I am writing to alert you to a recent poll released by the American Bar Association regarding judicial selection that contains data that is similar to previous polling conducted by The Polling Company on behalf of The Federalist Society. (See Federalist Society poll of Missouri citizens for similar results.)
According to the ABA poll, most Americans favor direct election of state court judges. Nineteen percent of those polled (19%) favored selection by a commission system like the Missouri Plan, which uses four lawyers and three non-lawyers to nominate a panel of three judges from which the Governor must appoint. (Click here and here for a Pro and Con view of the Missouri Plan.)
Earlier this year, the ABA proposed a resolution that encourages the use of a Missouri Plan-like system at the federal level. The ABA poll found that a substantial minority of Americans, 24%, believe lawyers should be on the commissions. (Click here for the Wall Street Journal's view of the proposal or here for the LA Times.)
The way judges are chosen can have long-lasting impact on everything from property rights and gun rights to contract law and cultural policy.
The Federalist Society believes that providing balanced analysis of state supreme court issues is critical to informing the public about the proper role of the state courts in our constitutional system of government.
The Federalist Society State Courts Project
1015 18th Street, NW
Washington, DC 20036