The State Court Perspective
Elgar Monographs in Constitutional and Administrative Law series
Chapter 4: Modern state judicial selection in theory and practice
Historically, appointment was the first method of judicial selection used by the states. However, the public election of judges began when “reformers were of the opinion that the process of appointing the bench was based on service to the party, and efforts to reform the appointment process [began].” Between 1840 and 1886 nineteen of thirty states adopted constitutions requiring the public election of trial and appellate court judges. By the turn of the century, some reformers had abandoned the idea of judicial elections. “Merit selection was first debated in 1913 following intense displeasure among citizens, judges and lawyers that political machines and party bosses had taken control of the judicial selection process and could use their clout to unseat any judges who issued unfavorable rulings.” In 1937, the American Bar Association presented a plan utilizing a judicial nominating commission to nominate three candidates from which the governor appoints one.5 However, that plan was not adopted in any form by a state until 1940 and by the 1960s other states started to adopt merit selection methods. Today very few states use an appointment system without retention or popular elections.
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.