To the editor:
The judicial branch of our government is often overlooked. However, since our democratic system is one of checks and balances, it is no less important. This is where our laws and enforcement of our laws are judged. Anyone who has ever needed to go through a test of our laws through the courts can immediately see its strengths and flaws.
This election year, we have four seats open on the New York State Supreme Court. Our Fourth Judicial District covers 11 counties, from St. Lawrence County all the way to the Schenectady area. The judges elected represent all of this area but do not have to travel to the area where the dispute arises if they choose not to. They can hold court in the area where they live. Most of the state Supreme Court judges are from the Schenectady area. This means that should you be involved in a case that goes to the state Supreme Court, you and your lawyer must travel, usually to the Schenectady area. This is very expensive, as you must pay for your lawyer's travel time. That is why it is extremely important that voters check out where a candidate for the Supreme Court lives.
John Silvestri is one of two Supreme Court candidates who lives in the North Country. He lives in the town of Schroon Lake. He has three decades of work with legal services, prosecution and defense counsel, plus trial experience. Not only has this experience given him empathy for those needing the court system, but he hopes to establish a system to move things through it more smoothly. This is something that anyone who has had to experience the court system knows needs to be addressed.
Christine Clark also deserves your attention. In her remarks at the (Voters for Change) storefront on Woodruff Street, she promised that she would hold court near the places where the clients lived. She is willing to travel. She has also been a judge since 2005. She developed a special family court system in Schenectady to push emergency cases through more quickly. Should she be elected, she would be the second woman ever to serve on the state Supreme Court.
Please vote for John Silvestri and Christine Clark on Nov. 6.