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John Oliver: Forcing judges to run for office turns them into hookers with tip jars

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On HBO’s Last Week Tonight, host John Oliver tackled the absurd way in which many U.S. states select judges at the ballot box, forcing jurists to pander to voters while hustling for campaign money.

Using Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore — who recently insisted that the U.S. Supreme Court can’t overturn state laws — as a leaping off point, Oliver asked, “How did that man become the highest judicial officer in the state?”

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The answer, he pointed out, is that 85 percent of state judges in the U.S. are elected.

Noting that judicial elections were intended to foster public accountability, Oliver stated that there is little accountability when most judges run unopposed. Oliver then highlighted a recent election in Los Angeles county where 150 of 151 judicial candidates ran unopposed.

Despite the lack of opposition, judges still feel they must raise large amounts of money to finance their campaigns, leading to potentially unethical practices like asking for money from lawyers who may appear before them.

Oliver drew attention to a Texas appeals court judge who sent an email after the election to an attorney who donated to his opponent reading, “I trust that you will see your way clear to contribute to my campaign account in an amount reflective of the $2,000 contribution you made towards my defeat :-)…”

“The fact that he is shaking him down in an email isn’t the part that I find most offensive,” Oliver explained. “It’s the ‘wink emoticon.’ I guess we should be thankful he stopped short of going ‘wink emoji’.”

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Saying he wanted to be fair to judges, Oliver noted that most judges hate having to raise money and campaign, with Ohio Supreme Court justice Paul Pfeiffer admitting,”I never felt so much like a hooker down by the bus station in any race I’ve ever been in as I did in a judicial race…”

Oliver added, “Which does explain Pfeiffer’s campaign slogan: ‘Justice for all. No kissing on the mouth though. I have to save something for the man I fall in love with.'”

“Look, if we are going to keep electing judges, we may have to alter our idea of what justice is, ” Oliver concluded.”In fact, at the very least to be a bit more representative, we should tweak the blindfolded lady holding scales, to put a tip jar in her hand and a give her a f*cking winking emoji for a face.”

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Watch the video below from Last Week Tonight:

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‘Bulletproof from a pardon’: Fox News analyst says judge in Stone case just made things tough for Trump

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In the wake of Roger Stone's sentencing of 3.5 years in prison this Thursday, Fox News legal analyst Andrew Napolitano posited that U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson's choice to go along with Attorney General Bill Barr's sentencing recommendation could have been an effort to pardon-proof the sentence from President Trump.

"[Jackson's] trying to make this bulletproof from a pardon," Napolitano said. "Because she went along exactly with what [Barr] requested."

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Adam Schiff sends signal that a Roger Stone pardon would be another impeachable offense

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Rep. Adam Schiff suggested that a presidential pardon for Roger Stone would be an impeachable offense.

Judge Amy Berman Jackson sentenced the longtime Republican operative to 40 months in prison, saying Stone had lied to Congress and threatened a witness to cover up possible wrongdoing by President Donald Trump -- and Schiff sent a warning against a pardon.

"Roger Stone was found guilty of lying to Congress and threatening a witness," Schiff tweeted.

Schiff, who led the impeachment inquiry and trial, agreed with Jackson -- whose language echoed the lawmaker's "corrupt scheme and cover-up" indictment during the Senate trial.

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WATCH: Roger Stone greeted with ‘Lock Him Up!’ chants after getting sentenced to 40 months

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Trump ally Roger Stone frequently led chants of "Lock her up!" about Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign -- but on Thursday, the table decisively turned.

After Stone was sentenced to 40 months in prison for charges of perjury, witness tampering, and obstruction of justice, a crowd of people greeted the right-wing dirty trickster by chanting, "Lock him up!" outside the courthouse.

At least one supporter of President Donald Trump tried to get a "pardon" chant going, but they were drowned out by the louder "Lock him up" chants.

Watch the video below.

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