Sunday, August 25, 2013

A Man of Letters

To see Scott's Hurley for Judge Facebook page, click here.
To read Scott's Statement of Candidacy, click here
To compare Scott's answers in the Voter's Guide, click here
To view Scott's bio submitted to Judge4Yourself, click here

Dear Cleveland Voter:

I promise to give you plenty of reasons to vote for me in a moment, but first, I must address the electoral process for judges in Cuyahoga County and Cleveland Municipal Court.

For many years, the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party held sway over a judicial selection process that nearly always prevailed.  You only won if you paid them to put you on a sample ballot, bought yard signs through their merchants, paid for their billboards, etc.  Us Democrats who thought that process repugnant and corrupt were labeled "lower than Republican" in the party caste system.  Party politics and money skewed the process, and it showed in the quality of candidates for judge.

If a candidate could remove money and politics from the equation, running only on his reputation in the legal community, and WIN? That would change the process for the better.

And so, I'm trying to change the process for the better. I'm running for a seat on the bench of Cleveland Municipal Court, where I practice each day, breathing life into the constitutional rights of the least among us.

1. I received the highest score of all the candidates in my race from the four legal associations that comprise the Judicial Candidates Ratings Coalition. The website,, provides their ratings.

2.  I stand in contrast with my opponents as an AFSCME union member.

3.  I am not accepting campaign contributions. I believe we should all rethink the wisdom of handing money to people to help them win a seat on the bench. The current political process guarantees corruption and incompetence in the judiciary.

4. As an assistant public defender working the busiest municipal courtrooms in the state, I practice mass indigent defense before every member of the bench, regularly.  I have witnessed -- or been asked to help solve -- every conceivable problem the court confronts.

5.  I bring a familiar demeanor to the courtroom, one that assures judges that I respect the rule of law, gives me credibility to my skeptical clients, and educates spectators about court matters and decorum.  I use the microphones and cameras set upon me to make a good record.  It's something I call "Courtroom Classroom Theater Church" lawyering.

Running for judge has been an enjoyable, enlightening experience.  Perhaps many will be surprised to see my name on the ballot on Nov. 5.  I hope those that do recognize my name think about my peculiar devotion to public service, my rejection of judicial campaign contributions and party politics, and my service to the "least among us" as a measure of my qualifications for judge.



Dear Rob & Stu:

Please know that it's nothing personal.  I'm sure you are both nice guys. But the question, now, is: are you men of your word?

Neither of you have made promises to me.  Indeed, I don't believe I've spoken to either of you on this or any subject.  But if you look back just a few years, you'll see that you both made bipartisan promises to serve the integrity of the judiciary.  You both promised to take money and politics out of judicial races, with the help of the Judicial Candidates Ratings Coalition, the JCRC.

I remember reading Leila Attasi's article on the point, thinking, "Wow. That's great! Waive the stink away from judicial elections, once and for all!  Leave endorsement decisions to the bar associations!  No more terrible candidates!"

And then, it occured to me: I could win.

If BOTH parties supported the highest rated candidates, vetted by the rigorous interview process of Cleveland's four bar associations, then I could win an election without party support, without campaign contributions.

And then, it occured to me:  I'd have to be the highest rated candidate in a judicial race that had no incumbent.

Which brings us to today, you see, because now, a week before election day, I happen to be the highest rated candidate in a judicial race that has no incumbent.  So I believe both the Cuyahoga County Democratic Party and the Cuyahoga County Republican Party should publicly support me.  Today.

Neither one of you is under cross-examination. (Lucky for you!) Neither one of you signed an affidavit as such. Neither one of you gave me your word.  But you told the citizens of Cleveland and Cuyahoga that things would change, that you'd seen the error of the old system of money and politics, and that you would support candidates vetted by the JCRC.

If either of you want to talk, I'll be in the Justice Center, begging for justice and mercy for the poor as my father did before he died of a liquor-soaked, broken heart.  As usual.


Scott Roger Hurley

"And now, the movie, folks!"