20%20September%20356

20%20September%20356 - Judicial Politics in the States (and...

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1 Judicial Politics in the States (and Texas) http://www-polisci.tamu.edu/faculty/flemming/ METHODS OF JUDICIAL SELECTION 1. PARTISAN ELECTION (8, including Texas) 2. NON-PARTISAN ELECTION (13) 3. LEGISLATIVE APPOINTMENT (2) 4. GUBERNATORIAL APPOINTMENT (3) 5. MERIT SELECTION (16) 6. MERIT COMBINED WITH OTHER (9, inc MO)
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2 NO POSSIBILITY OF CONTESTED ELECTIONS RELATIVE LACK OF CONTESTED ELECTIONS "BAR POLITICS" REPLACES PARTISAN POLITICS PREVALENCE OF APPOINTMENTS RETENTION ELECTIONS SHARE SAME PROBLEM RATIONAL VOTERS? ISSUELESS CAMPAIGNS LACK OF INFORMATION IRRELEVANT "CUES" APPOINTMENT METHODS ELECTORAL METHODS http://thesituationist.wordpress.com/2007/08/13/the-situation-of-judging- part-ii/ Judicial Elections in the States: Getting Costlier, More Contested, and “Nationalized”
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3 REPUBLICAN PARTY OF MINNESOTA et al. v. WHITE, CHAIRPERSON, MINNESOTA BOARD OF JUDICIAL STANDARDS, et al. (2002) The Minnesota Supreme Court adopted a canon of judicial conduct that prohibits a "candidate for a judicial office" from "announc[ing] his or her views on disputed legal or political issues" (hereinafter “announce clause”). While running for associate justice of that court, petitioner Gregory Wersal (and others) filed this suit seeking a declaration that the announce clause violates the First Amendment and an injunction against its enforcement. Held: The announce clause violates the First Amendment. (1) The announce clause both prohibits speech based on its content and burdens a category of speech that is at the core of First Amendment freedoms--speech about the qualifications of candidates for public office. The Eighth Circuit that respondents had established two interests as sufficiently compelling to justify the announce clause: preserving the state judiciary's impartiality and preserving the appearance of that impartiality. (2) Under any definition of "impartiality," the announce clause fails strict scrutiny. First, it is plain that the clause is not narrowly tailored to serve impartiality (or its appearance) in the traditional sense of the word, i.e., as a lack of bias for or against either party to the proceeding. Second, although "impartiality" in the sense of a lack of preconception in favor of or against a particular legal view may well be an interest served by the announce clause, pursuing this objective is not a compelling state interest, since it is virtually impossible, and hardly desirable, to find a judge who does not have preconceptions about the law. (d) A universal and long-established tradition of prohibiting certain conduct creates a strong presumption that the prohibition is constitutional.
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This note was uploaded on 04/27/2008 for the course POLS 356 taught by Professor Flemming during the Spring '08 term at Texas A&M.

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20%20September%20356 - Judicial Politics in the States (and...

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