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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 93137 Find in a Library
Title: Judicial Selection, Compensation, Discipline and Mandatory Retirement (From Improvement of the Administration of Justice, P 61-83, 1981, Fannie J Klein, ed. - See NCJ-93134)
Author(s): L Berkson
Date Published: 1981
Page Count: 23
Sponsoring Agency: American Bar Association
Sale Source: American Bar Association
United States of America
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: The different States use a wide variety of approaches to judicial selection, compensation, and discipline.
Abstract: One of the main objections to judicial elections has been that judges are usually selected and controlled by political machines. In contrast, commissions for the selection of judges are permanent, nonpartisan bodies of lawyers and nonlawyers who recruit and screen prospective candidates for final selection by a governor. Commission plans thus preclude many of the problems of partisan and nonpartisan elections. In fact, no State using sucha plan has returned to an elective system and no judge selected under such a system has been removed by a judicial performance commission. Arguments against the plans focus on their denial of citizens' right to elect public officials; inability to remove politics from the selection process; the nonrepresentational nature of nominating committees; ineffective elections which result in life-tenured judgeships; and their failure to educate the public as elections do. To ensure adequate compensation of judges, compensation review commissions in 22 States provide advice on appropriate levels of dollar compensation, cost-of-living raises, retirement and disability pensions, and death benefits. Traditional methods for judicial discipline were rarely used because of the cumbersome procedures and inadequate sanctions involved. Today, 41 States and the District of Columbia have established unitary commissions to receive and investigate complaints and to present the charges to a separate board or court for adjudication. Grounds for discipline and removal of judges vary from State to State. An annotated bibliography lists 65 references.
Index Term(s): Judge censure and removal; Judge selection; Judgeships; Retirement and pensions; State Judicial Conduct Commissions
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