Mississippi actually has a quasi appointed judiciary. 4 of the 9 Supreme Court Justices were initially appointed to the Court. 5 of the 10 Court of Appeals Judges were initially appointed.
Just this year, the Governor will have a chance to appoint at least three judges.
The Governor has a Judicial Selection Committee, chaired by an outstanding lawyer. The members of the committee are also respected and outstanding lawyers. The committee seems to closely examine and consider each applicant. The committee also seems to work hard to provide the Governor with a list of “qualified” candidates.
Judge Southwick noted this about this committee in previous administrations:
I think it’s true of the committee under Governor Bryant.
I have not undertaken the exact statistical analysis to verify this number. But, I’ll guess that half of Mississippi’s judges were first appointed to their position and then were reelected.
It’s not actually correct to say that Mississippi has an “elected” judiciary. We have a judiciary that’s actually half appointed and half elected.