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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 134876 Find in a Library
Title: Changing North Carolina's Method of Judicial Selection
Journal: Wake Forest Law Review  Volume:25  Issue:2  Dated:(1990)  Pages:253-285
Author(s): J J Korzen
Date Published: 1990
Page Count: 33
Type: Legislation/Policy Analysis
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: In 1989, the Judicial Selection Study Commission and the North Carolina State Senate developed plans that would abandon the State's system of partisan judicial elections.
Abstract: Both plans wisely endorsed gubernatorial appointment of judges, with legislative advice and consent. Unfortunately, however, both plans also called for a commission to recommend whether judges should be retained. Retention commissions should be avoided in any plan that is ultimately adopted because they create new problems rather than solve old ones. The North Carolina Supreme Court's chief justice has offered a better solution: gubernatorial appointment to a single, lengthy judicial term. He favors a long term of 15 to 25 years, after which a judge would retire and could not be reappointed. He believes elections are not necessary to create judicial accountability because the judicial branch is already accountable. Incompetent and unethical judges can be removed from office, and decisions that are unpopular enough can be changed by legislation or amendment. The chief justice's proposal has decided advantages. Long, single terms would promote judicial independence and avoid problems associated with partisan elections and other judicial selection methods. Alternatives to partisan judicial elections in other States are discussed including nonpartisan elections, commission selection, retention elections, and appointment. 339 footnotes
Main Term(s): Judge selection
Index Term(s): Judicial elections; North Carolina
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