s-35 - Ch. 4 - The Selection of Judges p. 93 120 [9-21] 1....

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Ch. 4 - The Selection of Judges p. 93 – 120 [9-21] 1. General Issues in Judicial Selection [93] 1. Debates about how to select judges = about what ppl want from courts & how to achieve it 2. These debates hold 2 dominant questions: 1. 1. Whether to give priority to judicial independence or to political accountability 1. Independence so can apply law in way they think appropriate 2. Political judges are important policy makers, so should be accountable to ppl they serve 2. 2. How to obtain the most competent judges 1. Elected officials and general public play central roles in putting American judges on the bench and determining whether they stay there 3. By late 19 th century, most states chose a nonpartisan election system 4. American Judicature Society [AJS], found 1913 sought new method of judicial selection 1. = a merit selection [aka Missouri Plan] System = a state governor chooses new judge from list of nominees provided by independent commission, w/ voters later having the chance to approve/ disapprove the governor’s choice 2. The Selection of Federal Judges [ don’t worry about] [95] 1. Formal rules for selection of federal judges : 1. All judges nominated by the president and confirmed by the Senate 2. Simple majority of the senators voting is required for confirmation 1. Confirmation can be blocked by the Senate Judiciary Committee or by a filibuster preventing a vote from being taken 3. When Senate’s in recess, the president can make a recess appointment, under which a nominee takes the bench immediately and can serve until the end of the next Senate session 1. i.e. George Bush made recess appointments in 2004 4. federal judges hold their positions for life A) The Supreme Court 1) The Nomination Process (a) President often meets personally with potential nominees for federal official positions (b) A sitting judge may cast votes & write opinions that are aimed in part @ appealing to (i) Occasionally there are suspicions that a federal judge has done so in a particular case 2) Criteria for Nominations (a) 4 important criteria categories presidents use to select Supreme Court nominees (i) 1. Qualifications Nominee falling short on criterion may not gain Senate confirmation Unqualified candidate who does get confirmed but serves poorly on the Court may embarrass the appointing president (ii)2. Nominee’s policy preferences : concerns attitudes toward issues w/ which the Court deals
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President seeks appointees who share presidential views about policy (iii) 3. Reward Overwhelming majority of all nominees come from the president’s party (iv) 4. Pursuit of Political Support Some nominations used to appeal to important interest group or segments of
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s-35 - Ch. 4 - The Selection of Judges p. 93 120 [9-21] 1....

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