Current Law In Texas And In U.S Related To The Selection Of The Judges
This paper will talk about the current law in Texas and in U.S related to the selection of judges. It also deals with the best selection of the judicial method and its benefits to the concerned parties. It will also discuss about the recent changes that can be implemented in the selected election method as per my knowledge.
The selection of most judges in the country of Texas is done the election of partisans. This election is done at each of the court level and the length of the terms of the judges vary from time to time but it is mandatory for the judges to re-run the elections at the end of their tenure. According to section 601.003 of the Government of Texas, the term of every judge begins on January 1 after the election or reelection. The selection of the judge or the chief justice is done by the voters at a large and the tenure of the elected judge is extended up to six years. If there is vacancy in the midterm, the vacancy is filled with a replacement by the governor with the confirmation of the Texas Senate. The other types of judicial selection processes which are used in U.S include- Nonpartisan elections and Legislative Elections. In terms of nonpartisan elections, the election of the judges is done by the people but names of the candidates must be mentioned in the ballot but there should not be the label about the political party affiliation. On the other hand, in the elections of legislature, the selection of the judges is done by the state legislature.
The nonpartisan election is primarily held for the purpose of narrowing the top candidates rather than narrowing the candidates taking one from the each party, irrespective of the party before the time of general election. It is necessary for nonpartisan elections that the candidates are listed in the ballot without designating the affiliation of any party.
The process of legislative election method is a judicial selection process in which the state legislators are in the charge of selecting the judges rather than the general public or the governor. The elected judges are in charge of serving the state appellate and the courts of general jurisdiction. This method of election is used in Virginia and South Carolina,
According to my opinion, the best judicial selection method is the election of partisan. This method is best because the selection is done based on the basis of the votes which means the selection is done by the voters therefore the process is democratic and it is impartial without any political influence. The selection is also done based on certain criteria which include the qualification of the candidates therefore, the elected candidate is a competent person. The elected judge is subject to serve the jurisdiction for four years and if they wish to continue the same then they can choose the option of re-election (Dusso, Aaron 2015, 50-62). The rules related to the judges of the Texas Municipal Courts vary according to the governing bodies of the city but there exists competition in the elections of partisans.
During the initial stages, all the judicial elections are done on the basis of the partisan election but gradually this method started to wave off due to the presence of the group of Progressives, the American Bar Association and also the American Judicature Society. The election method of nonpartisan became popular during the year 1927 and the judges were selected using the nonpartisan method. In the year 1873, the nonpartisan election method became popular and this method became popular since it was perceived in a way to clear the corruption in the judicial process of selection (Dubois, Philip 2014). There has been a long term debate between the supporters of the partisan election and nonpartisan election and the practice of legislative election has been completely waved off.
In order to engage the political process in Texas in favor of the partisan method of election, several things can be done like. According to me, if the comparison is done between the three election processes the partisan method of electing judges is one of the ethical and honest methods of election. The majority of the judges appointed in the last two years has been selected based on the partisan elections. The method of the partisan election is done in the Texas Justice of Peace Courts and the elected judge serves for a time period of four years and the election has been performed in a precinct-wide election.
In order to get elected in a partisan election, the judge should possess the following qualification which includes that he should be a citizen of U.S as well as a resident in Texas. He must have the license to practice law and should be between the age 25-75.
- Badó, Attila. ‘‘Fair’Selection of Judges in a Modern Democracy.’ In Fair Trial and Judicial Independence, pp. 27-58. Springer, Cham, 2014.
- Boyko, Nazar, and Erik S. Herron. ‘The effects of technical parties and partisan election management bodies on voting outcomes.’ Electoral Studies 40 (2015): 23-33.
- Dubois, Philip L. From ballot to the bench: Judicial elections and the quest for accountability. University of Texas Press, 2014.
- Dusso, Aaron. ‘Incorrect voting in the 2012 US presidential election: How partisan and economic cues fail to help low-information voters.’ Electoral Studies 37 (2015): 50-62.
- George, Tracey E., and Albert H. Yoon. ‘Article I Judges in an Article III World: The Career Path of Magistrate Judges.’ Nev. LJ 16 (2015): 823.
- Jones, Mark P. ‘The Selection of Judges in Texas: Analysis of the Current System and of the Principal Reform Options.’ (2017).