Legislative Selection

In some states, the Legislature selects judges.

Judge Southwick wrote this:

The legislatures in Connecticut, South Carolina and Virginia choose their state’s judges. In South Carolina the process starts with nominations from a “merit system” commission from which the final choice is taken; without such input, the Virginia legislature also elects its judges. The Connecticut system has the effect of merit selection with legislative confirmation. However, the provision in the constitution states that judges “shall be nominated by the governor exclusively from candidates submitted by the judicial selection commission,” and then “Judges so nominated shall be appointed by the general assembly ….” Thus the legislative action is not called “confirmation.”
Legislative selection does not offer any obvious advantages over other systems. Political considerations are likely to operate just as vigorously on legislators as on governors. Though 174 Mississippi legislators could have almost that many views on who should be chosen as a judge, the final decision would likely be strongly affected by legislative alliances, traditional voting blocs, and the power of the leadership in each house to force a particular choice.
It would be fascinating to see that process in operation. Mississippi tried the procedure from 1817 until 1833. It does not appear sufficiently likely to reappear to merit further discussion.
Leslie Southwick, The Least of Evils for Judicial Selection, 21 Miss. C.L. Rev. 209, 218 (2002)
I hope that I don’t give the Legislature any ideas.  Regardless, I don’t see this happening anytime soon.
I talked to a South Carolina judge that I met at a seminar.  I asked what a lawyer had to do to be selected to be a judge.  He said, “run for and win a seat in the legislature.”

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