Commission-based Selection

Gaylord, Scott W. “Unconventional Wisdom: The Roberts Court’s Proper Support of Judicial Elections,” Mich. St. L. Rev. 1521 (2011).

September 11, 2012

This article explores the effects of the Roberts Court’s recent First Amendment cases on judicial elections. Arguing that the protection afforded speech rights by the Roberts Court actually promotes the independence, accountability, and quality of state court judges.

Gil, Rebecca. Judicial Performance Evaluations as Biased and Invalid Measures: Why the ABA Guidelines are Not Good Enough (March 30, 2012). (SSRN)

April 17, 2012

This article analyzes the “Judging the Judges” survey of Nevada attorneys, finding evidence of significant unconscious bias and concluding that judicial performance evaluations, an important part of the judicial selection process, are not valid measures of judicial quality.

Schneider, Matthew. “Why Merit Selection of State Court Judges Lacks Merit,” 56 Wayne L. Rev. 609 (2010).

January 12, 2012

This article evaluates merit selection of judges against the founding principles of representative democracy.

Ware, Stephen J. “The Missouri Plan in National Perspective,” 74 Mo. L. Rev. 751 (2009).

December 20, 2011

This article summarizes the fifty states’ methods of judicial selection and argues for a system that avoids both the undemocratic elitism of the Missouri Plan in selecting judges and the populist dangers associated with retention elections.

Tarr, G. Alan. “Do Retention Elections Work?” 74 Mo. L. Rev. 605 (2009).

December 20, 2011

This article analyzes whether retention elections actually work to reduce the influence of politics in judicial selection.

Luskin, Robert C., Christopher N. Bratcher, Christopher G. Jordan, Tracy K. Renner, and Kris S. Seago. “How Minority Judges Fare in Retention Elections,” 77 Judicature 316 (1994).

December 20, 2011

This empirical study of nearly every judicial retention election in the United States from 1980 to 1990 concludes that a judge’s race or ethnicity does not play any significant part in how the judge fares during a retention election.

Fitzpatrick, Brian. “The Politics of Merit Selection,” 74 Mo. L. Rev. 675 (2009).(SSRN)

December 20, 2011

This article uses data on merit selection in two states to support the conclusion that, because lawyers tend to be more liberal, bar associations will nominate more liberal judges than would members of the general public or elected officials.

Dimino, Sr., Michael R. “The Futile Quest for a System of Judicial ‘Merit’ Selection,” 67 Alb. L. Rev. 803 (2004).

December 20, 2011

This article argues that merit selection deceptively sacrifices judicial accountability for judicial independence by making it virtually impossible for the public to have meaningful input during retention elections.

Andersen, Seth. “Examining the Decline in Support for Merit Selection in the States,” 67 Alb. L. Rev. 793 (2004).

December 20, 2011

This article briefly summarizes the recent decline in popular support for merit selection systems, offers explanations for this decline, and concludes that merit selection advocates can find renewed popular support by proposing approaches to merit selection that provide for greater public input during the nomination process and by continuing to highlight the influence of money and politics on judicial elections.