11 TortSource 1 (2008-2009)

handle is hein.journals/tortso11 and id is 1 raw text is: his year more than 40 seats on the states' highest courts will be up for grabs
j!  .yworld of judicial elections. These formerly decorous contests, in which candi
sed their educational and legal backgrounds, will include instead generous
.8    campaigns raising issues of same-sex marriage, abortion rights, and tor
o     Statements outlining candidates' positions on political and legal issues-once oft
those seeking judicial office-are now commonplace. What has led to this chan
cial elections? And how does it affect lawyers, clients, and the overall integr
5electiox                             5electionAmerican legal system?
The changed landscape for judicial elections is due in large part to the Suprer
5-4 decision in Republican Party of Minnesota v. White, 536 U.S. 765 (2002), w
that a provision of the 1972 Model CodeofJudicialConductprohibitingjudi(
dates from announc[ing] their views on disputed legal or political issues vi
Wendy J. Keefer
hen the country's Founders established the means for selecting members of the fed-                                     ......
eral Judiciary judicial independence was of primary importance. Division of responsi-
bility between the president and the Senate for initial selection and lifetime tenure of
those confirmed was the resulting mechanism. In terms of a jurist's independence once      i
the judge is confirmed, it is hard to argue that the federal system is not preferable. There
is no doubt that the ever-increasing role of politics in the actual nomination and con-0-U
firmation processes may add an unintended political aspect, but once selected, our fed-
eral judges need not fear reprisal as they remain in their judicial positions absent         y
impeachment. The states, however, opted for a variety of ever-changing and ever-debat-  -
ed mechanisms in the quest to balance judicial independence with accountability to the
populace. This article briefly describes the various methods of judicial selection utilized  ..
0
in the states and discusses some of the benefits and concerns about them.
continued on page 6

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gn page 4

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