I want to introduce you to my Bill’s Eye guest blogger for the summer, Anne Evans. Anne graduated from Centre College in May and is volunteering at KET this summer. She’ll be aiding us in the public affairs area with One to One and Connections and other programs, has already been “out in the field” with KET’s new Kentucky Collectibles show and will be assisting the producer on a documentary on the life of noted horseman and former Keeneland president Ted Bassett.
Here’s Anne’s first blog for Bill’s Eye.
On Wednesday, June 6, Bill Goodman and I had the opportunity to see and hear the Honorable Sandra Day O’Connor, the retired Supreme Court Justice, speak at the Kentucky Bar Association Convention in Louisville. She spoke about Kentucky’s selection process of judges as well as about how poorly informed United States citizens generally are about our government.
While it is a debated topic, O’Connor holds that judges should not be elected (as we elect our judges in Kentucky), but they should instead be chosen based on merit. Election of judges, she argued, only complicates the decisions that judges make, as they can sometimes then be influenced by organizations that funded their campaign.
O’Connor also spoke about the lack of knowledge a large percentage of Americans have about our government system and how it functions. When she told us that the majority of U.S. citizens are unable to name the three branches of government, I became a little bit nervous as I went over that little tidbit of knowledge in my head…as an English major sitting in a room of lawyers, I have no doubt that I would have been the only one unable to answer that question had the Legislative Branch not come to mind after a brief hesitation. Whew. Proves her point, doesn’t it?
O’Connor’s concern about the public’s knowledge about how our democracy works spurred her to create an online educational website that teaches Americans, and specifically young Americans, more about our country and its system of governance. iCivics.org has online games, a website for teachers to use in classrooms, and as cheesy as it may sound, the games really are fun! I encourage you to check it out.
While at the conference, Renee Shaw taped two Connections programs that will air at a later date, and Bill Goodman sat down with the president of the American Bar Association, Bill Robinson of Florence, Ky., for a One to One program that will air in August.
This conference made it clear that there are a lot of people out there who really care about how our government is operating, and who want it to be as fair and just as possible. Attending the conference was definitely eye-opening and encouraging. Kentucky continues to move forward.
Until next time,