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Texas Review of Law and Politics

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judicial selection, political appointment, partison elections


Judges | Law | State and Local Government Law


I am going to set the stage by providing a little background about the various methods that States around the country use to select their judges. I am also going to remind us of many of the considerations that we like to think about when we are deciding which of these methods is best. And I am going to push upon you a new consideration that is sometimes not thought about in these discussions as well as share some data regarding this last consideration. But let’s start with some background about the selection methods.

There are basically four different ways that States select their judges around the country. The original method in all of the States was political appointment. Almost all the States did the same thing the federal government did from the beginning. And while some of them did not have life tenure, all the States relied either on the legislature, the executive, or both to pick their judges. A handful of States still follow the political appointment method today.



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