The Federal and State Judicial Selection Systems

Federal judges are appointed by the president and confirmed by the Senate. Once they are confirmed, federal judges (effectively) serve for life, i.e., until they choose to retire. In contrast, many states including Texas choose judges through partisan elections. They serve a fixed number of years and then they are required to run for reelection if they wish to remain in office. Other states use a version of merit selection in which judges are initially appointed by the governor after being recommended by a merit selection board. The judges then serve a short term and then must run in a retention election to keep their positions. In your opinion, which of these selection methods is best? Why? Also, to what extent are these methods political (or politicized)? Before offering your opinion, you should read the textbook chapters and lecture notes that are relevant to this topic. You may also rely on other sources. If you do, then cite these sources. ———————— **lecture notes by: Dr. Craig Emmert

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