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

See all articles by Mark I. Harrison

Mark I. Harrison

Osborn Maledon, PA

Keith Swisher

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law

Meghan H. Grabel

Osborn Maledon, PA

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Harrison, Mark I. and Swisher, Keith and Grabel, Meghan H., On the Validity and Vitality of Arizona's Judicial Merit Selection System: Past, Present, and Future. Fordham Urban Law Journal, Vol. 34, No. 1, 2007. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1014971

Mark I. Harrison

Osborn Maledon, PA ( email )

2929 North Central Avenue
Suite 2100
Phoenix, AZ 85012
United States

Keith Swisher (Contact Author)

University of Arizona - James E. Rogers College of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 210176
Tucson, AZ 85721-0176
United States

Meghan H. Grabel

Osborn Maledon, PA

2929 North Central Avenue
Suite 2100
Phoenix, AZ 85012
United States

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