Most people would agree, St. Clair County's judiciary can benefit from diversity -- of race, gender, age, political views and areas of expertise. Given that the county has a 30 percent black population, ideally there should be black judges on the bench.
Still, it's a little insulting that former NAACP leader Johnny Scott suggested that a black candidate be selected for one open seat because a black judge has filled that seat in recent years. As Chief Judge John Baricevic said, there are no white seats or black seats on the bench. Suggesting that someone be chosen based only on the color of his skin is almost as offensive as someone being excluded from consideration based on his race.
The judges would do well to consider diversity of all sorts when they select associate judges. But ultimately, the criteria should be whether the person has the experience, legal knowledge and temperament to do the work.