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

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Saturday, January 11, 2014

Judicial Independence

The political science literature on judicial selection includes lots of data and various perspectives not sufficiently voiced among lawyers and in the general public.  A good example is this article by Scott E. Graves, National Center for State Courts, Robert M. Howard, Georgia State University, and Pamela C. Corley, Vanderbilt University.

It seems to provide further empirical support for the proposition that judicial independence is determined primarily by the length of a judge's term.  This proposition goes back at least as far the Federalist Papers in which Hamilton (quoted  this article) says "Periodical appointments, however regulated, or by whomsoever made, would, in some way or other, be fatal to [the courts'] necessary independence."

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