In Defense of Judicial Elections

Author: Chris W. Bonneau
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135852693
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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One of the most contentious issues in politics today is the propriety of electing judges. Ought judges be independent of democratic processes in obtaining and retaining their seats, or should they be subject to the approval of the electorate and the processes that accompany popular control? While this debate is interesting and often quite heated, it usually occurs without reference to empirical facts--or at least accurate ones. Also, empirical scholars to date have refused to take a position on the normative issues surrounding the practice. Bonneau and Hall offer a fresh new approach. Using almost two decades of data on state supreme court elections, Bonneau and Hall argue that opponents of judicial elections have made—and continue to make—erroneous empirical claims. They show that judicial elections are efficacious mechanisms that enhance the quality of democracy and create an inextricable link between citizens and the judiciary. In so doing, they pioneer the use of empirical data to shed light on these normative questions and offer a coherent defense of judicial elections. This provocative book is essential reading for anyone interested in the politics of judicial selection, law and politics, or the electoral process. Part of the Controversies in Electoral Democracy and Representation series edited by Matthew J. Streb.

In Defense of Judicial Elections

Author: Chris W. Bonneau
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1135852685
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
Download Now
One of the most contentious issues in politics today is the propriety of electing judges. Ought judges be independent of democratic processes in obtaining and retaining their seats, or should they be subject to the approval of the electorate and the processes that accompany popular control? While this debate is interesting and often quite heated, it usually occurs without reference to empirical facts--or at least accurate ones. Also, empirical scholars to date have refused to take a position on the normative issues surrounding the practice. Bonneau and Hall offer a fresh new approach. Using almost two decades of data on state supreme court elections, Bonneau and Hall argue that opponents of judicial elections have made—and continue to make—erroneous empirical claims. They show that judicial elections are efficacious mechanisms that enhance the quality of democracy and create an inextricable link between citizens and the judiciary. In so doing, they pioneer the use of empirical data to shed light on these normative questions and offer a coherent defense of judicial elections. This provocative book is essential reading for anyone interested in the politics of judicial selection, law and politics, or the electoral process. Part of the Controversies in Electoral Democracy and Representation series edited by Matthew J. Streb.

In Defense of Judicial Elections

Author: Chris W. Bonneau
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 0203876997
Format: PDF, Docs
Download Now
One of the most contentious issues in politics today is the propriety of electing judges. Ought judges be independent of democratic processes in obtaining and retaining their seats, or should they be subject to the approval of the electorate and the processes that accompany popular control? While this debate is interesting and often quite heated, it usually occurs without reference to empirical facts--or at least accurate ones. Also, empirical scholars to date have refused to take a position on the normative issues surrounding the practice. Bonneau and Hall offer a fresh new approach. Using almost two decades of data on state supreme court elections, Bonneau and Hall argue that opponents of judicial elections have made—and continue to make—erroneous empirical claims. They show that judicial elections are efficacious mechanisms that enhance the quality of democracy and create an inextricable link between citizens and the judiciary. In so doing, they pioneer the use of empirical data to shed light on these normative questions and offer a coherent defense of judicial elections. This provocative book is essential reading for anyone interested in the politics of judicial selection, law and politics, or the electoral process. Part of the Controversies in Electoral Democracy and Representation series edited by Matthew J. Streb.

Judicial Elections in the 21st Century

Author: Chris W. Bonneau
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 1317288211
Format: PDF, Docs
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Leading authorities present the latest cutting edge research on state judicial elections. Starting with recent transformations in the electoral landscape, including those brought about by U.S. Supreme Court rulings, this volume provides penetrating analyses of partisan, nonpartisan, and retention elections to state supreme courts, intermediate appellate courts, and trial courts. Topics include citizen participation, electoral competition, fundraising and spending, judicial performance evaluations, reform efforts,attack campaigns, and other organized efforts to oust judges. This volume also evaluates the impact of judicial elections on numerous aspects of American politics, including citizens’ perceptions of judicial legitimacy, diversity on the bench, and the consequences of who wins on subsequent court decisions. Many of the chapters offer predictions about how judicial elections might look in the future. Overall, this collection provides a sharp evidence-based portrait of how modern judicial elections actually work in practice and their consequences for state judiciaries and the American people.

Attacking Judges

Author: Melinda Gann Hall
Publisher: Stanford University Press
ISBN: 0804793093
Format: PDF, Mobi
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Nasty, below-the-belt campaigns, mudslinging, and character attacks. These tactics have become part and parcel of today's election politics in America, and judicial elections are no exception. Attacking Judges takes a close look at the effects of televised advertising, including harsh attacks, on state supreme court elections. Author Melinda Gann Hall investigates whether these divisive elections have damaging consequences for representative democracy. To do this, Hall focuses on two key aspects of those elections: the vote shares of justices seeking reelection and the propensity of state electorates to vote. In doing so, Attacking Judges explores vital dimensions of the conventional wisdom that campaign politics has deleterious consequences for judges, voters, and state judiciaries. Countering the prevailing wisdom with empirically based conclusions, Hall uncovers surprising and important insights, including new revelations on how attack ads influence public engagement with judicial elections and their relative effectiveness in various types of state elections. Attacking Judges is a testament to the power of institutions in American politics and the value of empirical political science research in helping to inform some of the most significant debates on the public agenda. This book's results smartly contest and eradicate many of the fears judicial reformers have about the damaging effects of campaign negativity in modern state supreme court elections.

Electing Judges

Author: James L. Gibson
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
ISBN: 0226291103
Format: PDF, Mobi
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In Electing Judges, leading judicial politics scholar James L. Gibson responds tothe growing chorus of critics who fear that the politics of running for office undermine judicial independence and even the rule of law. While many people have opinions on the topic, few have supported them with actual empirical evidence. Gibson rectifies this situation, offering the most systematic and comprehensive study to date of the impact of campaigns on public perceptions of fairness, impartiality, and the legitimacy of elected state courts—and his findings are both counterintuitive and controversial. Gibson finds that ordinary Americans do not conclude from campaign promises that judges are incapable of making impartial decisions. Instead, he shows, they understand the process of deciding cases to be an exercise in policy making, rather than of simply applying laws to individual cases—and consequently think it’s important for candidates to reveal where they stand on important issues. Negative advertising also turns out to have a limited effect on perceptions of judicial legitimacy, though the same cannot be said for widely hated campaign contributions. Taking both the good and bad into consideration, Gibson argues persuasively that elections are ultimately beneficial in boosting the institutional legitimacy of courts, despite the slight negative effects of some campaign activities. Electing Judges will initiate a lively debate inside both the halls of justice and the academy.

Voters Verdicts

Author: Chris W. Bonneau
Publisher: University of Virginia Press
ISBN: 0813937604
Format: PDF, ePub, Docs
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In Voters’ Verdicts, Chris Bonneau and Damon Cann address contemporary concerns with judicial elections by investigating factors that influence voters’ decisions in the election of state supreme court judges. Bonneau and Cann demonstrate that the move to nonpartisan elections, while it depresses political participation, does little to mute the effects of partisanship and ideology. The authors note the irony that judicial elections, often faulted for politicizing the legal process, historically represented an attempt to correct the lack of accountability in the selection of judges by appointment, since unlike appointive systems, judicial elections are at least transparent. This comprehensive study rests on a broad evidentiary base that spans numerous states and a variety of electoral systems. Bonneau and Cann use the first national survey of voters in state supreme court elections paired with novel laboratory experiments to evaluate the influence of incumbency and other ballot cues on voters’ decisions. Data-rich and analytically rigorous, this provocative volume shows why voters decide to participate in judicial elections and what factors they consider in casting their votes. A volume in the series Constitutionalism and Democracy

Choosing State Supreme Court Justices

Author: Greg Goelzhauser
Publisher: Temple University Press
ISBN: 1439913404
Format: PDF, Kindle
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Since 1940, more than half of all states have switched at least in part from popular election or elite appointment to experiment with merit selection in choosing some or all of their state supreme court justices. Under merit selection, a commission—often comprising some combination of judges, attorneys, and the general public—is tasked with considering applications from candidates vying to fill a judicial vacancy. Ostensibly, the commission forwards the best candidates to the governor, who ultimately appoints them. Presently, numerous states are debating whether to adopt or abolish merit selection. In his short, sharp book, Choosing State Supreme Court Justices, Greg Goelzhauser utilizes new data on more than 1,500 state supreme court justices seated from 1960 through 2014 to answer the question, Does merit selection produce better types of judges? He traces the rise of merit selection and explores whether certain judicial selection institutions favor candidates who have better qualifications, are more diverse, and have different types of professional experience. Goelzhauser’s results ultimately contribute to the broader debate concerning comparative institutional performance with respect to state judicial selection.

The Legitimacy Puzzle in Latin America

Author: John A. Booth
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 0521515890
Format: PDF, ePub, Mobi
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This book examines citizens' attitudes toward the legitimacy of their political systems and the relationship between political legitimacy and democratic stability.

In Defense of a Political Court

Author: Terri Jennings Peretti
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 9781400823352
Format: PDF, Docs
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Can the Supreme Court be free of politics? Do we want it to be? Normative constitutional theory has long concerned itself with the legitimate scope and limits of judicial review. Too often, theorists seek to resolve that issue by eliminating politics from constitutional decisionmaking. In contrast, Terri Peretti argues for an openly political role for the Supreme Court. Peretti asserts that politically motivated constitutional decisionmaking is not only inevitable, it is legitimate and desirable as well. When Supreme Court justices decide in accordance with their ideological values, or consider the likely political reaction to the Court's decisions, a number of benefits result. The Court's performance of political representation and consensus-building functions is enhanced, and the effectiveness of political checks on the Court is increased. Thus, political motive in constitutional decision making does not lead to judicial tyranny, as many claim, but goes far to prevent it. Using pluralist theory, Peretti further argues that a political Court possesses instrumental value in American democracy. As one of many diverse and redundant political institutions, the Court enhances both system stability and the quality of policymaking, particularly regarding the breadth of interests represented.