicial candidates to run in primary elections had serious problems.

“Forcing all Supreme Court candidates into an election where they must raise funds from lawyers who would appear before them and address issues likely to come before them if elected, all while still needing to curry favor with political leaders, is not the long- term solution,” said Plevan.

Newsday
January 31, 2006