Appointment System of State




Appointment System of State Judges

State judges carry out various duties just as federal judges but they differ in other aspects. Depending on a state’s legal arrangement, there may be different types of judges at the state level. Selection of state judges varies from state to state and it can be political at times since some judges are elected to their positions. State judges ought to be appointed since they keep watch over the legislative and executive branches of the government.

There are different types of state level judges thus their qualification differ from one level to the other (United States Institute of Peace 1). For instance, if one is looking forward to become a justice of peace in Texas. The candidate should be acquainted with the following qualifications; the candidate must be a citizen of United States, must be 18years of age prior to the appointment date, must be mentally competent, must have a clear or no criminal record and must be eligible for the office.

State judges therefore need to be appointed and not elected since their work is sensitive and requires high qualification levels, legal knowledge and ability, professional experience, judicial temperament, diligence, good health, financial responsibility, public service and integrity. State judges are in most cases appointed by state governors. These governors appoint judges who agree with their positions, while voters select governors who support their positions. There are two types of state judge’s appointment, i.e. gubernatorial appointment and legislative appointments (Maxwell, Crain and Santos 286). The main reasons as to why state judges should be appointed are as follows.

Most state judges who use appointment systems are appointed according to their integrity, experience and academic qualification unlike the elected state judges who may lack the necessary qualifications but be elected on basis of their political popularity. In most cases, appointed judges serve for a long time unlike the elected ones and this increases secrecy, competence and consistency in the judiciary. Mostly where state judges are elected, there are higher chances of negative campaigning and publicized disagreements over important issues getting into the judicial election process, especially where a candidate runs as a member of a well known political party. Judges who are influenced by campaign contributions are in most times unable to resist problems faced through associations and friendships that are brought forth in court (Oakley and Amar 48). This is unlikely to happen when appointment process is used. Appointment of state law judges ensures there is gender equality and increases chances of women representatives in the judiciary, especially where the court is already male dominated. In gubernatorial appointment, most people feel the selection mechanism is necessary for the promotion of judicial independence. In appointment system, judges are protected from the threat of removal that would result from an election. In addition, appointed judges have no worries about voters’ approval of their decision-making.

It is therefore important to employ the appointment method during selection process of state judges. This is because the appointment process is reliable, efficient and it guarantees secrecy and competence in the judiciary. However, it is necessary for any government to put in check the judges to be answerable to governors and citizens at large (Neubauer and Meinhold 87). This in return will reduce engagement of their personal affairs in the judiciary and political interference, thus increasing their performance and competency.


Maxwell, William Earl, Earnest Crain and Adolfo Santos. Texas Politics Today: 2011-2012 Edition. Michigan: Cengage Learning, 2011.

Neubauer, David W. and Stephen S. Meinhold. Judicial Process: Law, Courts, and Politics in the United States. Michigan: Cengage Learning, 2012.

Oakley, John Bilyeu and Vikram D. Amar. American Civil Procedure: A Guide to Civil Adjudication in Us Courts. Netherlands: Kluwer Law International, 2009.

United States Institute of Peace. United States Institute of Peace in Brief. Michigan: University of Michigan, 1989.