Seth Barrett Tillman: My Post on CONLAWPROF: On Elected Judges and Elected Prosecutors

It strikes me that the complaint against judicial elections (as voiced on this listserv) is rooted in the absence of life tenure — not elections per se. You could have elections filling judicial vacancies — but with the candidates’ receiving life tenure. And you could have appointments by political authorities to fixed and limited judicial terms — with the possibility of reappointment. The threat to the rule of law (such as it is), lies with the prospective candidate for reelection/reappointment to judicial office biasing his/her decision for self-interested reasons. But that conflict of interest will appear whenever you have terms of limited duration with the possibility of reelection/reappointment. It is not elections per se that create the conflict.

This is an excellent point.

Read Seth’s post in full.

3 thoughts on “Seth Barrett Tillman: <i>My Post on CONLAWPROF: On Elected Judges and Elected Prosecutors</i>”

  1. Not necessarily a bad point but the rest of post sort of goes off the rails. Our problem now is not that judges and prosecutors are reacting too much to popular opinion but are quite obviously unconstrained by any requirement, either formal or informal, to be nonpartisan in their application of the law.

  2. I don’t have a direct issue with “kinda sorta” lifetime appointments, but think there should be regular “retain?” votes of either 67% no or even 75% no.

    To get THAT many people pissed off with you seems to take real work, even for an extremist at either end…

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