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.
Legal scholar Kermit Hall takes us inside the state constitutional conventions
of the mid-nineteenth century and why some twenty states switched to elective
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.
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)