John Roach was appointed to the Kentucky Supreme Court. If you are surprised then you haven’t been paying attention.
Ernie Fletcher demonstrated traits of both a fighter pilot and doctor when he placed Roach on the bench.
You never want a timid fighter pilot or a doctor that is unsure of himself and Fletcher is neither. He charged right into this appointment like the entire merit system scandal wasn’t happening.
But the interesting thing to me is not that Fletcher passed over two judges with more experience to make a purely political appointment. I’m unfortunately beginning to accept the arrogant disregard for public appearances this administration keeps demonstrating.
The interesting thing is the letter of recommendation for Roach from Attorney General Greg Stumbo.
The Fletcher administration spin machine keeps saying that Stumbo’s investigation of merit system hiring is purely political, “…..Attorney General Greg Stumbo’s hypocrisy since beginning his partisan witch-hunt against Governor Ernie Fletcher’s administration”.
If they want to show Stumbo being political they should be waving Roach’s recommendation letter around.
Why would Greg Stumbo recommend John Roach?
1. Roach was a lock for the position.
2. Stumbo gains nothing by opposing him; if he does oppose Roach then his actions are label as another example of Stumbo being a partisan. He can point at the letter and say it demonstrates he is not just a partisan politician.
3. Since the Attorney General’s Office will be trying cases in front of the Supreme Court, it doesn’t hurt to have a guy you recommended on the bench. Not that there would be any improper influence on either side, it’s just human nature.
4. Roach will have to leave the Governor’s Office in the middle of the merit system investigation. Regardless of who comes in to replace him there will be a learning curve. This aids Stumbo’s investigation.
5. Roach will not, we hope, be advising Fletcher on the case. Of course this administration has had a little problem identifying conflicts of interest, but surely they can see this one.
6. Roach will have to disqualify himself on ruling on things he was involved with in the Fletcher administration.
7. Stumbo makes points with those members of the electorate that are still living in the 19th century and decry activist judges. He gets some conservative credentials this way.
8. The appointment is for only a little more than a year and the opposition will be coming after Roach.
9. And finally, judges have a way of becoming independent after they take a seat on the bench, who really knows how Roach will rule on any given case.
Sometimes you just have to admire the layers of some partisan political moves. Greg Stumbo, regardless of past personal problems, is one shrewd politician.