Justice at Stake applauded the recent release by its Honorary Chair, Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O’Connor, of her advancement of a model for choosing state judges. The plan, “The O’Connor Judicial Selection Plan,” is the culmination of a years-long study on judicial selection conducted by the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS) and Justice O’Connor. The plan includes “a judicial nominating commission to screen judicial applicants and identify the best qualified candidates, appointment by the governor of one of those candidates, broad-based and objective evaluation of judges’ performance on the bench, and periodic retention elections,” according to an announcement by Justice O’Connor and IAALS.
“Justice O’Connor has advocated tirelessly for fair and impartial courts, and is renowned for her leadership role in this area,” said Liz Seaton, Deputy Executive Director of Justice at Stake. “We are extremely proud that today, she and our partner group, IAALS, have released a plan that seeks to improve the U.S. justice system. We applaud this latest, outstanding achievement in a distinguished career and encourage everyone to read it.”
Judicial selection plans like the one released today are among reforms Justice at Stake supports as a means of reducing the influence of money and politics in judicial selection and ensuring the advancement of the best-qualified candidates to state high courts.