On the Validity and Vitality of Arizona's Judicial Merit Selection System: Past, Present, and Future
26 Pages Posted: 20 Sep 2007 Last revised: 24 Jul 2012
This Article demonstrates that merit selection is functioning commendably in Arizona and, for the most part, provides the public with a judicial selection process far more informative and generally superior to "traditional elections." Part I of this Article sketches the history of Arizona's judicial merit selection and its previous state-wide judicial election system. Part II discusses and analyzes attacks on merit selection and, in addition, assesses the effect of the Judicial Performance Review program initiated in 1992 to enhance the efficacy of the merit selection system. Finally, largely through extensive interviews of many participants in Arizona's merit selection system, Part III describes the current status of merit selection in Arizona and offers some fresh perspectives on the value of merit selection, with suggestions to assure its preservation in Arizona and its implementation elsewhere. The Article concludes that merit selection, while not a perfect system, has significant advantages over a system of traditional, partisan or non-partisan elections.
Keywords: Merit Selection, Judicial Performance Review, Appointive Selection, Judicial Selection, Judicial Elections
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