Political Science Paper on Elected or Appointed Judges?

There are three approaches used to select judges. The first is appointment made done by the executive of the state and confirmed by the senate. The second method is retention elections where after appointment to the bench and a certain period, a judge may retain his or her seat through voters who determine the performance. The third process is competitive election in which elections are held the same way as other elected officials. The judiciary is an independent body answerable to the law and not the people or interested group. Thus, judges should not be elected to serve on the bench to give them freedom to make decisions and preserve the integrity of the legal system.

One of the arguments in favor of election of judges is that the officials who serve on the bench wield a considerable amount of power thus should be chosen and answerable to the electorate. Another justification is that judicial election produces higher quality candidates who have been thoroughly vetted before appointment.

On the other hand, arguments opposed to electing judges are that voters have no qualification to justify the choosing their own judges. Additionally, it will require funding for judges to afford campaign, which may force them to depend on political offices. It alters the integrity of work when a judge owes people favors, and is expected to perform their duties diligently. Consequently, the election of judges weakens direct democracy by limiting the power of the judicial system. Therefore, in order to safeguard the integrity of the judiciary judges need to be vetted and appointed based on merit. It does not guarantee political interference but is a safer way to ensure independence of the system.