Judicial elections, democratic appointment (e.g., senate confirmation), and the Missouri Plan (a/k/a "merit selection")

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Thursday, January 23, 2014

Former Iowa Supreme Court Justice Decries Judicial Politics

Marsha Ternus writes "In 2010, Iowa voters removed two colleagues and me from the court in a retention (yes-or-no) election. Well-funded out-of-state groups and other critics fueled the ouster drive, decrying a unanimous 2009 court ruling. That decision held an Iowa statute denying civil marriage — and the benefits flowing from that status — to same-sex couples violated their right to equal protection under the Iowa Constitution."  She opposes partisan judicial elections and supports what she calls "merit selection" saying:  "I continue to believe that judicial merit selection systems like Iowa's, incorporating a nonpartisan screening commission and gubernatorial appointment, offer the best defense against politicized courts."  Of course the devil is in the details of who selects members of the commission, that is, who picks the pickers. 

I address Iowa Supreme Court selection and the same-sex marriage case here in a video of a Federalist Society panel in Des Moines.

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