On September 29, 2017, Douglas Keith and Laila Robbins of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law, released a research paper entitled “Legislative Appointments for Judges:  Lessons from South Carolina, Virginia, and Rhode Island.”  Noting that North Carolina may soon replace its system of electing judges with a system in which the state legislature selects judges to fill vacancies, Keith and Robbins note that legislative appointment systems in general share at least six common problems that must be addressed:

  1. Legislators have regularly appointed their former colleagues to the bench.
  2. Legislative appointments generate allegations of nepotism and favoritism.
  3. Legislative appointments may push judicial selection decisions behind closed doors.
  4. Legislative appointments risk subjecting courts to legislative dysfunction.
  5. Legislative appointment systems may undermine judicial independence.
  6. Money may still play a role in legislative appointments.

To view the complete research report on the Brennan Center website, click here.