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96 Judicature 151 (2012-2013)
The Political Origins of Judicial Elections: Evidence from the United States and Bolivia

handle is hein.journals/judica96 and id is 151 raw text is: THE POLITICAL
Compar ve antysi s of the
adoprnon and imp/c entation of
jud cial e1ectionis in Boliva and
ilc ' 'S Te stuidy ;dentf7s four
commona17ties betwecn the UlS.
adoption of judidi! dlec/ions in
thie 1800s and the racent Polivklln
move to jud/cia/ elections.

judicial elections have been des-
cribed as a uniquely American insti-
tution? Initially adopted by a handful
of states in the mid-1800s, judicial
elections quickly diffused across the
country as many U.S. states began
rewriting their state constitutions.
By 1860,21 of the 30 American states
elected their judges.' Today, the
vast majority of judges in the United
States must stand for election.' Yet,
while the American legal style is
going global, judicial elections are
rarely used to select or retain judges
outside of the United States.,

With the adoption of its new con-
stitution in 2009, Bolivia became the
first country in the modern world
to use judicial elections to select
judges for courts with national juris-
diction. On October 16, 2011, Boliv-
ian citizens cast ballots to elect 56
judges to the Bolivian Supreme Court
(Tribunal Supremo de Justicia), the
Plurinational Constitutional Tribu-
nal (Tribunal Constitucional Plurt-
nacional), the Bolivian Agricultural
Court   (Tribunal  Agroambiental),
and the high administrative body of
the national judiciary, the Bolivian

1. led Shugerwnan, Economic Crisis and the
Rise of judicial Elections and Judicial Review, 123
H ARVAN L. RE. 1061-1150, 1064 (2010).
2. Roy A. Schotland, Myth, Reality Past and
Present, and judicial ilectons 35 INn. . RatI
6s9-667,661 (2002).
3. Jeffrey Rosinek, Some Thoughts on the Prob-
lems of judicial Elections, 41 COURT REV. 20-24
(Summer, 2004).
4. R. Daniel Kelemen and Eric C. Sibbitt, The
Globalization ofAmnerican Law, 56 INT'L ORG. 103-
136,131 (2004). Outside of the United States, the
direct election of judicial authorities is rare and
generally reserved only for courts with limited
jurisdiction. The most prominent exception
comnes from Japan, whose Supreme Court judges
are subject to retention elections. To date, no
Japanese judge has ever lost an election. David S.
Law, The Anatomy of a Conservative court: judicial
Review injapan, 87 Tx. L. REV. 1545-1594 (2009).
wwwS.RG* i11CJIJE 1.51

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