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NCJ Number: 68542 Find in a Library
Title: SELECTION OF STATE JUDGES - ELECTION OR APPOINTMENT? (FROM MERIT SELECTION OF JUDGES - HOW IS IT WORKING? P 17-24, 1979 BY BRENDA J BOGAN - SEE NCJ-68541)
Author(s): L C BERKSON
Date Published: 1979
Page Count: 8
Type: Historical Overview
Format: Document
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: THE HISTORY OF JUDICIAL SELECTION IN THE UNITED STATES IS SUMMARIZED, INCLUDING THE STRENGTHS AND WEAKNESSES OF PARTISAN AND NONPARTISAN ELECTIONS, EXECUTIVE AND LEGISLATIVE APPOINTMENTS, AND MERIT SELECTION.
Abstract: ENGLAND'S PRACTICE OF APPOINTING JUDGES CONTINUED IN THE 13 ORIGINAL COLONIES, UNTIL THE FIRST HALF OF THE 19TH CENTURY WHEN A TIDE OF PUBLIC ANIMOSITY TOWARD THE SPOILS SYSTEM LED TO MISSISSIPPI'S BECOMING THE FIRST STATE TO HOLD THE DIRECT ELECTION OF JUDGES FOR AN ENTIRE JUDICIAL SYSTEM. BY THE CLOSE OF THE 19TH CENTURY, DISENCHANTMENT WITH THE POPULAR ELECTION OF JUDGES MOUNTED. WHETHER USING A PARTISAN OR NONPARTISAN METHOD OF POPULAR ELECTION, THE ELECTION SYSTEM WAS VIEWED AS A POOR METHOD FOR SELECTING QUALIFIED JUDGES, BECAUSE OF THE PUBLIC'S LACK OF KNOWLEDGE OF THE REQUISITE JUDICIAL QUALIFICATIONS FOR A JUDGE, THE POLITICIZING OF JUDICIAL SELECTION, AND THE TENDENCY OF JUDGES TO RENDER DECISIONS BASED ON POPULAR OPINION AND THE INTERESTS OF SUPPORT GROUPS. A RETURN TO THE APPOINTMENT METHOD PROGRESSED; IN 1979, 21 STATES USE IT. THIS SYSTEM IS CRITICIZED, BECAUSE IT TIES A JUDGE TO HIS/HER APPOINTER AND TENDS TO NARROW THE FIELD FROM WHICH JUDGES ARE SELECTED TO FRIENDS OR FRIENDS OF FRIENDS OF THE EXECUTIVE APPOINTING JUDGES. MERIT SYSTEMS FOR SELECTING JU'GES, WHEREBY THEY ARE SELECTED THROUGH A COMMISSION OF QUALIFIED PERSONS WHO RATE JUDGES BY MERIT AND NOMINATE A SELECT GROUP FROM WHICH THE GOVERNOR APPOINTS ONE, WERE INTRODUCED BY MISSOURI IN 1940, AND A TREND TOWARD THEIR USE BY STATES HAS INCREASED SINCE THEN. WHILE MANY OF THE CRITICISMS LODGED AGAINST OTHER SELECTION SYSTEMS HAVE BEEN USED AGAINST THE MERIT SELECTION SYSTEM, THE TENDENCY FOR ABUSE APPEARS LESSENED AND THE QUALITY OF JUDGES SELECTED UNDER THE SYSTEM IMPROVED. FOOTNOTES ARE PROVIDED. FOR RELATED ARTICLES SEE NCJ 68541. (RCB)
Index Term(s): Critiques; Judge selection; Mississippi; Missouri
Note: REPRINTED FROM 'MANAGING THE STATE COURTS, TEXT AND READINGS' BY LARRY C BERKSON, STEVEN W HAYS AND SUSAN J CARBON
To cite this abstract, use the following link:
http://www.ncjrs.gov/App/publications/abstract.aspx?ID=68542

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