New crop of RI Traffic Tribunal and Family Court magistrates up for consideration. Here are the names.

John Marion talks with the Providence Journal about "the magistrate loophole" in Rhode Island.

This article originally appeared in the Providence Journal on May 17, 2023 and was written by Katie Mulvaney.  


Below is John Marion’s quote included in the article about a crop of new Rhode Island Traffic Tribunal and Family Court magistrates.


Magistrate positions are often viewed as a stepping stone to a lifetime judgeship that circumvents the merit selection process for judges instituted by Rhode Island voters in 1994 after a series of scandals.

John Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island, a government watchdog organization, observed Tuesday that 30 years since the judicial selection process was overhauled, “the magistrate loophole remains.”

“While Chief Justice Suttell brought some needed transparency to his selections for the Traffic Tribunal by announcing the applicants and holding the interviews in public, the appointment system for the Family Court magistrates was completely opaque,” Marion said in an email.

Further, he said, “While the Judicial Nominating Commission has emphasized bringing needed racial and ethnic diversity to the bench, the ranks of magistrates still lag behind.”

To read the full article, click here.