Should Judges Be Elected or Appointed?

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  1. ngureco profile image82
    ngurecoposted 11 years ago

    Should Judges Be Elected or Appointed?

  2. mthurston profile image75
    mthurstonposted 11 years ago

    Judges are appointed for a number of good reasons.  But this is a good question.  The appointment process and tenure are some of the conditions used to give judges enough security to effectively do their job.  The idea is that the judicial branch be at arms-length from political counterparts.

    Things constantly change; I think of civil rights legislation in this case.  When the mood of the times changes, its up to judges and judicial review to keep laws up-to-date.  This way, we are able to have a set of laws, but laws which are subject to changes at the discretion of judges. 

    Electing judges, on the whole, is a good idea, but the problem comes when judges are faced with re-election.  While not all judges are given lifetime appointments - most of them have quite a considerable amount of 'protection' over their decisions.  To make up for the fact that judges are prone to human errors, we have the appeals process.  A distinctive judicial hierarchy also accounts for this. (lower courts, regional courts, state/provincial courts, supreme court)

    Another thing to think about is that judges tend to deal with matters that may take more time than the conventional election cycle.  I think it serves judicial economy well to have judges appointed and a safe distance from political interference because it allows them to do their job in an unbiased fashion.  Elected judges could turn the judicial system into a popularity contest; we're looking for qualified judges not popular candidates.  I tend to feel that people are ill-informed enough about general politicians, let alone judges' qualifications.  Kind of like electing doctors; I wouldn't really know whether im making a wise vote or not, in the end, the electorate really isn't qualified to make those kinds of decisions.

    The problem with appointments is potential corruption, but for the sake of arguing, I'd rather have an appointed judiciary with a few bad apples than I would a revolving door judiciary prone to making partisan decisions.

  3. Jason R. Manning profile image84
    Jason R. Manningposted 10 years ago

    Good points by Thurston, but as time has shown us, unelected judges do not have to face any backlash from overturning the people.  The 9th circuit court is a perfect example of Judicial legislating from the bench.  I would be remiss not to include an extend term limit for judges, as it is important for them to be laser focused upon tasks.  I would argue for 7 to 9 year term limits.  Odd years would be good so as to mostly avoid the circus of major election cycles.

  4. Mel Jay profile image83
    Mel Jayposted 10 years ago

    Judges definitely should never be elected - they need to be entirely independent from the political process and 'untouchable' by the powers that be - this is the doctrine of the separation of powers.  The executive, the parliament and the judiciary are the three arms of government and the judiciary cannot be impartial if they are worried about keeping or getting their jobs.  Imagine a Judge who gets elected on a platform of tough justice trying to make a fair and balanced decision.   While many might agree with tougher justice, if harsher penalties are needed it is up to parliament to impose higher maximums, not judges.  Judges should be appointed until the age of 65 or 70 and no one should be able to remove them unless they are found to be corrupt.  This is the only way to ensure they are not beholden to anyone and cannot be influenced or corrupted in their work.

  5. someonewhoknows profile image76
    someonewhoknowsposted 10 years ago

    Some Judges should be elected.At,least the public would know what the judges claim to be thinking politically.

    U.S.Supreme court justices should also give the public a sense of what they are thinking politically.presidents and parties have always tried to appoint those judges they see as politically correct.

    It,seems politics will never be seperate from "The Law"

    Have you seen my hubs on reverse speech?
    Politicians,judges and lawyers might or might not like it if their speech was giving the truth of what they are really thinking.If,you google "reverse speech you will see at least 40 million entries


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