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Should Judges Be Elected or Appointed?

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 03:17 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 45.4 
  • Words: 2181
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  The question of electing judges or appointing judges has   had a long bumpy road in   Illinois history.   Over the last Twenty years the voters of the state of Illinois have been asked several times to vote on the constitutional proposal changing the judicial selection process.   And the debate is not over yet.   There are many proposals currently in front of the Illinois General Assembly.   If enacted will change the selection methods.   Supporters of the current elective system are fighting to keep the public directly involved in choosing the judges.   Opponents of this method have proposed that judges are selected by a merit plan, in which a commission nominates candidates and presents a list of executive appointments.   The american legal system depends on the use of judges.  

With the storm of controversy raging about weather judges should be elected or appointed, the future of our legal system may be effected.   The root of the selection problem may be that it is impossible to separate law from politics.   The issue is simply this:   What is the proper blend of political influence, and who or what group should exercise the political power to select judges?


From a historical perspective, the founders of our country held a succinct opinions on this issue(Barton 1).   For example, two centuries ago when the colonist declared themselves independent from Great Britain and had a opportunity to create their own government, they promptly incorporated into America new and important judicial principles, of which the 1780 Massachusetts constitution was typical in declaring:

All power residing originally in the people and being derived   from them, the several magistrates and officers of government vested with authority   - whether Legislative, Executive, or Judicial - are their substitutes   and agents and are at all times accountable to   them(1).

The   Framers feared tyranny   from the judiciary more than from the   other two branches, so...


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