General outline for midterm F10

General outline for midterm F10 - 1. Tarr ch.3 Judicial...

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1. Tarr ch.3 Judicial selection: All selection processes are trying to balance technical merit, independence and accountability, and different ones emphasize one or the other. For this section, review your notes, use the table I drew on the board and then posted in Course Documents, and read Tarr with a view to deciding how the real world characteristics of each system affect their ability to realize their ostensible goals. a. Key point – the judicial selection process is always political, but we can change how politics affects it, and who gets more say in the process b. Models: i. Merit selection (Missouri plan) 1. Designed to remove politics from the selection process, it emphasizes judicial independence rather than judicial accountability 2. Key feature is judicial nominating commission, composed of lawyers selected by the state bar and non-lawyers typically appointed by governor 3. When judicial vacancy occurs, the commission nominates three-or in some cases six- people to fill the position. The governor then selects the judges from that list. ii. Legislative election 1. Legislature elects state judges 2. System favors the judicial candidates of former legislatures – more than three quarters of supreme court justices had served in state legislature iii. Gubernatorial appointment 1. Governor appoints judges in four state, and in each the state senate or another body must confirm the appointees 2. Systems resembles the mode of selection for federal judges 3. Judges appointed typically serve for a set term of office iv. Direct elections 1. Partisan a. Emphasizes judicial accountability b. Political parties nominate candidates for judicial office, and they run with party labels in the general election c. Judges usually seek re-election in a partisan election (two states hold retention elections) 2. non-partisan a. states select some or all of their judges by elects 1
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conducted with no party affiliation indicated on the ballot b. typically the top two candidates in nonpartisan primary qualify for the general election c. In most states, judges elected run for re-election in retention elections v. Do elections really create accountability? What difficulties, what negative effects do elections have? Does merit selection eliminate politics? 1. Judicial elections act against independence and neutrality which is why it fails 2. In partisan elections there is a strong tension btwn creating judiciary independent and accountability a. Can be one between neutrality and those that have a particular ideology 3. in non-partisan elections voters are not very informed 4. In gubernatorial elections there is no neutrality because they more than likely reflect the ideologies of the governor 5. These elections lead to uncompetitive elections and uninformed voters 6. Merit selection can act to eliminate judicial accountability by holding retention elections which can lead to again, uncompetitive elections and uninformed voters c. Changes in state judiciaries: More diverse in recent years
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General outline for midterm F10 - 1. Tarr ch.3 Judicial...

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