justice for sale

HOW DID WE COME TO ELECT JUDGES?: The Founding Fathers' views on the institution of the judiciary, and the evolution in thinking about how judges should be selected
WHAT THEY WERE THINKING:  1780-1805
Judicial appointment and the Constitution

In Federalist 78, Alexander Hamilton argues for the independence of judges--why they should be appointed to serve "during good behavior" and insulated from the political process so that they can be a check on the legislative and executive branches. The arguments collected in the Federalist Papers formed the basis of much of what would shape the language and content of the Constitution.
WHAT THEY WERE THINKING:  1830-1860
Electing Judges in the Age of Jackson

Legal scholar Kermit Hall takes us inside the state constitutional conventions of the mid-nineteenth century and why some twenty states switched to elective judiciaries.
More Than a Populist Rush

Law professor Caleb Nelson tells us why the move to electing judges in the mid-nineteenth century wasn't just the product of a fevered populist climate, as many legal scholars have long contended.
RELATED LINK
State Judicial Elections: Past, Present, and Future

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce held a one-day seminar on the state of judicial elections on April 18, 2001. Judyth Pendell, the executive director of the Center for Legal Policy at the Manhattan Institute, opened the seminar with a discussion of the history of judicial elections; Deputy White House Counsel Timothy Flanigan gave a luncheon address; and Tom Easton, senior correspondent for The Economist, moderated a discussion about the future of judicial elections. You can watch the entire seminar on video or listen to it in audio (RealPlayer required).
(U.S. Chamber of Commerce, April 18, 2001)

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