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  • Print publication year: 2020
  • Online publication date: April 2020

10 - Connecticut, Rhode Island, and South Carolina

from Part II - Change as Court Modernization or Good Government


Connecticut, Rhode Island, and South Carolina do not use any form of popular election in selecting state judges. Selection is (or was) through either election by the legislature or appointment by the governor. In each of the three states, one or more controversies surrounding either the selection process or serving judges provided the impetus for changes that required persons selected as judges to have been screened and either approved or recommended by a committee or commission. In Connecticut and Rhode Island, the screening body forwards a short list to the selecting authority; in South Carolina, the screening body reviews applications from persons who desire to be on a list of those eligible for appointment in the future. To the extent that partisanship influenced the change process, it was primarily focused on the composition of the screening body rather than on whether there should be such a body.