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Judicial Selection in the States
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Book description

Using detailed case studies of the relevant US states, Herbert Kritzer provides an unprecedented examination of the process and politics of how states select and retain judges. The book is organized around the competing goals of politics and professionalism, namely whether the focus in choosing judges should be on future judicial decisions (court outputs) or on the court processes by which those decisions are reached. Or, in considering who should be a judge, whether the emphasis should be on political credentials or on professional credentials. One important finding is that political concerns have surpassed professionalism concerns since 2000. Another is that voters have been more supportive of professionalism in selecting appellate judges than trial judges. Judicial Selection in the States should be read by anyone seeking a deep understanding of the complex interplay between politics and the judiciary at the state level in the United States.


‘Judicial Selection in the States is an exceptionally well-crafted analysis of the goals, timing, and successes or failures of reformers seeking to alter judicial selection procedures in their respective states. Employing a robust theoretical framework and remarkably rich and insightful case studies, this book contributes mightily to the scientific literature and the political controversy perennially raging over staffing the state court bench. An outstanding achievement!'

Melinda Gann Hall - Michigan State University; author of Attacking Judges: How Campaign Advertising Influences State Supreme Court Elections

‘Kritzer presents a rich and nuanced picture of efforts to change systems for selection of state judges and an insightful analysis of the motives that underlie those efforts. His book adds enormously to our understanding of why rules for selection of judges change - or don't change.'

Lawrence Baum - Ohio State University; co-author of The Battle for the Court: Interest Groups, Judicial Elections, and Public Policy

‘In this book, Kritzer brings his usual, trenchant, clear-eyed analysis to bear on the baffling, and seemingly directionless course of state judicial selection reform in the aftermath of the merit selection movement. An exceptional work - and essential reading for anyone who cares about how America picks its judges.'

Charles Gardner Geyh - John F. Kimberling Professor of Law, Indiana University, and author of Who is to Judge? The Perennial Debate Over Whether to Elect or Appoint America's Judges

‘The bottomline is that Judicial Selection in the States is a remarkable achievement. Kritzer assembles and amalgamates an abundance of information on state-specific debates that coalesces into a comprehensive account of reform efforts during the modern era … This book is clearly a must-read for anyone interested in judicial selection, but it will also prove fascinating for those interested in law and courts, state politics, and political institutionsmore broadly. It is an impressive accomplishment.’

Greg Goelzhauser Source: Perspectives on Politics

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