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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 149396 Find in a Library
Title: Retention Elections and Judicial Behavior
Journal: Judicature  Volume:77  Issue:6  Dated:(May-June 1994)  Pages:306-315
Author(s): L T Aspin; W K Hall
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 10
Type: Survey
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This article reports the findings from a 10-State survey of judges who experienced retention elections.
Abstract: The survey focused on four topics: support for judicial retention elections, campaign activities, retention election activities of various organizations and groups, and judges' perceptions of the influence of retention elections on their behavior. Merit selection of judges according to the Missouri Plan, named after the first State to adopt the system, combines two mechanisms: merit appointment and judicial retention election. Judges are initially appointed by the governor, who selects from a list proposed by a judicial nominating commission. After a period on the bench, judges face voters on the issue of whether they should be retained in office. Judges who receive the required number of affirmative votes in this uncontested plebiscite earn a full term in office. At the end of each succeeding term, judges again face voters on a retention ballot. The most important finding of this study is the high percentage of judges who report that judicial behavior is shaped by retention elections. Judges who believe they can lose because of their judicial performance are the ones most likely to say retention elections have an influence on some aspect of judicial performance. 5 tables
Main Term(s): State courts
Index Term(s): Judge selection; Judicial elections
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