1. The vast majority of the Texas judiciary is chosen through partisan elections.
The Partisan elections of judges is a highly perplexing tool for the current state of events in Texas. This is similar to the method in which one votes for as government bodies. The partisan majority in which they reflect republican judges in like areas and Democrats in their strong areas elects state judges in Texas. Judges will also uphold and vote for the morals and values of the constituents they serve. It gives the people say in who interprets the laws in their regions. These candidates are listed based on their political party affiliations. In addition, Texas is one out of six states in the United States that chooses members of the Supreme Court in this manner. All other states keep judges away from political affiliations. Other options exist using a nonpartisan election or a merit-based one where the commission leads to the creation of the candidates’ list for citizens to choose from for nomination purposes.
2. Is this a good way to select judges?
There are pros and cons to the entire process of the governor appointing judges like this. However, it mostly has negative views with some positive aspects. The common thinking is that Texas judges hate the partisan system, and recently, the state’s top-most judges have requested a new process. In addition, previous Supreme Court judges believe that the State’s system is broken and that the use of Partisan elections to pick up the judiciary also questioned the use of money. Essentially, competent judges are removed from the judicial races due to their affiliations with other parties. There is always a heightened chance of dramatic shifts with fluctuations in political ideologies that can drive away lawmakers away from the office. The incompetent judges then take over, and it is apparent that this is not good going to work. Lastly, party affiliations only work to skew the voting process even more because viewers have an exact idea of the stands.
3. Identify what you see as the costs and benefits of such a system and contrast it with the way most states select judges.
The cost and benefits are going to be many. On one side, you do not have a single authority picking your judges who does not have to take into account your consideration. That also allows friends to be elected who may not have experience which. A result in numerous reappointments such as with our current Fed Gov. people who are elected by vote more often than not are beneficial to the areas they serve. As stated before, people benefit from the judges they elect because they are like-minded to their ideas. Cost-wise elected judges serve terms whereas appointed judges normally serve much longer incurring more cost. In addition, 38 states elect state judges the way we do.
4. If given the choice, would you keep our system of judicial selection as it is at present?
If given the choice I would say a combination of appointed and elected judges is a sound system. Legislators must still vet appointed judges and that weeds out people not of equality for those positions and elected judges serve their areas/regions as best serves their people. The idea of Partisan elections makes less practical sense today due to the various political shortcomings. It is clear that there are many appointments that oppose the party affiliations; the candidate’s stand seems believable. Given full freedom, a mix of political candidates and labels are collected.