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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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Managing the Selection Debate

Managing the Selection Debate

(p.125) 6 Managing the Selection Debate
Who is to Judge?

Charles Gardner Geyh

Oxford University Press

Chapter 6 argues that we can come closer to consensus in the judicial selection debate by confronting and overcoming the errors and exaggerations that chapter 5 isolates. That said, complete consensus is likely to remain elusive because ultimately, judicial independence from electoral accountability is both in tension with and essential to democracy. As the chapter discusses, appointive systems are a preferable default, but there are circumstances in which electoral accountability can be essential to the judiciary’s perceived legitimacy with the general public. The chapter also suggests ways in which elected judiciaries can be made more impartial and independent, including reforming campaign finance, amending disqualification rules, and lengthening judicial terms, as well as greater accountability, as well as the ways that appointed judiciaries can be made more accountable via publicizing existing accountability-promoting mechanisms, reinvigorating disqualification procedure, and instituting rigorous judicial performance evaluations.

Keywords:   qualified election model, interdisciplinary, judicial elections, judicial appointments, retention elections, merit selection

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