Editorial: Better Bench for Brooklyn

Daily News
October 31, 2003, Friday SPORTS FINAL EDITION



The Brooklyn Democratic Party has long given the borough the business by stocking its courts with judges whose primary - in many cases, only - qualification is fealty to now-indicted boss Clarence Norman. On Tuesday, voters should strike a blow against this dictatorship of hacks and raise the quality of justice.
Five vacant Brooklyn state Supreme Court judgeships will be filled on Election Day. Following are the names of five candidates who are battling Norman's trolls. Most years, they wouldn't have a prayer, but this year may be different because of outrage over the epidemic of ethical and criminal lapses infecting the Brooklyn courts.
The five candidates are Civil Court Judge Margarita Lopez Torres and lawyers Alexander Eisemann, Lyle Silversmith, Robert Newman and Rosemary Palladino. Each has a solid resume as a legal mediator or referee, law clerk, appeals specialist or litigator.
Voters will find their names on the ballot on Line E under the Working Families Party, which chose its candidates after subjecting them to screening by a 14-member panel of independent lawyers, law professors, former judges and community activists. Every lever that's pulled for them will be a vote for a better judiciary.
Each vote also will serve as a condemnation of Norman's reign. Victory for Lopez Torres would be particularly sweet. Because she stood up to the machine's patronage demands, she is facing its full fury as she attempts to rise from the Civil Court to the Supreme Court.
As has become routine, Norman's Democratic candidates are party loyalists. They sit on the Civil Court, but don't be fooled by that impressive-sounding experience. They are undistinguished and undeserving of elevation to a higher bench.
So once again, remember these names on Row E: Margarita Lopez Torres, Alexander Eisemann, Lyle Silversmith, Robert Newman and Rosemary Palladino. Write their names down and take them to the voting booth Tuesday and begin the conquest of Norman.

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