The Endless Judicial Selection Debate and its Implications for the Future of an Independent Judiciary
21 Geo. J. Legal Ethics 1259 (2008)
25 Pages Posted: 11 Sep 2007 Last revised: 29 Jun 2013
In this overview, I begin by describing the five different systems of state judicial selection that have evolved out of a perennial struggle to strike an optimal balance between judicial independence and judicial accountability. I then explore recent developments that have intensified that struggle, before analyzing, with reference to available research, how different selection systems counter or accommodate such developments. My purpose here is not to write (another) position piece. Rather, my purpose is to step back and contextualize disputes over judicial selection with reference to the independence and accountability issues that animate them, and to isolate what we know and don't know about the assumptions that underlie the arguments of the disputants, so as to better frame future study and debate.
Keywords: Judicial elections, Judicial appointment, Judicial independence, Judicial accountability, Judicial conduct, Judicial ethics, Merit selection, Judicial selection
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