Elected judges make courts less biased -- Stephen Austin

October 11, 2018

As glaringly illustrated by the appointment of the most recent two Supreme Court justices, the selection process for lifetime appointments of judges in the U.S. judiciary system has clearly fallen prey to partisan politics.

To ameliorate this deplorable situation, serious consideration should be given to the adoption of a U.S. constitutional amendment mandating the direct, nonpartisan election by voters of judges for the federal appellate and district courts and justices for the Supreme Court. Judges could be elected to single 10-year terms in a staggered fashion to assure continuity and stability.

Federal district and appellate judges would be elected directly by voters in their districts, and Supreme Court justices by national vote. For those judges already serving lifetime appointments, the 10-year time limit would begin with the date of their appointment. Precedent for this process already exists for the nonpartisan election of justices to the Wisconsin Supreme Court and those of multiple other states.

Stephen Austin, Madison

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