Rep. Brian Kelsey, R-Germantown, made the case for contested elections for judges. As usual, the longer he talked, the more votes he seemed to lose. Kelsey harangued the House, reading aloud the members' oath of office and demanding that they follow it by voting with him.
"I've taken the oath of office 18 times. I don't need it read to me," Rep. Jimmy Naifeh, D-Covington, told Kelsey.
Naifeh backed an amendment to keep the present system in place, but he eventually acknowledged it couldn't pass the Senate, so he withdrew it. Naifeh gave this little speech:
The House Rube Faction was quite agitated over this vote. They think the state constitution forbids retention elections for judges. Plus, they think they can put fellow rubes on the Supreme Court if contested elections are held. "I'm disappointed in my fellow Republicans who cannot read and understand that the judges shall be elected by the people of this state," said an angry Rep. Frank Niceley, R-Strawberry Plains.
"I am very passionate about this and I think what we have is the best thing, what we presently have in place right now is the best thing. But I am also a realist. I know that if this amendment goes on, then we have no plan. I know the Senate will not accept it. I am not going to play into their hands on that. We're being held hostage by the Senate. It happens, ladies and gentlemen. The golden rule, them that's got the votes makes the rules, and they got 'em over there."