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Judicial Selection in the States

News

Back in December I noted a pattern emerging in more and more states with merit/commission based systems: legislatures and governors want more names making their...

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A Washington bill to require judges recuse from cases in which they received campaign contributions from a party or attorney has been amended into a...

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Arizona s constitution provides that judges for the Superior Court in counties with a population over 250,000 are selected via the state s merit/commission system...

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In recent years, proposals have been introduced by legislators, governors, courts, and citizens' groups in nearly every state to limit the role of politics in the selection of state judges.

The extent of these activities underscores the recognition that an independent judiciary is essential to the maintenance of public trust and confidence in the court system.

The American Judicature Society, through funding from the Open Society Institute, has contributed to these efforts by compiling comprehensive information on judicial selection processes in each of the fifty states and the District of Columbia. Topics covered include methods of selecting, retaining, and removing of judges; successful and unsuccessful reform efforts; the roles of parties, interest groups, and professional organizations in selecting judges; and the diversity of the bench.

  • To view state-specific information, select a state from the drop-down menu in the upper right or from the map below.
  • To view practices among states, select a topic on the left.