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

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Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Politics on the Bench—Iowa and Beyond

Marsha Ternus lost her Iowa Supreme Court position and complained about spending on judicial retention elections.  Now, Roger Pilon of the Cato Institute responds:

"it’s the politics Ternus didn’t mention that seems to have colored her idealized view of judging, shielding her from a deeper account of why our courts have become so politicized. Far from the angels being all on one side, it turns out that Iowa’s “nonpartisan” judicial screening commission and gubernatorial appointment process is deeply political. As a July 2010 report by The Iowa Republican documents, not only were all seven members of the Iowa Supreme Court, save Ternus, nominated by Democratic governors, from lists presented by the commission, but all were or had been Democrats or had made significant contributions to the party or its candidates. All seven, in short, came from one party."

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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