Federal and State Judicial Selection in an Interest Group Perspective
U of Cincinnati Public Law Research Paper No. 09-28
25 Pages Posted: 12 Oct 2009
Date Written: October 15, 2009
The scholarly literature on judicial selection systems has given considerable attention to the role that politicians and political parties play in the adoption and operation of those systems. Less attention has been given both to the role of interest groups, broadly defined, in the creation and implementation of judicial selection systems, and the effect that these systems have on the strategies adopted by interest groups to accomplish their goals. This article, a contribution to a symposium on the selection of state judges and the Missouri Plan, seeks to fill that gap. Using the framework advanced in 1975 by William Landes and Richard Posner in their seminal article, The Independent Judiciary in an Interest Group Perspective, we explore the relationships between interest groups and the functioning of judicial selection systems at both the federal and state levels. Our focal point is the seeming puzzle of why legislative bodies (and their supporters among interest groups) would ex ante establish an independent and possibly competing branch of government. We further explore the differing methods of selection of federal and state judges, the affect of interest groups on the functioning of judicial selection systems, once they are created, and the roles of interests groups as litigants and as filers of amicus curiae briefs.
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