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State of Washington

Judicial Selection in the States: Washington

Overview

News

New Mexico uses a unique system of judicial selection for the state s top courts (Supreme, Court of Appeals, District, and Metropolitan) that includes partisan...

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The latest effort to end merit/commission selection for Arizona s appellate courts and Superior Courts has been refiled. HCR 2030 would require partisan elections for...

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The Utah House this week approved a bill to remove the power of an executive branch agency to set evaluation criteria for the state s...

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Examines successful judicial selection reform efforts in six states, discussing...

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There are four levels of courts in Washington--the supreme court, the court of appeals, the superior court, and the district and municipal courts. The district and municipal courts are courts of limited jurisdiction. Washington judges are selected in nonpartisan elections. Washington is one of only three states in which a majority of the members of the high court are women.

Prior to 2006, Washington was one of only four states without limits on campaign contributions to judicial candidates, but in the spring of that year the legislature applied the same contribution limits to judicial candidates that were in place for other candidates. Nonetheless, 2006 was a recordbreaking year for fundraising by supreme court candidates in Washington, leading some reform groups to call for public financing of judicial elections or a move to merit selection.