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Who is to Judge?The Perennial Debate Over Whether to Elect or Appoint America's Judges$
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Charles Gardner Geyh

Print publication date: 2019

Print ISBN-13: 9780190887148

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2019

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190887148.001.0001

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A Short and Pointed History of Judicial Selection

A Short and Pointed History of Judicial Selection

(p.24) 2 A Short and Pointed History of Judicial Selection
Who is to Judge?

Charles Gardner Geyh

Oxford University Press

Chapter 2 places the current state of affairs in context, with a short history of judicial selection in the United States, touching on the five distinct methods of judicial selection that have evolved over time. It begins by discussing colonial rule and gubernatorial appointments, then moves to early statehood and legislative appointments. The Age of Jackson is then examined, in particular Jacksonian democracy and its aftermath, which saw the rise of partisan judicial elections. The chapter then discusses how the Populist-Progressive era ushered in the advent of nonpartisan and recall elections. Finally, it describes the merit selection movement in the twentieth century before concluding that in the modern era, the American judiciary has undergone a political transformation that has placed increasing emphasis on constraining independence and enhancing political control.

Keywords:   history, gubernatorial appointment, legislative appointment, partisan elections, nonpartisan elections, recall elections, merit selection

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