Sonny Perdue yesterday vetoed HB 1236, which would have required Municipal Court judges throughout Georgia to be licensed to practice law and be a member in good standing of the State Bar of Georgia. Those already serving who were not qualified would have been grandfathered in.
Pretty good idea, right? Having judges in Municipal Court who are actually lawyers and actually have experience in the law? No so, says the Guv’na:
Because I believe cities should be able to decide what qualifications their municipal judges should have, I VETO HB 1236.
So local municipalities should be able to make their own decisions about who they want as judges. Okay, I’ll admit it, I can understand it if the citizens of, for example, Pavo or Brinson, want their judge to be Joe who runs the pharmacy down the street. Because if the guy chosen really screws up, he can be given the proverbial boot quickly.
But, then, if our Governor is sooooo interested in local control over law enforcement standards, why does Perdue continue to fund the Georgia Peace Officer’s Standards and Training Council? Georgia P.O.S.T. administers the law enforcement regulatory process and sets the standards for training and certification for all law enforcement officers across Georgia! Isn’t that telling “small town Georgia” how they can organize their own police force?
What if Ty Ty, Georgia, wanted to organize their own police force in some inventive way or just have ‘ol Fred standing on the corner issuing traffic citations? Why should they have to be burdened by the “rules” from “the man” in Atlanta? Can’t they decide how they want their law enforcement organized and operated?
No, I’m not actually calling for the destruction of Georgia P.O.S.T. But it points out, yet again, how the thought processes of our current Governor always sounds pretty fair on the first pass but then end up making very little sense. A Municipal Court judge should at least be licensed to practice law in Georgia.
Barney Fife just e-mailed in to note, “Rule Number One: Obey ALL rules!”
[UPDATE] In the comments comes another excellent point: Perdue is all hot and bothered by the concept of local municipalities being able to set the standards for their judges, but GOD FORBID if a municipality wants to permit its citizens to purchase alcohol on a Sunday from a store.