AR Panel Lays Groundwork to Examine Judicial Selection Reform

The Arkansas House Judiciary Committee, in an information-gathering phase, heard testimony on Friday about judicial selection methods used in varying states. The panel is examining possible reform of judicial elections, and as part of its work, it collected information about nearly two dozen states that use a merit selection system instead.

An Arkansas News article said non-partisan popular election of judges is  “a method some detractors say makes candidates beholden to big-money donors and raises concerns about outside groups spending huge sums to influence elections.” The issue of reform has assumed a higher profile since state Supreme Court elections earlier this year were both contentious and costly (see Gavel Grab).