Should judges be elected or appointed?

Tamara Beatty Peterson tells her opinion on elected or appointed judges.“Ever-growing judicial campaign finance coffers, endorsements from political groups and low voter turn-out in judicial elections all contribute to citizens’ lower confidence in the judiciary. Selecting our judges based on merit through a bipartisan commission and appointment process is crucial to a fair and impartial judiciary, and necessary to maintain our democratic ideals.”
Tamara Beatty Peterson • Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP
Joseph A. Liebman, Esq. tells his opinion on elected or appointed judges.“The appointment of judges is a superior method.  Elected judges may be subjected to certain pressures from his/her constituents and/or donors to rule in a certain way.  Further, qualified individuals may be lost due to the significant expense and time associated with running a campaign.”
Joseph A. Liebman, Esq. • Bailey Kennedy, LLP

Airene Williamson, Esq. tells her opinion on elected or appointed judges.“I think judges should be initially appointed by their committee of peers (fellow judges and attorneys), who are realistically in the best position to determine the potential candidates’ background, experience and fairness in court.  After which, once they establish their reputation, work ethics, and record, their names can be placed on the ballot on the subsequent election for the public’s vote.”
Airene Williamson, Esq. • Owner, Williamson Law Office, PLLC

John T. Steffan tells his opinion on elected or appointed judges.“There’s merit to both electing and appointing judges, but I favor appointment since it keeps judges at a safer distance from political interference and allows them to do their job in an unbiased fashion.”
John T. Steffen • Managing Partner, Hutchison & Steffen

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Nancy Eklof tells her opinion on elected or appointed judges.“I think they should be appointed as they do lose esteem when ‘pitching the people’ – not to mention the dirty campaigns and the ability of lawyers to finance their election campaigns… therefore … lawyers get too close for comfort?”
Nancy Eklof • Owner, Nancy Eklof Public Relations

Bryan Lindsey, Esq. tells his opinion on elected or appointed judges.“Judges should be appointed, not elected.  Judges by design are supposed to be above the fray, who are disinterested in anything but the proper application of the law.  Appointing judges to the bench would relieve these thoughtful public servants from the conflicts that come from acting like politicians when running for office, but then dispassionate arbiters of the law after the election as if the very people who put them in office will not care about the result.
Bryan Lindsey, Esq. • Schwartz Law Firm