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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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Why Everyone Is Wrong

Why Everyone Is Wrong

(p.99) 5 Why Everyone Is Wrong
Who is to Judge?

Charles Gardner Geyh

Oxford University Press

Chapter 5 revisits the arguments summarized in chapter 4, to the end of showing how and why arguments for and against each system are exaggerated, misleading, and wrong. The focus is on work that seeks to support or refute claims contributing to the binary arguments that dominate the public discussion of judicial selection—work that is most vulnerable to being overstated in the service of winning debates. The discussion begins by deconstructing the arguments, describing the foundational dispute over judges and their roles; the specific arguments for and against elective systems, and for and against appointive systems; and the arguments over incremental reform. The chapter concludes by discussing the topics of why disputants overstate their claims, path dependence and competing narratives, coping with cognitive dissonance, and dueling publics.

Keywords:   judicial elections, judicial appointments, merit selection, incremental reform, cognitive dissonance, path dependence, motivated reasoning, assimilation bias, litigating public, voting public

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