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Who is to Judge?The Perennial Debate Over Whether to Elect or Appoint America's Judges$
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Charles Gardner Geyh

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190887148

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190887148.001.0001

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The New Judicial Selection Landscape

The New Judicial Selection Landscape

(p.44) 3 The New Judicial Selection Landscape
Who is to Judge?

Charles Gardner Geyh

Oxford University Press

Chapter 3 maps the current judicial selection landscape by describing a series of developments decades in the making that has altered the political environment of judicial elections in fundamental ways. The chapter begins with a table showing the breakdown across all fifty U.S. states regarding which of the five methods of selecting judges are used by each state in selecting its high court judges. An additional table demonstrates how each state treats the reselection of a judge after the judge’s initial appointment or election. The chapter then turns to the contributing causes of the new politics of judicial elections, which include the weakening of the Democratic Party in the southern states, the rise of discretionary Supreme Court Review and the decline of mundane cases, the migration of civil rights and civil liberties campaigns to state courts, the role judges play as enemy combatants in the War on Crime, and the battle for tort reform going on in the state courts, which have resulted in the changing landscape of the American judiciary. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the consequences of these changes.

Keywords:   new politics, tort reform, war on crime, southern states, court structure, campaign finance, litigation campaigns, attack advertising, constitutional issues

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