N.J. Constitutional Convention: Vol. 4, Page 641


Part II


Methods of Selection

number of cases the same for the judges of intermediate appellate courts and courts of original unlimited jurisdiction. Methods of selection of the judiciary fixed in constitutions seem to become a matter of imbedded tradition and are rarely changed, even when general judicial constitutional changes are effected. The differences in methods of selection of the judiciary now obtaining throughout the country are roughly correlative with the location of the state and the antiquity of the constitution. The northeastern states, whose constitutions are the oldest, generally provide for gubernatorial appointments of the high judiciary, while the other states almost uniformly choose judges by popular election.

Thirty-six of the states provide for popular election of judges, six provide for nomination by the governor, with the consent of Senate or Council, four provide for election by the legislature, one has recently adopted the method of selection by the governor from a list of three designated by a judicial council, and one provides for nomination by the governor, confirmation by a commission, and ratification by the people at an election.

The six which provide for nomination by the governor with the advice or consent of a branch of the legislature, are as follows (dates given are those of last revision of constitution): Conn. 1818; Del. 1897; Maine 1820; Mass. 1790; N. H. 1784; N. J. 1844.

The following provide for election by the legislature: R. I. 1843; S. C. 1895; Vt. 1793; Va. 1902.

The following provide for election by the people: Ala. 1901; Ark. 1874; Colo. 1876; Fla. 1887; Ga. 1945; Ida. 1890; Ill. 1870; Ind. 1851; Ia. 1857; Kans. 1861; Ky. 1891; Ky. 1891; La. 1921; Md. 1867; Mich. 1909; Ariz. 1901; Minn. 1857; Miss. 1890; Mont. 1889; Neb. 1875; Nev. 1864; N. M. 1912; N. Y. 1938; N. C. 1876; N. D. 1889; Ohio 1851; Okla. 1907; Ore. 1859; Pa. 1874; S. D. 1889; Tenn. 1870; Tex. 1876; Utah 1895; Wash. 1889; W. Va. 1872; Wisc. 1848; Wyo. 1889.

Missouri revised its constitution in 1945 and provided for filling vacancies in its highest court, the Supreme Court, by the governor, from among three nominees recommended by a Judicial Commission which is composed of the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, three lawyers elected by the bar of the state, and three laymen appointed by the governor from the several appeals districts. At the expiration of a judicial term of office the question as to the retention of the judge for another term is submitted to the people for determination at an election. Similar local Judicial Commissions are provided for the appointment of the members of courts of original and intermediate appellate jurisdiction.

In California the governor fills vacancies by ad interim appointment until the next general election, appointments being subject to approval by a Commission on Qualifications, consisting of the Chief

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