[JURIST] US District Judge John Gleeson [official profile] Friday temporarily stayed an injunction that would have changed New York's unique system of nominating its elected state trial court judges in political conventions [NY Election Law s. 6-106, PDF] rather than primaries. Gleeson ruled [PDF] in January that the practice of nominating judges to the New York Supreme Court [Wikipedia backgrounder] was unconstitutional because voters were denied the opportunity to participate. Critics of the old nomination process have long argued that it amounts to patronage that shuts out candidates not close to political party bosses.
The January ruling required that judges be nominated by primary elections until the state legislature could enact a new nominating system, but state election officials said there was not enough time for candidates to circulate nominating petitions before elections later this year. All parties have agreed to the stay. AP has more.