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

Judicial selection and other videos

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Sunday, April 26, 2015

North Carolina Judicial Elections May Become Partisan

Elections for North Carolina appellate court judgeships have been officially nonpartisan since 2004, but AP reports that Republicans are trying again to shift them back to partisan races. The North Carolina "House tentatively agreed Thursday to legislation to require state Supreme Court and Court of Appeals candidates run with their party affiliation on the ballots."

Monday, April 13, 2015

Personal and Ideological Clashes on the Wisconsin Supreme Court

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:

A day after voters approved changing the state constitution to allow members of the Wisconsin Supreme Court to elect their leader, Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson on Wednesday sued the six other members of the court to hold onto her job.

Supporters of the measure — which passed 53% to 47% — had said it would help heal relations on a court that has been marked by personal and ideological clashes in recent years.

Abrahamson, the longest-serving justice in Wisconsin history, filed her lawsuit in federal court in Madison. In it, she contends she should be able to remain chief justice until her term on the court ends in July 2019.
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Abrahamson is a liberal leading a court controlled by conservatives. Over the years, she has clashed, at times fiercely, with both her allies and opponents, and her adversaries saw the constitutional amendment as a way to sideline her.

According to a separate article in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, State Supreme Court Justice Ann Walsh Bradley secured a third, 10-year term on the court, defeating challenger Judge James Daley who "attacked her as a liberal activist."

Friday, April 3, 2015

West Virginia Judicial Elections Drop Party Labels

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin has signed House Bill 2010, which requires the elections of justices of the West Virginia Supreme Court, circuit court judges, family court judges and magistrates to be nonpartisan and by division.