Research Study: ‘Higher-Quality’ Decisions From Merit-Selected Judges

justice-scalesAt the social networking website Care2, Cody Fenwick examines the arguments for electing judges and against them, and decides in favor of appointive systems that insulate judges from politics. His essay mentions a new  study that may become part of the debate:

“A recent paper from the National Bureau of Economic Research found that judges appointed by commissions and confirmed by governors produced higher-quality legal decisions — as measured by the frequency with which the opinion was cited in the future. Judges elected in non-partisan elections produced somewhat lower-quality opinions on average, while judges elected in partisan elections produced the lowest quality of opinions.”

The authors of the paper conclude in a synopsis: “These results are consistent with the view that technocratic merit commissions have better information about the quality of candidates than voters, and that political bias can reduce the quality of elected officials.”