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How Should State Judges Be Selected?

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1 Response

  1. ohwilleke says:

    FWIW, the “merit” system used in Colorado which is the kind recommended, works very well, although the retention election feature is useless.

    My experience in New York State is that the experience with elected judges there is a dismal failure. There are many instances were judicial elections are simply random; based on inaccurate assumptions flowing from nothing more than the name on the ballot.

    Empirical evidence that purports to show with empirical evidence that judicial elections do something as ponderous as “enhance the quality of democracy and create an inextricable link between citizens and the judiciary” are rightly viewed with suspicion. Last time I checked, there wasn’t an SI unit for either.

    I also have doubts about the notion that a date set about state supreme court elections that is used by the book has much relevance to a judicial election landscape in which the overwhelming share of elections are of little known local trial judges who are deeply constrained by judicial ethics and custom from commenting on any of the issues that matter to the citizens.