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Jury Selection, Essay Example

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Words: 326

Essay

There are two primary methods the state’s use to select a judge. These methods include election and appointment. Those methods have been the primary methods used to select judges within the United States court system for centuries. However, recently a hybrid method based on the merit system has been adopted by a majority of U.S. states. “Some states provide only for election of judges; most opt for a hybrid of elective and appointive positions. Currently, 34 states (including New York) and the District of Columbia choose at least some of their judges via the appointive process known as merit selection” (American Judicature Society, 2013).

The merit selection was developed by opponents of the election and appointment methods previously used by other states because they felt that elections and appointments gave room for too much bias in the courts. Proponents of the merit system however found it flawed and elitist, saying that eliminating the vote from the equation makes the process unfair to the people of that state- despite the fact that studies repeatedly show that the voting public is far less involved in the judicial process than they are when it comes to electing state or local officials.

The merit selection definitely seems to be the best approach to approaching judicial selection because it eliminates most politics and dirty money that could get involved in the appointment of a judge, provides high quality judges to the state’s court system and promotes diversity throughout the court. The merit selection method started out in Missouri, and is thus nicknamed “The Missouri Plan.” A majority of the country, including the District of Columbia, has opted to use the merit plan to choose judges for their state- and since adopting the merit selection system, no state has changed back to an alternative method.

“Judicial Selection in the States – Methods of Judicial Selection.” Judicial Selection in the States – Methods of Judicial Selection. American Judicature Society, n.d. Web. 12 May 2013. <http://www.judicialselection.us/judicial_selection/methods/selection_of_judges.cfm?state=>.

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