Argument: General statements against the election of judges

Issue Report: Election of judges


Judge Posner, on the Becker-Posner Blog: “[M]ost state judges are elected, and for a variety of reasons this is an unsatisfactory method of judicial appointment, used nowhere else, as far as I know, in the world.”[1]

“How did we come to elect judges?”. Frontline. 1999: “In Federalist 78, Alexander Hamilton argues for the independence of judges–why they should be appointed to serve “during good behavior” and insulated from the political process so that they can be a check on the legislative and executive branches. The arguments collected in the Federalist Papers formed the basis of much of what would shape the language and content of the Constitution.”

“Electing judges-with cash”. Cody Corliss. January 30, 2008: “The most promising example of selection comes from Missouri. There, a diverse nonpartisan nominating commission selects and forwards the three best candidates to the governor. The governor then chooses from that slate. The judge serves for a trial period and the public then votes in a retention election. If the judge is retained, he or she then serves for a full term.The Missouri method isn’t perfect, but it’s far better than the interest-group-based money free-for-alls permeating state judicial elections.”